A North Woods Elegy wins Award of Excellence!

A North Woods Elegy: Incident at Big Moose Lake won an “Award of Excellence”in the Faculty Documentary Competition at the Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts in Las Vegas on April 16, 2012. Derek Taylor and Mike Bay were in attendance to accept the award.


A North Woods Elegy to screen at Hamilton College

We’ll be screening the documentary at Hamilton College on Tuesday February 7, 2012 at 7:00 pm in the Kirner-Johnson Building Auditorium. Craig Brandon (author of Murder in the Adirondacks) and Jack Sherman (editor of the Prison Diary and Letters of Chester Gillette) will be in attendance for a Q&A with me afterwards. Hope to see you there!

On August 9, 1906

So I was going through some of my notes in preparation for the DVD design and realized that today was Chester Gillette’s birthday. He was born August 9, 1883 in Wickes, Montana. After Montana, Chester became quite the itinerant traveler, winding up in Hawaii, Illinois and California, just to name a few places.  But on his 23rd birthday, in 1906, he was behind bars in Herkimer, NY, accused of murdering Grace Brown on Big Moose Lake.

  1834 Herkimer County Jail   Chester’s Jail Cell in 1906

Thanks to the “Friends of Historic Herkimer County” we were lucky enough to gain access to the 1834 Herkimer County Jail for a day of filming in July 2009, and the footage figures prominently in the film. It was really sobering to sit in Chester’s jail cell and see his view. We even attempted to duplicate Chester’s amusing cell decorations (see below).

  Nick Stagliano as “Chester” in July 2009

  Historical Marker at 1834 Jail