This photo of Katy Hawelka was provided to the Times by her family.


Watertown Daily Times reporter Ellis Giacomelli did a great job writing about Katy Hawelka and my new true-crime book, A STRANGER KILLED KATY, as part of an awesome package of stories that appeared on the print edition's front page on Sunday, April 18, (see below) and at its subscription website.


The newspaper even dipped into its archives for a gallery of photos, some of which I've never seen before.


The main story, which includes that gallery, examines the 1986 murder of Katy and her family's efforts to fight parole for her killer, Brian McCarthy, now serving time in prison. You can find the story here.


A sidebar features an interview with me about the research and writing of the book. You can find that article here.





55 Plus magazine in Syracuse just published reporter Margaret McCormick's splendid article about the research and writing of A STRANGER KILLED KATY.


Here's an excerpt:


LaRue says he relied heavily on news coverage of the time, including hundreds of stories published in The Post-Standard and Syracuse Herald-Journal, The Watertown Times and smaller community newspapers in the North Country. Even The New York Times covered the story and its impact on the community. Before the murder, Potsdam was the kind of innocent place where no one locked their doors.


He also interviewed more than two dozen people, including Katy’s mother, Terry Taber; her three siblings, Betsy McInerney, Carey Patton and Joseph Hawelka Jr.; and many of her close friends from high school and college. He also spoke with several former Potsdam police officers who investigated the murder; the district attorney who prosecuted the case; the chief of the ambulance crew that treated Katy on the scene; former Clarkson University President Allan H. Clark; and attorney Joe Fahey, who for many years has assisted Katy’s family in their quest to achieve justice for her.


“It’s amazing today the amount of information that’s available online,’’ LaRue says. “When something wasn’t online, I could often request it through email… There was a tremendous amount of documentation.’’


The article appears in the April/May print edition and also has been posted on its website.


I am a member of The Authors Guild, which recently posted a brief Q&A in which I answer questions about why I think writing is important, what I do to avoid writer's block, and what was the best piece of writing advice I have ever received. You can find the brief interview at this member spotlight page.


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