Commentary

What people are saying and writing about The Sandy Knoll Murder


Reader Evan Carlon wrote:
“I am reading sandy knoll right now and I am fascinated with your findings of Ray Jackson, seems he was quite the con man & villain. My family bought the Jackson place on Wagontire Mountain after he died. The upstairs bedroom has a large bloodstain on the floor in the form of a human. Always was kind of creepy as that where we as young boys slept. The stain wa scrubbed by my aunt Austa Carlon, by my mother Lora Carlon, by my wife Sue Carlon and was never removed. My grandfather was Ira Bradley. Thank you for writing this book, it clarifies a lot of misconceptions I had of the murder of Harold & Ira Bradley. Thanks again as I read on to the finish.”

Oregonian columnist John Terry on May 8, 2011:
Read John’s article here:

Reviewer Bill Duncan of the Roseburg News Review on March 24, 2011 wrote:
“Tupper approaches the story like a sleuth looking for clues into the mysterious disappearance and death of J.C. Conn. Much to her credit, she thoroughly and painstakingly documents her research and every “i” is dotted and “t” is crossed. The book reads like a murder mystery, and indeed it is.”

Reader Bill Friday wrote:>
“Meanwhile about the Sheepshooters.  Finally this week I visited the Delaware Market Bookstore and purchased a copy of your book.  At first, with some trepidation, due to the sinister-looking cover and my aversion to firearms, I forced myself to go beyond my personal bias and give it a shot.  A decision well taken.  I am most impressed with your list of sources and the amount of extensive research that went into the making of the final edition.  I am so impressed that, being only half-way through (I shall of course finish it this week), I intend to send my copy up to the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies in Bellingham, Washington located on the campus of Western Washington University. .... Most respectfully (and assuredly impressed!), Your friend and one-time neighbor from the Green Mountaintop,
Bill Friday  (T.G.I.F.)”


Melany Tupper, on December 8 wrote:
The Sandy Knoll Murder has had a successful run so far. In the first nine months, about 700 copies have sold, mostly in Lake County, and mostly to people visiting from outside the area. See the ‘Our Partners’ page for details on our top selling retailers. Thanks to everyone for your enthusiastic support of the book this year! I will be spending part of the holiday season hunkered down and working on a second edition of The Sandy Knoll Murder, and volume two of High Desert Roses, to be released in the spring of 2011.

The editor of the
Crook County Historical Society’s quarterly newsletter, The Meadowlark,
has named The Sandy Knoll Murder the Editor’s Choice book for the summer of 2010.

Darrell Anderson, editor and publisher of north Lake County’s Outback News wrote:
“Melany has done a fabulous job of research. She says seven years, and I can believe it. After every chapter she lists a couple of pages of bibliography ow where her information came from. If you have any interest in what life was like in Central Oregon a hundred years ago, and a subsequent murder at Silver Lake (it was called a suicide then, even with two fatal shots in the chest) then this would be a must read for you. Is the murder mystery solved? Buy the book and find out. Great job, Melany.”

The Silver Lake Mercantile says The Sandy Knoll Murder is the best-selling book they have ever carried in their store.

“Christmas Valley author traces murder of Silver Lake man,” an article byRyan Bonham of The Lake County Examiner, June 23, 2010.

Ron Brown, Newswatch 12 anchorman from KDRV-TV in Medford
contacted our small publishing company about doing a feature for his weekly history show “Oregon Trails.” He wants to interview me at the end of the July and discuss The Sandy Knoll Murder, the range war period, and the sheep kills that happened in north Lake County. The publicity fairy strikes again! Stay tuned for program date and time. Download the program here: http://kdrv.com/oregon_trails/183221

“Dead Lands,” by
David Jasper of the Bend Bulletin, June 26, 2010.
Read it for the small sum of .50 cents at: the Bulletin web site

Teressa Foster, author of the authoritative early history of north Lake County, Settlers in Summer Lake Valley wrote: “A neighbor invitied me to read his copy and asked my opinion. I could hardly put it down. In fact, I read it in one afternoon. I thought “The Sandy Knoll Murder” was fascinating... but creepy, too. The idea of Jackson teaching children gives me the chills. He taught at Silver Lake, the Lone Pine School by the Withers Ranch, at Paisley, then became the County School Superintendent. Jackson must have had an engaging personality.... You certainly did an enormous amount of research and I congratulate you on the results.”

DeNae Simms, Curator of the Lake County Museumwrote: I just finished the book - it was a fascinating read!  We just had a museum board meeting today and the board was very excited about having your book available for purchase here at the museum and several are looking forward to purchasing it.  So to answer your question, yes, we would love to take some of your books!”

Reader Zelda Monical wrote: “I really enjoyed the book.  You certainly did a lot of research for it!”

Reader Greg Schoenberg wrote: “I purchased your book yesterday and finished it today.  I commend you on your research and cleverness.  You had me believing it was the Sheepshooters all along.  I wonder if anybody ever suspected Roy/Ray Jackson in those days.... Anyway....I enjoyed your book.  I wished there were more pictures of Jackson.  Also, what became of his estate and wife and child?  Does he have a headstone in the Burns cemetery?  I'd like to visit it someday. Again.... thanks for writing a wonderful book!”

