This is a short story I wrote back around 2000. I wrote it quickly, in 2-3 days, and that definitely shows in its quality. It’s not a great story, but its writing was mostly done as an exercise in composing an epistolary story, one told exclusively through newspaper articles, journal entries, letters, etc. This is actually quite a popular form of storytelling, and I wanted to see what I might do with it. However, what it lacks in quality, it makes up for in potential. I believe there is a good story here…a much grander story.
The Wife had taken a trip up the West Coast shortly before this story was written. We stopped for a time in Lincoln City, Oregon, and stayed at The Inn at Spanish Head. This resort is very near its depiction in the story. The lobby is at the top of a cliff, while the rest of the structure clings to the cliff below. While there, we discovered a journal filled with remarks of previous visitors. Thus, the kernel of the story was planted. I think, at some point, I would like to revisit this story, clean it up, and see what more I might do with it.
~ ~ ~ ~
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—April 2, 1964:
A Settlement is Reached
Shelter Bay, OR—After years of negotiations, lawyers for the Elliott family were able to make final arrangements with the few remaining residents of Shelter Cliffs. Subdued preliminary talks have grown to heated debates in the past few months as some residents have strongly resisted selling off their property in order to make room for the proposed Shelter Bay Inn…
…Although the negotiations have ended with a unanimous residential agreement, some of the homeowners still express a less than 100 % satisfaction with the settlement. One individual, who requested to not be named, said the Elliott family were “a bunch of crooks and swindlers and have been using strong-arm tactics to get us out of Shelter Cliffs. I hope that hotel of theirs falls into the ocean and the Elliott clan is taken by Satan to burn in hell.”
Spokespersons for the Elliott family have refused to comment on the accusations.
The District Attorney’s Office has since investigated the reports of any unlawful means used by the Elliotts or their attorneys in reaching a settlement. No evidence has yet to be uncovered to substantiate the claim.
Groundbreaking ceremonies for the new hotel have been set for October 15.
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—October 16, 1964:
Groundbreaking for New Hotel Takes Place
Shelter Bay, OR—Some one thousand residents were on hand yesterday to witness the official groundbreaking for the Shelter Bay Inn project. Frank Elliott, and his family, shared center stage with Mayor Richard Lawhead. Both men thanked all in attendance.
Mayor Lawhead addressed “this day” as a “momentous and important time in our town’s history.”
Mr. Elliott “[promised] that upon the hotel’s completion, Shelter Bay will see at least a one-hundred percent growth in its economy” as tourists make their way to “the grandest resort on the West Coast.”
Several demonstrators picketed yesterday’s ceremony. A spokesman for the Shelter Bay Sheriff’s Department reported that “although there were some arrests, the demonstration was mostly peaceful and civilized.”
The Sheriff’s Department declined to provide information on those in custody.
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—January 6, 1965:
Bomb Threat Halts Construction
Shelter Bay, OR—A bomb threat halted work yesterday on the new Shelter Bay Inn project. Sheriff’s investigators were unable to find any trace of an explosive device in or around the structure…
…A spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department said, “we take all threats like these very seriously. So far we have not uncovered any trace of an explosive device” and promised to “not let work resume on the hotel until we are one-hundred percent sure that no such device exists.”
The spokesman declined to comment on the possibility of a suspect, choosing to say only that “[the Sheriff’s Department had] several leads that [were] being investigated.”
Taken from a letter to Frank Elliott on December 27, 1964:
Dear Mr. Elliott,
You fucked with the wrong man. Sitting in your ivory tower looking down at all us little people like you are God or something. You destroy lives like they mean nothing to you. How will you feel when I destroy yours?
I’m watching you.
I’m watching all of you.
Taken from the personal journal of Mary Elliott:
December 28, 1964
HE came to me again tonight. HE was frightened. HE didn’t admit it, but I could see it in HIS eyes. I’ve never seen HIM frightened. What happened? I wanted to know, but HE wouldn’t tell me.
I want to know what frightens HIM.
I want to tell mom what HE does to me. But she loves HIM so much. I don’t want to do anything to hurt her.
December 29, 1964
Mom was doing tea and cribbage with the Pattersons. HE didn’t go because HE said HE didn’t feel well. Mom wanted to stay home and take care of HIM, but HE insisted she go.
I know why HE wanted to stay home.
I wanted to run. I wanted to hide. But HE tells me that if I resist in any way HE’LL hurt me. Then HE will hurt mom.
When mom finally left, HE came to my room. HE wouldn’t leave for two hours. HE left me bleeding.
January 2, 1965
Only a couple of days before I go back to St. Agnes. I can’t wait. I want away from this place as much as I can.
I want away from HIM.
I keep hoping for someone to come and take me away. Some knight in shining armor.
It’ll never happen though. I don’t think God smiles on me like He does other girls.
I’ve been keeping it to myself, not wanting to put it on paper. Not wanting to admit it. Not wanting to have to face the truth of it. HE will be so mad. HE will say it’s my fault. That I should’ve been more careful. That I wanted this to happen. That I wanted to hurt HIM. HE’LL say that I enjoyed it all. That I’m a filthy whore.
