"HAUNTING STORIES" A SPECIAL REPORT: by Myra Panache
I was recently speaking to a close friend, who is also a journalist. She asked me, have you ever had stories that would haunt you over the years? Three stories automatically came to mind and I realized, I had never wrote about them, nor published them. I contemplated, should I save them for blog entries or should I share them with my readers? I decided to share these three unusual and devastating stories with you.
*The name of the individual in this story has been changed to protect the privacy of her family. Bay area readers (35 and up) may be familiar with this story, it was big local news at the time.
When I was a junior in high school, I always dreamed of a career in print journalism or broadcasting. Two of my dear friends, B.J. and Adriana were hanging out with me one afternoon. We were watching television and a promo came on for a black young lady *(Brianna Jackson) who had a segment on the local newscast, it was unusual to see a black woman with so much clout, making six figures for a weekend segment. Adriana and I commented on her hair, it had so much body and bounce, we wondered, who was her hairstylist? Before I knew it, Adriana and B.J. dared me to call the network and find out. I took them up on their dare and called the network, to my surprise, I was connected to Brianna and she gave me the number of her hairstylist. Adriana and I made hair appointments, our hair came out nice but still didn't have the body and bounce like Brianna's hair.
Two weeks later, I was awakened by a persistent knocking on my door and the phone rung simultaneously. I answered the door, it was my brother, he told me, come quick. We were in front of the television when they announced that bay area newscaster Brianna Jackson had been killed in the early morning hours of New Year's Eve while returning from an office party. She was hit head on buy a newspaper truck and died instantly.
Although I had only talked to her once, I was very sad for her and mourned for her family.
A week later, imagine my shock and surprise when a friend at the Medical Examiner's office informed me-when Brianna was brought in to the coroner's office, it was discovered she had "male genitals."
When I had spoken to her, she had a completely feminine voice, even doing her broadcast segment, she was extremely feminine in appearance, stylish and small framed with no "adam's apple." There was absolutely no indication of male traits. "She" had fooled everyone.
Shortly after "her" death, she disappeared from the headlines permanently. What I find interesting, there is no mention of "her" online in the network's archive yet other network personnel from that era are prominently featured with profiles.
I am still numb with shock.
A black family (a mother, boyfriend, son and daughter) attended a July 4th bbq a few years ago in Antioch, Ca. The children enjoyed themselves as they played with other kids. The mother and boyfriend asked for adult supervision before they left to go to the store (with other adults to pick up some last minute items). When they returned, they located the son but NOT the daughter. She was missing. Everyone searched the house, nothing. The police were called. They searched the house and pool and came up empty handed. Before they left, an officer said, let's search the house one more time. This time, they found the child lying face down in the pool, dead. Someone had hidden the child, when the coast was clear, they placed the child in the pool which had been searched earlier. The killer was never found despite background checks of the guests and the lady who owned the home, sold the house and moved out of state.
Recently, my relative introduced me to her neighbor. They lived in the country. As we sat on the porch talking, she related an interesting but sad story. She told me that her great aunt did domestic work in Hollywood during the 1940's and 1950's. Her aunt happen to snag a job with a rich and prominent white couple. The wife was very nice but the husband was extremely racist. When she was left alone with him, he would call her a variety of racial epithets: 'Pickaninny, coon, tar baby and the n-word.' The verbal abuse became so bad, she quit. When the wife returned home and found her gone, she tracked her down to the black part of town. She begged her to come back, promising to double her salary and she also promised to talk to her husband. The aunt returned and the abuse subsided for awhile and then he started back up. This time, she quit for good. After the lady told me this story, to prove her point, she went in her closet and pulled out an old photo album. She showed me a photo of her aunt in a maid uniform. She also showed me a photo of her aunt with the couple. Even on the photo, the man seemed distant and uncomfortable, even as a young man, he was recognizable. He became the most powerful man in the world, a US President who is now deceased.