Cynthia Claridge of Paulina Springs Books in Redmond wrote: “I did get a chance to read through the book.  We have had some interest in your book already so I know it will sell.  We'll most definitely be getting in touch with you once these are sold.”

Reader Lorena Emery wrote: “Melany, I have read you book and found it very intriguing.... I would like to get you to sign my book if you ever have a signing I could come to.”

Reader Brenda Morgan wrote: “Melany, purchased your book yesterday at Paisley Mercantile which was highly recommended by a couple of local people.  Started reading it last nite & was instantly intrigued....  Anyway, I would like to get your autograph on my copy of Sandy Knoll.  If you ever plan to come to Paisley or drive thru, could I meet you and get your autograph?”

Reader Judy Chambers, President of the Clackamas County Family History Society wrote: “What a well done book... what I’ve read is terrific! All of the library staff is very interested in the story.”

Les Joslin, Editor of The Homesteader, the Deschutes County Historical Society Newsletter described The Sandy Knoll Murder as “one of Oregon’s more fascinating ‘cold cases.’

Reader John M. Robertsonwrote: What a wonderful book on the murder of my great great uncle. My family is so pleased that the record is now complete.

Reader Terry Seaman wrote: I loved your book.  I thought that you might be interested in this Harney County case since you were recently there.  Many details of this case are in the web site: www.SteveSparksIsTheKiller.Com

Faye Taylor, Correspondent for the Central Oregonian wrote: To say that Melany Tupper is a history buff is a gross understatement. She would be better described as a freelance cold case detective.... Sheepshooters in Central Oregon were responsible for a lot of terrible things, but no one suspected that one of the most trusted people in their community could have been a psychopathic killer. Read Faye’s article at: http://www.centraloregonian.com/PCOCommunity1.shtml

Reader John W. Alvin wrote:
 Your book was of great facination to me. I come from a pioneer family in the Lebanon/Sodaville area; thus being familiar with names like "Parrish" (I went to school with Parrish decendants). I'm also familiar with many Lake County folks. Many of the mentioned names are known to our family.  I appreciate your research and concur with your conclusions.

Reader Dave Howard wrote:
I picked up a copy of the Sandy Knoll Murder book in Silver Lake the other day, while traveling through on an adventure bike trip. Is there any contact info of how I can send this specific book for an autograph by Melany? I live over in Hillsboro OR, a bit to far to drive for a signing. I'm not selling or auctioning my book, just really like the idea of having purchased the book at the Silver Lake Merc store. I've rode the desert and forest's in that area several times and had no idea - awesome stuff.

Two Book Club Representatives:
Contacted the author at her October book signing at the High Desert Museum in Bend to ask about purchasing enough books for every member of their clubs. Please use the ‘contact us’ form on this web site to order a box of books for your club at a special discounted price.

Jeannine Cook in a review for the Lebanon Genealogical Society Newsletter wrote:
“Ms. Tupper weaves a story of intrigue and foul play at a time when the central and southeastern parts of Oregon were the setting for range wars between cattlemen and sheepmen.... Six years of careful researching of this homicide and a multitude of other murders, made our author an authority on John Creed Conn and the small town of Silver Lake in the early part of the 20th century, as well as on the bloody range wars that were fought at that time in the hight desert country. If you like the history of central and southeast-central Oregon, and you love intrigue and unsolved homicides, you will enjoy this book.”

Readers David and Jocelyn Ruppel wrote:
“I was delighted to be able to sit down with you and talk about the murder and the investigation.  As I told you spending most of my adult life in law enforcement, I didn't catch on to the killer until somewhere in the middle of the book. You wrote a great book and it makes the readers mind think on who it could be. If I hadn't had the training I'm sure I wouldn't of figured out who the killer of Creed Conn was until you told us.  I can't wait for your sequel to be published to learn more about the killer and his victims.   To whom ever is thinking about reading Melany's book, she has done an outstanding job of giving you  a great book for those that like  "Who Done Its".  Thank you for a great book and a lot of history of North Lake County as well  as solving a 100 year old crime, Good Job!”    

Reader Molly K, aka Molly the Pirate wrote:
I just loved your book. My aunt found the book first and now just about everyone in the extended family has a copy - we were completely fascinated; the amount of research you did was incredible. I heard you were writing another and am looking forward to it as well....

Historically fascinating, loaded with facts and - in the end - interesting insight into the sociopathic mind I really enjoyed this book. I went into reading it with one idea and was genuinely surprised by the end. The author's ideas and insights present an interesting case and after viewing the facts she presents I think she was right on the money.

If you like history and mystery, intrigue, suspicious characters, and range feuds I suggest giving this book a read and I think you might find yourself as surprised as I was.

Find Molly’s blog at: mollythepirate.blogspot.com

Reader Joe Kleinbach wrote:
“I really enjoyed your book. In fact, I couldn’t put it down. So much so, I took it to Scotland with me to read along on our trip... You made reference to Reub Long’s book, The Oregon Desert. This is the first book I had read about the Oregon Desert and it’s the reason I visit at least twice a year for the past five years.”


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