Hot Coffee and Morning Musings



So many questions remain. I wonder if answers will be forthcoming in the trial. I have a feeling that answer to that is no.

Sleep has been fitful at best lately. I am, hopefully, a temporary member of the chronic pain experience. The upside is that I have never appreciated a full mug of coffee more as I plan the day ahead.

This morning I am reading, pursuing information on a few things. One being the mystery that still surrounds the horror that befell Sheree Magaro in Maryland many years ago. Clearly she was murdered but her body has never been found. She disappeared enroute back to Harrisburg, PA during a snowstorm. Her car was found in a field south of the Bohemia River in Maryland.  It was evident that she had been brutally attacked.  I am haunted by her final resting place. Sheree where are you?

The other tragedy on my mind is the brutal rape and murder of Nicole Bennett, right here in Sussex County, Delaware. The night of her murder I was out walking my dogs  by the road that her killer may have very easily used to transport her body to the remote and swampy ditch where he left her.

It wasn’t clear to the general public just where the  rape and murder had taken place.  She was found in Maryland, not far across the state line from Delaware after having worked that evening at Bayshore Community Church in Gumboro, Delaware. The extradition battles that have ensued reveal that law enforcement believe she was killed in Delaware, presumably at the church and then her body was taken to Maryland.

No details have been published about any forensics at the church itself.

I have often wondered if the few cars I saw that night, as I walked my dogs, that stopped at the stop sign feet from me might have included the murderer’s car.  What has bothered me most, until I found out that the murder occurred in Delaware, was did I miss a call for help or a muffled sound as the killer drove by? I have relived that brief walk over and over in my mind and I don’t remember anything out of the ordinary.  In fact none of us knew anything was going on until the next morning when I heard a helicopter flying over my house. I automatically assumed there had been a bad accident and that a chopper request had been made for transport. It was actually a helicopter search for Nicole Bennett who had been reported missing by her husband that morning.

It was not known at that time that she was dead along the remote swamp road.

In a very odd twist of fate, it was a very brief amount of time between the missing person call from her husband and the discovery of her body.  Someone out for a walk found her. It is still astounding how quickly she was found, given the area and the lack of traffic or activity where she was found.

One question does nag me and it may not be significant.

Nicole was working that evening at the church. Her husband was watching the children at their home. He never called to report her missing until the next morning. That strikes me as very odd. Unless they were estranged in some way, or had an argument. Or that it was not out of the ordinary.

If any member of my family would fail to come home within a short time of the end of their work day without having said they had plans I would have been calling and frantic in a short period of time. His wait until the next morning wouldn’t have changed the outcome but it remains a very niggling question in my mind nonetheless.

Matthew Burton is back in Delaware, having been extradited from Maryland. His trial is pending. I hope to attend if at all possible.


Some backstory to the hauntings…

This is a wonderful read about the resorts of South Mountain.

I was introduced to the mountain and its stories by a best friend in my teenage years.  We shared a love of the mysterious. Once I heard about the mountain, it became a favorite haunt of my very own. We shared some wickedly vexing experiences there together. Those happenings have become part of our family legend. I will share those experiences here in posts to come. Enjoy the introduction to South Mountain Manor!

Photographs and Memories


It’s 2015. April, in fact. I am 55 years old.


No, I’m not. I’m 6 years old. In my jammies, riding in the station wagon with my Dad. The very early morning sun is yellow and pale orange. I have my spindly legs tucked under me, wiggling my toes in my fuzzy slippers. Waiting and waiting to make that  left turn onto Seymour Street.

There she is! Her silky scarf tied tightly under chin, her pocketbook hanging from her arm. She stands there waiting for us.

My Nanny. My grandmother. An angel in my life.

Weekdays, my father would leave our home on West Walnut Street in Lancaster, PA very early in the morning and head south. He would pick up my grandmother on the corner of Seymour Street and bring her back to our home, where my mother had her beauty shop. She would care for my brother and me while my mother worked and my father was working in Calendar at Armstrong Cork Co.

Whar a treat it was to be awake and be able to pester him to ride along 🙂

Seeing this photo online took me back to those golden mornings. Like it was yesterday.

I cannot remember what I ate two days ago but I can see Nanny in her midcalf coat, her pocketbook hung on her wrist, that scarf covering her head. I can smell her Cashmere Bouquet.

I hope and pray she knows that I am reliving those precious moments. I suppose it’s a curse of the human condition that we don’t see just how precious moments are until they are memories.