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CURRENT FINDINGS IN BC: Every Place has a Story

April 21, 2016

Photo of Jennie Conroy, 1941. Source: North Vancouver Museum and Archives.

CURRENT FINDINGS IN BC: Every Place has a Story

by Eve Lazarus

A reviewer once called my first book At Home with History (2007) an “entry level book.” He wasn’t being kind, but I loved that. I loved that my book might appeal to someone who typically wouldn’t read a traditional history. I started blogging three years later. My blog became a way to try out new stories and add colour and information to the stories in the book. Now I blog regularly about anything that falls under the umbrella of “Every Place has a Story.” That’s pretty much anything from murder to missing heritage buildings to research tips. The posts became a way of extending the book life and developing ideas for new books such as Sensational Vancouver (2014), but most importantly the blog became a way to have a two-way conversation with my readers.

A few days after my last book, Cold Case Vancouver (2015) was finished and sent off to Arsenal Pulp Press for editing, Daien Ide at the North Vancouver Museum and Archives contacted me by email. Daien had received a photo album with the owner’s name, Miss J. Conroy, inscribed in the front cover. Daien discovered that 24-year-old Jennie Conroy was murdered in 1944, and that her murder remained unsolved.

I blogged about Daien and the mystery album, and the next day I was rewarded with an email from Jennie’s niece, Debbie, who told me that her aunt was an unmarried mother and that Jennie’s daughter Mary lived in New Zealand. Thanks to my understanding editor, Jennie Conroy’s story became |the first chapter in Cold Case Vancouver — a joint effort put together by Mary, Debbie, and myself, and one that would never have come about if not for my blog.

A couple of years ago I jumped into FaceBook with a page named after my blog. It was a way to reach a larger audience, play with ideas, gather feedback and hopefully sell some books. After Cold Case came out I added a public group page — Cold Case Canada — as a way to continue the conversation and act as a repository for new stories and information. Because wouldn’t that be a great use of social media — if a tip could help police solve a murder?

Links
Every Place has a story: http://evelazarus.com/blog/
Sensational Vancouver: http://www.anvilpress.com/Books/sensational-vancouver
Cold Case Vancouver: http://www.arsenalpulp.com/bookinfo.php?index=435
FB Group Page CCC: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ColdCaseCanada