Sutton Massachusetts

Day 8 - Aspen Allegations - NaNoWriMo 2012

Day 8 was utterly fascinating. My friend Paul had told me about a 1935 murder on Lake Singletary. Based on the famous story An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, a Sutton man, Dudley Sherman, had murdered his young wife because he'd fallen in love with a 17 year old girl. The poor woman was only 23 years old and had two young children. Dudley rented a canoe for 50 cents, took her out onto Lake Singletary, and then tossed her overboard. He waited until she was thoroughly drowned before swimming back to shore.

I had no idea! With Googling, I found all sorts of newspaper reports about this story, from all over the US. Apparently people all around were following what was going to happen. Dudley was a scoutmaster and a choir master too. He was thought to be an upright citizen. And yet he fell for a young woman from Whitinsville, Esther Magill, and decided to drown his wife so he'd be free to have her.

All the paper reports are calling this "An American Tragedy" after the novel, which was written in 1925. But what's even more intriguing is that the novel is based on a real life story! Author Dreiser did intensive research on a drowning in the New York Catskills on July 11, 1906. Chester Gillette drowned a poor 20 year old girl, Grace Brown. He got her pregnant, decided he had better options, and took her out on a rowboat to drown her.

Then there was, in 1951, "A Day in the Sun" which was a movie based on the novel An American Tragedy. So the Lake Singletary Murder then in essence had an entire movie based on its storyline.

The poor woman who was killed in Sutton, Alice Szewerenka Sherman, had a sister and brother in town too. So there was a large family affected by the murderous actions of Dudley.

Truly a tragedy.

So I integrated all of this into the storyline.

Time Spent: 46 minutes
Words Today: 2,157
Total Words: 20,254

Day 9 of NaNoWriMo - Fri Nov 9

2012 NaNoWriMo
NaNoWriMo and the Sutton Mass Mysteries
Sutton Mass Mysteries main page