James Buchanan, North Carolina, Newport discussed on Coast to Coast AM with George Noory
Peter. Lance, of course, is well known to coast to coast listeners. He's an old friend of the show. I like to think the medicine old friend of mine I love his work. I am one of his biggest fans. Five time Emmy. Award winner as an investigative reporter, working as a screenwriter and then also as a novelist and continues to research. Some of the most original work that we can never talk about on coast to coast in this new book is No different homicide at Rough point. How are you doing tonight, Peter? Vienna so happy to be launching what amounts to the cyber book tour with you on this on this occasion because you have the perfect skill set. It's almost like a try. Expect of skills. A your journalism professor you've written your doctoral dissertation on True crime trend is an Episcopal deacon deacon in the Episcopal Church. You have a sense of morality. That is perfect for judging a story with more moral ambiguity in five seasons of breaking bad I love that line. I love that line. I love that line in the book. I thought that was great. And listen, I want to say what's interesting about you mentioned the work I did on this in my thesis, but Was interviewing and rule and I was like the last person to get to interview the queen of true crime. And she told me something that just really stayed with me. Not just that All good. True crime has to stay victim focus, and you do that through the whole book. On D I don't like true crime that fetishize is the murderer. And or the murderer, where they get heavily into the blood and the all the other stuff, But the other thing that she wrote, she said, This was her first step every time that she wrote a book. Was that she felt like it was the obligation of the true crime researcher to actually go to the place where the crime it taken place to get to know the people, And she said this so eloquently to eat the local food. To get to know what makes something someplace special. And what's interesting is that step toward knowing the geography? The lay of the land that the blood had seeped into is really a step home for you because you grew up in the very same town where this murder took place. Yes, but interestingly I actually returned to Newport for my first of two long research trips there on the 52nd anniversary of Eduardo's murder, and I wanted to be there in At five o'clock in the afternoon at rough point the scene of the crime and I wanted to smell the air and feel what it felt like It didn't get dark till 6:30 p.m.. So it's still quite light out when it happened, and I just wanted to breathe it, you know so more than having grown up there as the new Porter, a local kid. I literally went there intending to be there to try and, you know, just get a sense of what must have happened. This man, what was going through his mind her mind at the top. Well, so let's start, though, with the usual suspects, and in this case, Newport like in any good true crime piece has to be seen as one of the major characters in this story that that Newport Has it has distinct characteristics. It is its own kind of place and because of its origins, it plays into Doris Duke's hands later as she gets away with murder, But talk about the history of Newport before I go any further, Newport, Rhode Island, you go into beautiful detail. I think people need to have some context about it on how it got started and why it ends up being this playground for the rich in for Famous. Great. Well, as you know, in the beginning of the book for that very reason. I have a map of Newport or Southern Acquit Nick Island T O set the record here. This little state, the small state in the union, Rhode Island, This kind of U Shaped state largely obey now against it Day and south of Providence, the capital, Newport, The island runs north south, and they're really the bottom of equipment. The island probably don't more than maybe five or And square Miles in is really where this incredible history of America has taken place. The experiment in liberty and all of its, you know, tragedy in grace, right? So you have Pre revolutionary Times I have a chapter in the book on the old Stone tower. This mysterious tower that I now believe is was built around 15 80 to 25 years before the Jamestown, Virginia settlement by the British And then you have Revolutionary times in Newport, Newport for 3.5 years was occupied by the British and George Washington went to church there. Trinity Church is the oldest Episcopal House of worship. I believe in the new world. On. That's factors, very importantly, into the book with respective doors, who was a parishioner there on then, eventually Newport starting in the mid 18, hundreds became the playground of what would later become known as the New York 404 100, wealthiest people in the New York social Directory, who are said to be the number of swells who could fit into the ballroom of Mrs Astor at the time, and they were known as the Knickerbocker Asi. That's great, many of them, you know, descendants of old Dutch family. So anyway, they started coming to Newport, along with sub post civil war. With post with Southern plantation owners that that had somehow gotten had their money intact. But after the war, and Newport became this playground, where these they would it was like exercising one ups Manship, where one multi multi millionaire, the equivalent billionaires would build one summer cottage. Then the next one would build a bigger summer cottage. That's what they call these things. The Breakers the most famous Is the house of the Commodore or the grandson of the Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt. There are six different cottages in Newport related to the Vanderbilts, and in fact, rough point was originally built for a Vanderbilt on Lee to be purchased by James Buchanan, Duke Horse's father, so that we wear what we say Cottages. Let's just say one of them is 30,000 Square feet, right? I mean, some of those houses are essentially Malls. I mean, in terms of their scope in their size. Absolutely. Yeah, There's no I don't know, except for in North Carolina, which is also the Vanderbilt the state. I think it's the largest home of its kind in America, but right that was built by by one of the Vanderbilts 51 of the architects of many of the Newport quote cottages and, you know, it's just It's very hard for people that Comprehend the scope and size of these places. So anyway, in Newport, you have the robber barons. You know, the the Vanderbilts, the Belmonts, etcetera, the Astors and they would come every summer. In fact, they had a riverboat if you will, almost like it's called the old Fall River line. And the mothers and the Children would spend the whole summer in Newport and the father's making money on Wall Street would get on these boats at after work on Friday, they'd overnight they get to Newport. Then they step on the boat Sunday night and B it Wall Street in the morning, and they all have their state rooms. So that was kind of a culture of Newport for decades and decades. Then it became the home of the America's Cup races, the jazz and folk festivals the night Dylan went electric I happen to be in the audience is a local git. And then were you really? That's Oh, yeah, I was there. The 91 Electric I can give you chapter and verse on that later in the show. I love that allow actually gonna ask you about that, because I mean, that is the famous.