As I watch the mountains as I flew into Salt Lake City, Utah, all I could say was WOW, how beautiful. I’ve been around, but it never ceases to amaze how beautiful our own country is. As I drove from the airport all I kept saying to myself is how it looked like a winter screensaver shot. Everywhere you went was uniquely decorated for Christmas; it was really something to see. A little tough to get a cocktail though… Lol. I actually got a chance to meet some fans of the show while in Utah, they were great and I took a photo with them and posted it on my face book page.
Beautiful: the state is gorgeous, green and lush. The food was AMAZING…from Italian to Southern we had a wonderful stay.
The walk was very difficult for several reasons. I had not slept well. Sleeping is very important, but is a rarity. We had to change hotels, the hotel we initially were checked into did not have a refrigerator or microwave, and the beds were I believe made from concrete. This was not a good beginning to promote a refreshed and clear walk. I was extremely stressed out when I had my make-up done and was at a boiling point when on the way to the walk.
My opening meditation was strange; I saw a HUGE TREE, a man, and mystery. The house was very pretty and old with vines and a HUGE TREE. I was enthralled by the tree; it was mazing and grown over with old decayed vines. I just wanted to sit under it and take a nap!
So we are back in the south in Georgia. We were about an hour outside of Atlanta called Cartersville. I gotta tell you guys, even though we were in the south, it was cold. The area and its residence were as expected, beautiful and friendly, with that southern hospitality and charm. I found this great little cigar bar right across from the hotel where I struck up conversations with the locals and had a great time when I wasn’t working. The area had some pretty good home style restaurants and there was a really nice mall not to far from Cartersville. I had to get my reading glasses adjusted while I was at the mall and the ladies in the eyeglass store wanted to know what part of Georgia I was from…. yeah, yeah very funny. I know my accent is bad, but really…. LOL
The Lizzie Borden house, and the murders that had taken place there was a location and homicide I always wanted to investigate. The house was bigger than I expected and on a very busy street in Fall River, Massachusetts. The home was decorated in the same style during the time period that the murders took place (1892). The furniture in the home was an exact duplicate from the crime scene. The house was filled with photos of Lizzie, her parents & sister as well as crime scene photos.
Well enough about the house; the local people were very friendly to me, even after they found out I was a die hard GIANTS fan…Lol. The area had a lot of really good Portuguese restaurants and great service. But, man was it cold! We were right off the water near the border of Rhode Island, and it was very picturesque; I definitely want to go back when the weather is more appealing.
This investigation in the beginning seemed like a pretty open & shut case from what I had known about the murders, or should I say what I thought I knew. I was able to obtain several very quite interesting facts about the murders and interview people with vast knowledge of the case as well as Lizzie Borden herself. The people that knew about this case had very opposing opinions on whether Lizzie was guilty or not. I had my own opinion as to her guilt and what I thought was a motive. However, Amy brought something to the table that blew me away and made me reassure my beliefs; NEVER have tunnel vision when conducting an investigation. You guys have to watch this one and listen close; it will make you say, hmm. Till next time, stay safe.
It was impossible for me to put my biases aside! I grew up with this story, horrified and haunted by the graphic photos and the story that surrounded them! I had seen a documentary when I was very young and then watched the movie staring Elizabeth Montgomery, a descendent of Lizzie’s.
I always felt that she had done it, that she had murdered her step-mother upstairs, while she was making the bed and then killed her father who was sleeping on the couch in the living room. I had heard that the stepmother’s death had preceded the death of the father by a few hours.
I had also felt that her father had molested her and that they had developed some type of dysfunctional relationship, one in which Lizzie both hated and loved her father with the complexities of a daughter and lover and wife figure. Was possible that she committed the murders out of hatred for the father and jealousy of the mother in law?
With all of this information and knowledge I felt awful even doing the walk. I just kept saying to myself, just get what you get, but anytime I encountered a female I simply assumed it was she…
I could not extend past the time frame I thought it occurred in; I could not move forward and perceive anything else or anyone else that had ever inhabited the location. It was simply them and that was it! I felt stifled, stagnant and trapped! I did just say what I got, but in the back of my mind I was second-guessing, or thinking “well duh” and I knew I was putting up barriers. It was, in fact, one of the most difficult walks.
At the reveal, several interesting circumstances were revealed that I think shed a whole new light on the case. Do I think she did it? Yes, but there was someone else who pulled all the strings! Was she sick, yes, but there where underlying reasons as to why she turned out the way she did. I am not sympathizing with her, but there was more to this story than I personally realized and it made me see her in a bit of a different light. She was the pawn, who became a cohort, living in an extremely dysfunctional family environment. Brutality, lack of boundaries and physical pain was all she understood from the time she was born. There is the killer!
If you go and stay overnight, please protect yourself and tell all there to remain behind!
O.K. to be perfectly honest I was not really that excited to investigate Alcatraz. I have wanted to go there and do the tour, but never made it, as it was not a priority on any of the two previous trips to San Francisco. On one with my mom back in 2000, we just shopped, ate, spa’d and went on fantastic wine tours and drank! Then one with Matt when we celebrated the wrap of the first season; we just went to the Muir Woods (OMG SO PRETTY!), Japantown and Japantown, LOL…our FAVORITE place in San Francisco. Any day off, Matt & I went and ate at Japantown! We LOVE IT!
