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Posted November 4, 2008
by Jenn Taschen<BR/><BR/>Author David Aaron Moore is one of those anomalies you rarely come across in Charlotte: he's a native. True, Moore did spend more than 15 years in different places like Denver, Colorado, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Georgia (the bulk of his time away was spent there), but the majority of his time spent growing up was right there in the heart of the Queen City.<BR/>It was after returning there a few years ago to help with the care of his aging parents that he realized, not only had the city changed dramatically, but that it had a wealth of hidden history that was just waiting to be discovered.<BR/>There are too many stories in ¿Charlotte: Murder, Mystery & Mayhem¿ to touch on all of them here, but I've selected a few that I think are best representative of the book. <BR/>In ¿The Saga of Benny Mack,¿ Moore examines the life of one Benny Quinn McIntyre, a Charlotte boxer who committed murder, was pardoned by the governor and rose to national infamy as a Hollywood stunt double. In his later years back in North Carolina, McIntyre robbed a bank and ended up in an insane asylum.<BR/>The story of ¿Razor Girl,¿ a tale about a young woman who killed her cheating husband by nearly decapitating him took place on the city's west side of town, in the old Camp Greene neighborhood. <BR/>The tale story had been covered previously in Creative Loafing for a Halloween issue, but the writer couldn't bring closure to the piece ¿ she was unable to determine the subject's fate following her acquittal in the late 1920s.<BR/>By some role of the dice Moore was able to track down Razor Girl's surviving son and actually talk with and individual who knew Nellie Ellis Green. At times the conversation jumps back and forth from tears to laughter -- but that makes the story all the more gratifying, when coupled with the fact that Moore was able to sew up a piece of otherwise forgotten history. <BR/>In other stories in the book Moore examines ¿The Mausoleum Murder,¿ a horrific tale about an elderly widow who is found dead and and stuffed in a long-forgotten crypt, only to be discovered by a group of children playing in Elmwood Cemetery sometime in the late 1950s.<BR/>The stories continue: ¿Did the Millionaire Kill his Mistress?¿ looks at the sensational trial of real estate mogul George Cutter, who was ultimately acquitted of the murder of his mistress Delette Nycum, despite the fact no other suspects were ever pursued.<BR/>In ¿Mercy:The Haunted Hospital,¿ Moore recalls first hand accounts from staffers who insisted the facility was infested by spirits of the dearly departed. Similarly, he draws on his childhood experiences with an 80-year-old woman who recollects apparitional occurrences from World War I soldiers in a segment called ¿Camp Greene.¿<BR/>¿Love's Pass¿ looks at a group of nine individuals ¿ all related ¿ who met an untimely demise when their 1931 Ford Model A was crushed by a Birmingham-to-Charlotte high speed train.<BR/>Of all the stories included here, perhaps the most disturbing is ¿When A Lynch Mob Ruled Charlotte.¿<BR/>For the first and only time in the Queen City's recorded history, a gang of the city's ¿elite¿ came together in 1913 to enact their own version of justice, which resulted in the death of an African-American man ¿ who never stood trial ¿ for a purported murder of a white man.<BR/>Moore's skills at digging up and re-telling the atrocities of the past are evident here. I look forward to more from this new literary talent.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.