Thursday, August 22, 2013


On his wedding night in 1860, Thomas Mercer was shot dead in his carriage house.  A slave owned by his neighbor Miss Sarah McCullough was accused of the crime and eventually gunned down for it, but he was innocent.  The crime would go unsolved for nearly one hundred and fifty years until Miss Sarah's distant relative Angela Fletcher was able to track down her long-missing journal which revealed the truth.

But before his fateful encounter, Mercer had enjoyed the pleasures of the flesh with his bride, the former Mary Hobbs.  And though she never realized it during the course of the events recounted in the journal of Miss Sarah, Mary was impregnated that very night.

She eventually married a former lover, Jeb McNell, who was also one of the suspects in the murder, and he raised her son as his own.  (Mrs. Fletcher tartly remarked that the couple deserved each other.)  

Eventually one of the descendents in that family tree moved north to the New York area and his grandson, Peter Burke, became an agent in the FBI.

(Peter Burke was also distantly related to Amos Burke, a millionaire homicide detective in Los Angeles.  The son of Captain Burke was also named Peter, and the two Peter Burkes were probably named in honor of some other distant relative.)

  • "Murder, She Wrote: The Last Free Man"
  • 'White Collar'
  • 'Burke's Law'

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