Skyler: Mine was a family shaped by a murder


My grandfather was murdered in Las Vegas in 1955.

This was many years before I was born.

My grandmother never talked about it. She was a lively, bohemian soul who drank blended rum daiquiris and let my sister and me run through her giant clouds of cigarette smoke. When we spent the night at her house, she slept between us under an electric blanket and told us stories about growing up on a Wisconsin farm. There was the boy she loved with one leg, the brother who died young, the horses, giant trees, and dances all over the county that she drove to with friends. Later, there was her first car, a Model T she named Fidelia, which she drove across the country alone to reach a teaching job in Montana.

My mother didn’t talk about the murder either. Or she did sometimes, but only in small snippets, and with reluctance.

My grandfather, Malcolm, was an Episcopal priest and he…


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