It did not take much questioning to find out where to look for the ragman. I had already begun to look into some old family history. It actually had started soon after the death of my grandmother:

She had always hedged about the cause of her parents’ deaths. To one she said they died in a car accident. To another, that her mother died in child birth and her father left, heartbroke. Each member of the family was given another story. I decided to write a story about her mother. I had gotten the story of the death in childbirth. So, after writing the story, I gave it to my mother to evaluate.

After reading it, Mother said, “This isn’t how it happened!” She explained the story she had received. In that story, her grandmother had been shot by a neighbor while protecting her husband. Significantly different from the other story. When I asked about her grandfather, she had no idea. Then my grandfather told us a story no one had ever heard. My grandmother had spoken to her own father once as an adult! At that point I needed to find out the truth.

 As a researcher, I try to go to the primary source for my information. In this case, I called the police department in Hartford, Ct. I spoke to Detective Lopez. He said he would call me back. Which he did a week later. The first words out of his mouth were, “You had better sit down for this!”