So, I was very happy to go back to San Francisco, but had to kind of get myself excited to do Alcatraz. I asked if I could sleep over, but I was not allowed. That was a bummer.
What did I know about The Rock? Well, that it is called The Rock, that it was a prison, and old one. That two men tried to escape and were eaten by sharks (horrifying!)
The Walk: TALK ABOUT COLD! Matt & I had to stand outside on the boat ride over for filming. I thought that we were going to freeze to death, so that is what I am thinking in those shots!
Arriving at the Island, the first thing I got was men and women partying. Confusion sets in. This is a PRISION…WTF?
I walk and walk and walk and walk and there are SO many layers and layers and some dead, one in particular who at the time I felt I could have taken home with me; later on I would be horrified at myself for being so naïve.
The problem was: THIS IS A JAIL, JAIL, BARS, MEN were here, MEN, Bars, Violence, Black sheets covering up important information, cracks all over. I became focused, obsessed with what it was, had been, is…I was seeking out information in any way I could, screaming at myself to just be and let it flow, instead of thinking to myself “Well of COURSE I am going to get that there were violent men here, and fights and blah, blah, blah!”
It was very frustrating and yet, it was interesting to see at the same time during the reveal that I got SO much, so clearly. Now was that because I did not know much of anything about Alcatraz, so even though there were some distractions, it was not overwhelming me and I could still connect?
I guess we will all find that out at the next Special location, which I know about inside and out, because it has haunted me since I was a very little girl!
All I can say is WOW! Alcatraz was something to see, I was also fortunate enough to have great access to most of the prison. I have been to many prisons across the country to interview inmates in the process of conducting an investigation. Alcatraz was a unique prison to say the least. The island itself was incredible to see, it had an odd feeling of total isolation even though the mainland was so near. It was unlike any prison I have been to, due in most part to the size of it and the fact that it was on an Island. The jail blocks that housed the prisoners were much smaller than I had anticipated and after spending some time in the actual cells itself, I appreciated my bedroom at home a lot more…. Lol. The hole and the isolation block of the prison gave a real insight as to what these men went through while incarcerated. It’s a tourist attraction I would definitely suggest to friends and family to see, even though I’ve never even been to the Statue of Liberty myself and it’s practically in my backyard, go figure.
This was an investigation unlike anyone Amy & I had done before, it was a known location and even though I thought I knew a lot about Alcatraz, a lot of what I thought was true turned out to be false. I was lucky enough to have been able to interview not only two former guards that worked on the island, but, I was also able to interview a former inmate who spent five years on Alcatraz and who had spent 29 days in the hole at one point during his time there. My investigation led me to a lot of documentation and so much information that it was actually a little tough to digest it all. I actually had to break protocol with Amy and view footage of her walk to decipher what actually applied to what I was uncovering. Some of the witnesses I interviewed that had experiences in the prison when they were visiting the prison had life changing experiences. As it turns out, Amy was able to bring light to what was going on there and saw some pretty disturbing things that go along with prison life. I hope you enjoy this episode as much as I did conducting the investigation.
I had never been to any of the locations that we filmed for season one. So, it was exciting to go to all of these new places, even though I had no idea until we got there where I was going and then I was not able to check them out because I was locked down in my hotel room with no means of communication. Most of my observations were done when I was finished with the walks and/or by looking out my hotel window.
When we went to Tampa for the Hotel Hell filming I was SO excited to be in Florida. I had ALWAYS wanted to go and see that state. It was beautiful, but then I’m exposed to the down side of these places when I do my walks and talk to the dead who are there, and in Florida there were SO many that were in misery.
One of the good things about filming a TV show during the colder months, sometimes you get to go somewhere a little warmer. This time our team found ourselves in the southern most point of the Unites States: Key West, Florida. This again was my first time in this part of Florida. I drove down from Miami in the dark, so I didn’t get to see how beautiful the ride is. I did however see it going home; it was breathtaking in parts. I wish I had the time to stop at all the little spots & islands, maybe if I ever go back. Once I got down into Key West I was like, “what’s with all the friggin’ scooters?” I learned quickly that it was apparent the scooter is the way to go. Again it was a spot with beautiful sunsets and great bars, neither of which I had a chance to enjoy L. Work, work, work…lol. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention, there are chickens everywhere, and I mean everywhere, go figure.
So after getting delayed at JFK, I missed my connection from Salt Lake City, Utah to Great Falls Montana for the upcoming investigation that will air this Friday night. So because of the delay I was stuck in that airport for 11 hours, and all I can say is thank god it had great bars and restaurants. I’m not a big fan of flying to begin with anymore, so the fact that I was able to imbibe over & over again, it made flying out in a small snowstorm heading to Great Falls a lot easier to say the least. Once out of the storm, it was a pretty decent flight and probably one of the prettiest sights I have seen as we approached the small town at night. The airport was so small, it was actually closing after we landed. Can you believe that!!! Checking in and getting through security when we left was a dream; I can definitely get used to the small town airports.