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The Wig

September 2003

I grew up in Northern Iowa near South Dakota on a small acreage. We weren't the poorest family around but I definitely loved to save old junk that people gave me or things we would find at the dump in town. Needless to say I was a pack rat with a wonderful imagination. I had two older brothers that on occasion would allow me to tag along.

It was in the mid 70's, late into August and my brothers and I were going to ride our bikes to a new man made lake about 6 mile from our house.

After a great day at the lake we decided to take a different way home. Instead of taking the black top we took the gravel roads back home. It was hot, I was exhausted and my brothers were way ahead of me. I stopped to get a drink of water and noticed something dead and furry along the road. My brothers came back and we proceed to poke it with a stick (that is a common practice with road kill when your 11 years old).

Well it wasn't a dead animal it was a long black wig. It was tangled and matted but being a blond, I couldn't wait to get it home.

I washed, dried and styled my new identity. I played with that wig for weeks. "Loved it! Loved it!" A few weeks later on the school bus my friend told me her uncle found a body in his corn field. He smelled a dead animal, or so he thought, and it turned out to be a naked woman. Everyone was in shock! She was murdered and dumped there weeks earlier. The police couldn't identify her so they put ads in the local newspapers with pictures of her jewelry in hopes that someone could explain who this women was. It was a BIG deal to have a murder in little town Iowa. It just didn't happen.

Well as I'm sure you've already guessed the wig I found on that warm August day was found merely yards away from where the women's body was found. Someone had reported hearing screams and seeing a van around the time of the murder in that location. My mom suggested that the wig may have been hers.

Here is the strange part!

That night I had a dream. I was prone to night terrors on occasion but nothing like this one.

In my dream the wig was laying on the floor at the bottom of our stairs. The wind picked it up and it flew out the window at the top of our stairs. I commented "Well the wigs gone. It was fun to play with while it lasted." When I tuned around the wig was back on the floor. In surprise I picked it up and there was a women's severed head inside the wig.

I woke up screaming and couldn't stop. My parents were a bit used to me with bad dreams and told me to come downstairs but I was to terrified to go past the window. I just cried and screamed bloody murder for what seemed like and hour, but I'm sure was only minutes. I ran as fast as I could and bolted down the stairs to my mom. I was still screaming and hysterical and just kept saying "There's a head in the wig! There's a head in the wig!! My mom calmed me down with a shot of Blackberry brandy and I slept at the end of their bed for the rest of the night.

The next morning I took the wig and threw it in our burn barrel and said good riddance.

At the end of the week on the front page of the paper the police released a sketch of the murder victim.

To this day I can still see her face. It was the face of the severed head in my nightmare. Had the dark haired women come to me in my dreams to help solve the mystery of her death? We never told the police about the wig. I'll never know if it would have changed the outcome of the investigation.

25 years later and the murder in rural Iowa remains unsolved.

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