The Meadow Lake Murders

A Screenplay

By Alex Brumbaugh

Along side the house where I grew up in Southern Oregon in the 1950s was a dirt road. It took a few turns up through the plum brush and juniper and pine woods, past fields of crescent wheat, past Carroll Dunn's ramshackle house where he raised chickens and fed cattle in the winter, and past turn-outs where people went to dump their trash.

The road ended after a couple miles at Lisky's white gate, a locked wooden gate in a barbed wire fence with a big "No Trespassing" sign.

That gate was the end of my world. I heard there was a lake up there beyond the brown and blue hills - Meadow Lake - but I never saw it.

The land back there was grazing range for Lisky's cattle. But it was more than that for me. It was the mysterious land of my dreams - and nightmares. There were cowboys out there beyond the gate, but outlaws, too, murderers, people who would steal your dog and really hurt you.

That dirt road was my playground. I walked it a lot, me and my dog, me and my best friend David with our 4.10 shotguns. We played catch and made circles in the wet dirt in the springtime and played marbles. It smelled like heaven - the mud puddles dried up and the mourning doves sang.

Sometimes we walked all the way to the White Gate, kicked it, climbed on it, talked about what was out there on the other side.


The Meadow Lake Murders


Rural area in southern Oregon. Springtime.