American Crime Story: Versace and A Young Widow’s Promise by Ryan Field
I watched another installment of ACS: Versace last night and it reminded me of something that’s related to my novella, A Young Widow’s Promise. It’s unique because you don’t hear about it often…if ever.
While he was on a cross country killing spree, Andrew Cunanan wound up in a remote part of Southern New Jersey where he murdered a man named William Reese at Finn’s Point National Cemetery. Cunanan murdered Reese because he needed Reese’s truck. At that point, Cunanan had already murdered 3 other people and he was on the run.
The connection to all this with regard to A Young Widow’s Promise is that I used Finn’s Point National Cemetery as the setting for my story. Even though it’s been highly embellished in ACS: Versace, Finn’s Point is a place I was very familiar with growing up. I’m from Salem County, New Jersey, and I used to run every morning at Finn’s Point. It’s really nothing at all like you see in the TV show. Finn’s Point is one of the most remote, out of the way places in the state of New Jersey. In fact, it’s actually interesting that Cunanan would even find it, let alone murder the caretaker, because most people don’t even know it exists unless they are looking for it specifically.
The other interesting point to be made about Finn’s Point is that it was once used as a burial ground for confederate prisoners of war who’d been captured and died at Fort Delaware. That’s the basic story line from A Young Widow’s Promise. It’s a forbidden romance, and a love story, that would have been highly irregular if it had actually happened.
In any event, here’s the blurb to A Young Widow’s Promise. And here’s a link to Amazon.
Felecia Roundtree is thirty-seven years old, she’s already lost her husband in battle, and prays each morning her two young sons live to see another day. With her own two hands, she’s turned the front of her property at remote Locust Point, NJ, into a burial ground for unknown Confederate prisoners of war, hoping someone will return a kind gesture to her own loved ones. Then one morning in August, just after she has a vision of her dead husband, three Confederate prisoners of war turn up at her doorstep begging for mercy. One is near death; the other two aren’t much better. Though she’s reluctant at first to help the enemy, she offers them food and shelter, and then eventually begins the romance of her lifetime with a young old Confederate named Calvin. When she learns a deep dark secret about the other two Confederates, she’s not sure what to think. Felecia has no idea she’s even falling in love. Nor does she realize she’s preserving an important part of American History. But she’s true to her promise every step of the way.