Saturday, September 27, 2008


This is an old house on Knights Wood Road which is approximately Somewhere in Mathews. I don't know exactly what the area is technically called (Diggs?), but it's between Haven Beach and Another Place, where Another Place = I have no idea because I don't get down that way often, and it's one back road leading to yet another back road, with lots of short cuts and cut-throughs and dead ends and please just take my word for it - it's near Haven Beach. The End.

Mathews has so many old, abandoned homes and structures, and I find beauty in every last one of them. This particular house, however, will be forever associated with a tragedy, in fact a murder.

Mathews has almost no crime to speak of in comparison to even neighboring counties, and certainly in comparison to more urban areas. We leave our car keys in the ignition, we rarely lock our car doors, and many folks never lock their homes even when they are gone all day long. Some people even put signs in their yard saying, "Please, please take this junk. I'll pay you if you'll steal it." When I was little I tried to pull my sisters in a wagon to the end of the lane and put such a sign on them, but my plan was aborted. Adults were involved.

Sure, we have the occasional theft of a lawn mower, or a breaking and entering into the pharmacy to take all the percocets. Some of us have even been known to trespass on occasion, where us may or may not include me.

But a murder?

Without going into the details, I will simply say that Someone from Out of Town came here one fateful night with Another Person from Out of Town and sadly only one of those people left. The other young person's body was left here in a shallow grave near this old house. Mathews made national news, although it was not at all the sort of attention we were seeking.

Both a body and a house were abandoned together for a brief period of time.

Now, just the house survives, and it's barely hanging on, but it's still beautiful.


abb said...

A least the perpetrator was caught. And I agree with you - homes in gentle destruction are beautiful.

Unknown said...

How sad. did they ever find the suspect and bring him/her to justice> The house looks sad too. Maybe it hold some answers

Bear Naked said...

House doesn't look too bad.
How's the ROOF?

Bear((( )))

Mental P Mama said...

lol @ bear. I grew up in a very small Tennessee town, and I remember a murder there when I was a child. It was like the world had intruded on us. Beautiful shot as always.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Yes, they found the person and as far as I know he's sitting in jail right now. It was a very troubling incident, to say the least.

BN - I bet this roof is way more solid/leak-proof than yours. Good luck on all the repairs.

It's a good thing WE don't have a leaky roof today - it's been raining like the bottom dropped out.

Anonymous said...

Local lore... the sordid edition.

I grew up in an area like that, and so did my husband. I am not sure his folks even know where their house key is.

nativedevil said...

I'm sad to say, I recognized the house from the murder case even before I read your blog. Everyone in Roanoke suddenly wanted to ask me about Mathews after that. Just tragic.

Anonymous said...

That young couple stopped at my FIL's gas station to fill up before heading to Mathews that fateful night. My BIL remembered them because the girl was "so beautiful." Unfortunately, they did not have security cameras installed at the station at the time.

Horn Harbor Girl said...

I do remember this house ! Many, many years ago riding the school bus, Miskel Diggs driving(bless him) - we went by this little house every day ! Two sisters lived there, they depended on others to get them what they needed, they required very little & still seemed happier than most. Your pictures bring back so many child hood memories ! We need another get together (high school friends) and a good glass of wine -at the future singles connection spot ha! ha! Although I smile at the thought, it may be my only HOPE of finding that wonderful man with teeth ! Actually, I would like to hear a repeat of the canoe trip !!

foolery said...

Finding myself strangely obsessed with this case now.

This is why I no longer watch crime dramas and whodunnits.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Horn Harbor Girl - Thank you for commenting and for that background on the house. I had heard about the two ladies before but didn't know much of the details (I rarely do about anything I write about here).

I'd love to get together again - last time was too much fun. I was sore from laughing.

And I know you will find a man who has teeth. I am sure of it. Take care. -cbw