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Hill Country Living

Crime Reporters Hid Out On Blount Street

The Double Decker Arts Festival was in Oxford last weekend and that means that during the several weeks prior to the fest my friends, most of whom have jobs on the Square and have to work through Double Decker, spent many hours discussing the logistics of where to park. They didn’t talk about the musical line-up, the arts and crafts or food booth selections. Parking and getting to work on time was their primary concern. 

Fortunately, we had a good option in that a kind friend lent a driveway, but even that was like one of those wooden tile picture puzzles where there’s only one free space and you slide the 20 squares around fruitlessly trying to get the numbers in order or make a lion’s head appear.

All this to say, Double Decker was absolutely packed and I have no idea where those people came from. If my pals, who have worked on the square for decades and know every secret nook and cranny of Oxford one could stick a car had trouble figuring out parking, I have no idea how these tourists found a spot. I think they were bussing them in. Or parachuting them from airplanes, I don’t know. 

Saturday morning I ran the Double Decker 5k with Becky Tatum of Panola Street. Unlike myself, Becky had behaved herself the night before like a responsible adult and was pleased with her race results. I, on the other hand, had no such luck with either of those things. For the first time in any race I’ve ever run, I walked up a hill. It was either that or literally die and I didn’t want anyone to have to deal with me dying in the parking lot of the Ford Center during the middle of the Double Decker 5k race route. So, I sacrificed for the greater good and walked. I learned a lesson during that race and it is this: if you have a foot race the Saturday morning of a big weekend-long festival then be sure to skip it and sleep in.

Here is an entirely different subject that I have been wanting to share with you all but couldn’t. I found out several months ago through Casey Cleven-ger of Main Street that the journalists from an award winning true crime podcast called “In The Dark” were secretly living on Blount Street for the past year or so. They were here to investigate the Curtis Flowers case out of Winona. Many of you all may be familiar with this case, but for those who are not (I was not), Curtis Flowers has been tried times for murder in a 1996 quadruple shooting in a furniture store in downtown Winona. Several of the trials were declared mistrials due to prosecutorial misconduct and a couple of convictions have been overturned. Whether ultimately guilty of the crimes or not, the guy seems to be stuck in some bizarre continual loop in the justice system.

After Casey, a fellow true crime buff, told me the reporters from “In The Dark” were living on Blount Street I saw them eating breakfast at BTC one morning. They were two women quietly talking over bowls of grits. I approached them and introduced myself and said “Aren’t y’all the journalists from In The Dark?” 

They both looked at each other quickly and then looked back at me. One reluctantly said,”…um….yes.” And then she put her finger up to her lips and said,” Shhhh.” It was so creepy and no one had even done anything! 

I suggest everyone check out the podcast as Episodes 1 and 2 on Curtis Flowers are out now. 

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