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Life In the Carolina's Podcast

May 17, 2022

On this episode of the Life in the Carolinas podcast, Carl sits down with Jan Kronsell, a Danish university business professor and the author of Land of friendliness and beauty: A Danes Guide to Western North Carolina, The Doctor's Secret: Another version of the Tom Dooley legend, and his latest release, Who killed Laura Foster?: My view on a 150-year old murder.

While admitting that “the truth will never be found, unless someone invests a time machine,” Jan wrote Who killed Laura Foster as a sort of culmination piece to satisfy, to the best of his ability, his immense curiosity towards the North Carolina legend since first learning about it in the late 1990s.

Jan shares his 20+-year journey to painting the clearest picture he could of the murder of Laura Foster, including the possible reasons behind the suspicious behaviors of Laura’s father and her cousin Anne’s younger brother Thomas directly before and after her death, and the series of events that allowed Jan to pinpoint the most likely location of her grave. He also offers his thoughts on why this particular story is so enduring over a century later.

“Everybody has their own version of the story,” says Jan. “And I think that’s great because [...] it’s not about telling the truth⁠—it’s about keeping the legends alive.”