With the buzz starting to grow for the Family Mysteries Podcast, things are moving fast. Stories are coming together about Marcia Nolan’s disappearance. We continue to learn more about what happened the night she went missing. Nevertheless, this case is colder than cold. I have encountered research challenges in investigating this particular cold case. For example, the police stopped investigating it almost immediately. Even the families showed virtually no interest in pursuing it. And for evidence, we’re relying on witnesses with fading memories and understandable biases.
With the obvious challenges in investigating this case, it’s a good idea to take stock of what this project is all about and what questions we are trying to answer. Over the next couple of weeks, I will give some updates on some new investigative strategies for this case. I will also provide some useful information that should make this story easier to follow.
Can a case this old (and this cold) be solved?
The short answer is that I don’t know and it depends how we define “solved”. It would be absolutely amazing to find out definitively what happened to Marcia, but that is the dream scenario for this project. We’ve already discovered so much and opened our eyes to new information about the case. I believe we are getting closer to learning the truth, or at least what likely happened. But, this is not Perry Mason. We won’t have a courtroom confession or a body turn up. In an old case like this, any new information that gets us closer to the truth is a win.
What about the police records?
Essentially, there are none. The Newport Police referred me to the state archives in Frankfort for cases this old. And, the archives do not have any files on inactive missing persons cases. I searched through all the arrest records and court cases in Newport from this time period. Nobody was ever arrested and no court cases exist for Marcia’s disappearance. It’s as if she went missing and there was never a serious search for her. I would like to commend the staff at the Kentucky State Archives and the librarians at the research library for the Kentucky Historical Society. They were extremely helpful, but the dearth of documents about this case is striking.
How does this affect my novel?
Oh yes, the novel! That was what drew me in from the beginning. Interestingly, while I was hitting roadblocks in the research to the case, the story that I am telling in the novel was crystalizing. It’s fiction and I’m using Marcia’s story as inspiration, but it will tell its own tale. I’m still researching the true story, but focusing more of my time on writing the novel. This is an exciting time and I can’t wait to share the story.
Where is the 4th Podcast episode?
I’m incorporating some new research into this episode, so it won’t be released until next week. Don’t worry, other episodes will be soon to follow. For now, you can listen to the first 3 episodes on this website or on iTunes. And now we’re on Stitcher too!
And look for more posts in the next few days.