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Word Count: 1,318
It was the summer of 1972 when Spring Hill a Washington DC suburb got its first taste of an increasingly violent insecure modern world The quiet residential area whose inhabitants traditionally left their doors unlocked and spent the summers attending one anothers cookout was rocked by the news that 12-year-old Boyd Ellison had been raped and murdered his body dumped behind the local mall While shaken residents organized a neighborhood watch program and clued detectives in on anyones suspicious behavior the inhabitants of at least one house were distracted by a tragedy of their own 10-year-old Marsha Eberhardts father Larry had run off with his sister-in-law leaving his wife and three children to manage on their own Marsha stunned by her fathers abandonment and having broken her ankle spends the summer witnessing her mothers desperate attempts to cope the neighborhoods paranoid response to the murder and even the countrys disorientation over the unfolding Watergate scandal The tension proves too great when the Eberhardts shy bachelor neighbor Mr Green takes interest in Marshas mother Though murder is the most visible crime in Marshas neighborhood it is by no means the only one Marshas father and aunt run off together and Marsha wrongly accusses Mr Green for the death of Boyd Ellison Marshas father had left before the summer Boyd Ellison was killed The divorce had a tremendous impact on the whole family Marshas twin brother and sister spent the summer away on vacation and since Marsha had her ankle in a cast she wasnt able to do things most kids did during the summer vacation like swimming Marsha remembered it was only after my father left and Boyd Ellison was killed that I started to wonder to myself what might happen next35 Since Marsha had so much time on her hands during the summer of 72 she seemed to fill the time with investigating who could have killed Boyd Ellison She kept a journal of her
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