Have you read the book or seen the movie? Last weekend I was flipping channels and noticed that the movie was showing again and every time I see it playing I feel sadness inside. If you've ever read the book you know Pat and her family lived in Georgia and it just so happened that I knew some of the family well. In fact, I used to go visit and have coffee with Marguerite, Pat's mom, on Saturday mornings. About now it goes without saying that I've always been a bit naive in certain situations. If you haven't read the book by Ann Rule, it is the true crime story about Patricia Allanson, a woman convicted of attempted murder.
Back in 1984 my son was going to a Montessori school which is where I met and became good friends with Marguerite. Pat’s beautiful granddaughter was in my son's class and Marguerite would bring the little girl to and from school each day. During the Montessori years we spent lots of time together planning classroom events, parties or meeting for coffee. I soon discovered that Marguerite and her family moved to McDonough, our hometown at the time, and I was thrilled. I've always enjoyed having Saturday morning outings and having coffee with Marguerite and Cliff (Marguerite's husband). We had so many lovely visits and occasionally Pat would join us for coffee. Pat was living a carriage house that was attached to the Radcliffe's cottage. Pat took great pride in showing off her beautiful doll house. When my daughter was born Pat crochet sweaters, bonnets and a blanket for her. As my kids grew older my Saturday mornings turned into basketball practice, piano lessons, etc., so there was less for visits with Carl and Marguerite though I would still see them around town.
Around 1995 a friend at work stopped me to me where I lived. When I said, "McDonough," she quickly asked me if I knew Pat and Marguerite. "Of course," I said. Her eyes grew big and she responded with, "I just finished reading Ann Rule's book and you need to read it." I did and I was stunned. Honestly stunned. My first thought was the little girl who was in my son's Montessori class. She was just a child and was named in the book. At the time she had been going to school in the same small town and it broke my heart that she was possibly being labeled by something her grandmother had done.
Marguerite was diagnosed with cancer and passed away but for the longest I would stop by and drop off a pie or treat for Carl on holidays. We moved from the town years ago so I lost track of everyone since. I’m not sure where the beautiful young lady I knew from the Montessori school lives but I do hope that wherever she is that she is very happy.