(All conversation is fictional, as is the owners of the house: But this really did happen! Look up Colonel William Shy.)
“Ready for bed?” Mrs. Landen asked her five-year old son. It was Christmas Eve, 1977. John Landen looked up at his mom with a funny face.
“Nah, it’s too early. The sun’s still up.”
“I know, I’m just teasing,” Mrs. Landen pinched her son’s cheek before walking into the kitchen. Looking out her kitchen window which over looked her yard, she gasped.
“Come in? We have a murder,” a policeman stood over the casket in Mrs. Landen’s yard. Turning to Mrs. Landen herself, he asked, “How long has it been like this?”
“I truly don’t know,” Mrs. Landen’s face was pure white. In front of her was a body–Without a head–stuffed halfway into a metal casket. The casket had to be the old casket of Colonel Shy…but he was long gone. The dirt on the bottom casket proved that.
The body was well dressed, surprisingly. A black tuxedo and a ruffly white shirt covered the headless body. The officer spoke into his radio before turning back to Mrs. Landen.
“I’m sorry for this inconvenience. We will take the body to the Corner now.”
“All right,” Mrs. Landen nodded before returning to her house.
“The man has been dead for around a year. I doubt we could find who killed him,” the doctor shook his head. “Would you like his weight and height?”
The doctor’s friend nodded. “Probably necessary.”
“5’11”, and weighs 175 pounds. I’d assume he’s in his mid twenties.”
“All right, that’s documented. Are you sure there’s no hope to find the murderer?”
“No, but maybe we can identify him once the Nashville Corner comes. They might be able to tell more.”
“Let’s hope,” his friend nodded. In a few days, more doctors had come to look at the strange body. They too could not identify it. At least they all agreed he had been dead around a year.
A little later, a museum curator came by to see the mysterious body of Franklin.
“Strange,” the man brushed his facial hair meditatively. “I’m sure you’re correct in your estimated time of his being deceased, but his clothes catch my attention. Either he was involved in reenactment, or he decided to dress up for his death. These clothes are from the mid-nineteenth century.”
That caused quite a stir in Franklin. The murdered man wore clothes from the Civil war area? Who was the murderer? Did the murdered (headless) man reenact? Why was he dressed like he was?
A while later, a skull was found…One that had a hole straight through it, indicating a bullet. The doctors thought they might as well try the skull with the body. To their surprise, it fit! This body, that seemed to only be dead for a year…
Was the body of Colonel William Shy!
And he had been dead 112 years!
Colonel Shy’s body had so much arsenic (used for embalming in those days) that his skin still appeared pink! And he hadn’t even started to decay.
Once the townsfolk found out that it was the hero Colonel Shy, instead of some strange murdered man, there was a sigh of relief. They reburied Colonel Shy, and now his original casket is on display. Previously, it was at the Carter house. However, the Carter house leased it somewhere else for three years.
What do you think? Surprising? How would you like to have a mystery like that in your hometown? Would you like more history?