Episode 1: The Dudgeon Swamp Mystery

In our inaugural episode, the Great Lakes Lore team will be diving into the sources and exploring the deaths of a father and son in rural, 1920s West Michigan. The Dudgeon family moved to White Cloud, Michigan in 1905 and, less than twenty years later three members of the family were convicted of murder. Were they guilty or were the locals out to get the new folks in town? 
A special thanks to the folks at The October Project for bringing together many of the primary sources we used in our research. You can find Meda’s handwritten account of her husband’s death there, as well as more pictures and the history by Harry Spooner that we reference.

4 thoughts on “Episode 1: The Dudgeon Swamp Mystery

  1. oh, what a treat! Great first show, Can’t wait for it to be a regular thing.

    sidenote, I’m studying to be an archivist and the ethics of deciding what deserves preservation and issues of preserving the context it was made is really interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What an interesting story! I would love to hear what the local papers were saying (and I’d be surprised if those local librarians wouldn’t be willing to send you print-outs from the old papers, for a charge – that’s a big part of what our Local History & Genealogy branch does in the library system where I work).
    My first thought when I heard strychnine was no way! This could be due to attending a LOT of the Poison Lady’s panels at Magna Cum Murder over the years – I’ve learned the symptoms of strychnine poisoning pretty well thanks to her. It doesn’t seem the state’s “expert” was very savvy on those symptoms, since nothing I heard in the episode lined up with them. I also question how they could run effective tests after the body was in the ground so long. Between decomposition and potential contamination from the surrounding soil, it’d be hard to get any sort of decent sample to test.
    As far as the “ghosts” in the swamp, when I heard the description of babies’s cries I immediately thought of a “Cry Baby Bridge” variation. It’s one of those urban legends that pop up all over the place.
    Fun episode – I look forward to the next!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very interesting. I never heard the real story. Only heard that the man was murdered by the mom and brothers. Didn’t know about all the problems they had with their neighbors. Great job!

    Like

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