Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween Flashback

1983 Macon Chronicle (Macon, Missouri) 
One September in 1983 newly into the school year and near my 14th birthday, a young boy my age named Danny Joe Eberle went missing while on his paper route in Bellevue. Days later his body was found a few miles away outside town on a rocky road near the Base.

By this time women's lib was in full effect and there were no stay at home moms within my group of friends. We were all latch-key kids so after school my girlfriends often favored hanging out at one friend's house. That mom went a little nuts because we ate all of their food, annoyed her sons and probably made a mess. Another of the mothers was more strict and wouldn't tolerate our food invasions at her house plus she had a lot of 'house rules'. A few of us just lived further away so hanging out at other houses was out of the way.

Once this murder occurred the moms got together and it was decided we needed to have a designated home to go to after school so we weren't roaming the streets to get snatched up by the boogyman. I was excited that all of the mothers were going to meet and talk about us. The idea was that we were to take turns at everyone's house so there was a share in our protection (and finally the food consumption). The moms were going to come home early from work on their day to watch us. Logistically it never got off the ground and we all ended up back in the Jeanettas' cupboards.

This was also a time when we watched slasher movies for fun like Friday the 13th and Halloween I,2,3, Terror Train, My Bloody Valentine and The Funhouse. I would be going home at night after watching a scary movie where 20 people got cut up in the woods and end up running all of the way. That year Halloween had an extra scary dimension knowing someone was really out there snatching up kids. I'm sure all of the parents were more afraid than we were. The line between fact and film was blurry for us but we still had the cloak of parental protection.

For further reading on subject check out A Need To Kill.


  1. Yeah, none of us will ever forget that time period, will we? Danny Joe Eberle was snatched just a couple of blocks from my house. I've always been curious about reading Pettit's book, but never have.