I spent last night looking up relatives of Ream Constance Hoxsie (Hoxie). I wrote about her in The Restless Sleep and never forgot her:
The box marked “1921” has several cases from the early twenties including the following four cold cases: … 17-year-old Ream Constance Hoxsie who was hit in the head with a hammer eight times, then posed on a bed …
She was actually murdered on February 4, 1920. I went nuts trying to find her and her relatives on Ancestry.com until I finally thought to look under Hoxie and other misspellings and then I found them. Now I’m on the case. I was already hooked on telling her story but this small part in one of the Times articles really got me.
The District Attorney said the police had informed him that Ream had accompanied her step-mother, Mrs. Marie M. Montrose a professional singer, to fill a singing engagement at a cabaret. He also said that the detectives had learned that Ream was fond of displaying her skill in “make-up,” dressing herself up in various costumes and applying the cosmetics with the expertness of stagefolk. The trip to the cabaret and the play at “making-up,” were done, it seemed, as part of the girl’s training to join her step-mother on the stage.
I just remember being 17, and that sounds so thrilling for a 17 year old. I see a young girl, backstage, all excited, imagining her future, and then hours later it’s all over. Like that.
I wrote that this morning and I just got back from the library, where I was looking for more information about Ream Hoxsie. God, just one sad story after another. Every time a young girl or woman was murdered, Ream’s name came up, plus all these sad pathetic people who were hauled in and questioned, revealing their sad, miserable lives, so much hopelessness and so many unsolved murders of girls. What a story this is going to make.
Onto something happier for now, like practicing Beethoven. I took this yesterday, coming back from Queens. We’re heading for the bridge and the great and wonderful Oz.
I mean Manhattan.