And I will have to listen to it because if I don’t HE’LL only hurt me more. HE might even hurt mom.
I’m four weeks late.
January 5, 1965
Bomb scare at the Shelter Bay construction site. At dinner, as HE talked about it, I had to fight hard not to smile.
It pleased me to see how much it upset HIM. I wish there had been a bomb and it had blown up. I would’ve felt sorry for the men that died or were hurt. But HE would’ve been ruined. And it would’ve been worth it to watch HIM suffer for once.
January 6, 1965
I went back to St. Agnes today. It was good to see Shelley and Janet and the rest of the girls. It was a relief to get away from the house. The smell of HIM.
I had two scares today.
First, I thought some old man was following me. I’d look back and he’d be there. I’d look back again and he’d be gone. Then he was there again. He stayed a ways back, but I was still able to get a pretty good look at him. His hair was graying. Loose, sagging skin, that looked very pale beneath the sunless sky, hung from his face like so much melted wax. Despite his aged face, he was big and stocky. Obviously a very powerful man. It had rained a short time earlier and he was drenched, almost like he had spent the afternoon standing beneath the downpour.
He disappeared when I reached my street. I still don’t know if he was watching me or not. I think he was though. I just had this creepy sensation that he was still there someplace spying on me. I was almost thankful that HE was home from the office.
The second scare was finding my journal on my desk. I normally hide it beneath my mattress. But I couldn’t remember if I had done that or not. I don’t really remember seeing it on my desk this morning. But I was late and in a bit of a rush.
Had someone found it and read it!?
I don’t know if I even want to think about that.
February 17, 1965
Mom caught me throwing up this morning. She kept me home from school and insisted on taking me to see Dr. Greene. I didn’t want to go. I was scared about what I would find out. What everyone would find out. I practically begged her not to take me.
But I’d have to tell her soon. Pretty soon it would be quite obvious.
Dr. Greene confirmed that I was 10 weeks pregnant. He scolded me about not coming in sooner. He also said that he would let me tell my “parents” in my own time. In my own way. I thanked him. He didn’t ask about the “father” and for that, I will forever be grateful. I only wish I could have Dr. Greene for a father.
I can’t take this anymore!
I have to get mom and get us both out of here.
How can HE be like that? What did I do?
Tonight HE forced me to have anal sex again. I cried and pleaded with HIM to stop, but HE only hit me with the back of HIS hand and told me to be quiet. HE said that HE knew that I loved it. That bitches like me always loved it up the ass.
HE said I’d love HIM if I knew what was good for me.
But I hate HIM. I always will. I wish HE were dead.
HE made me put it in my mouth when he was done the other way.
I should’ve bit it off.
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—March 3, 1965:
Elliott Stalker in Custody
Shelter Bay, OR—The man allegedly responsible for several threats made against Shelter Bay’s own real estate tycoon, Frank Elliott, was apprehended yesterday by Sheriff’s deputies.
The suspect, says a spokesman for the Shelter Bay Sheriff’s Department, one Raymond Levy, is accused of making numerous threats on the lives of Mr. Elliott and his family. The harassment reportedly has been on going for several months. In that time the Elliott family has remained unharmed, but Mr. Elliott, fearing “the escalation in severity of some of the most recent threats,” as one Sheriff’s deputy reported, decided it was time to make the threats known to law enforcement officials.
“Up until now,” says Mr. Elliott, “I didn’t take the threats seriously. But when the letters and phone calls began to threaten my family directly, I felt it was only prudent to no longer take any chances.”
Sheriff’s deputies were led to the home of Raymond Levy in Shelter Heights–a small community at the rural end of Shelter Bay–by a wire trace that had been placed on the Elliott’s phone line.
James Levy, the father of Raymond, who has been staying with his son after having been recently displaced by Elliott’s Shelter Bay Inn project, told reporters that “this was not over.”
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—May 3, 1965:
Levy Sentenced to 10 Years
Shelter Bay, OR—Judge William Baxter sentenced convicted felon Raymond Levy to 10 years in Loveland State Penitentiary outside of Medford. Levy will be eligible for parole in 2 years…
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—May 4, 1965:
Levy Maintains Innocence
Shelter Bay, OR—As Raymond Levy was escorted onto the bus that would carry him to Loveland State Penitentiary, he told reporters yesterday that he “didn’t do it.” When asked who he thought did, Levy responded, “I can’t answer that. It’s in the hands of God now…”
Taken from the personal journal of Mary Elliott:
April 30, 1965,
I was looking back over entries of the past few months and came across one for January 6 of this year. I had thought that a man had been following me home from school that day. Had that been Raymond Levy? They both seemed to be about the same size. And Raymond had the same wasted face as the man who had followed me. I didn’t get a good enough look to be sure, but from what I can remember of that man and pictures I’ve seen of Levy, there is a strong resemblance.
A large part of me wishes that Levy had made good on his threats. I want to die. I know I would never do it myself. But I can’t take HIS cold touch any longer. I can’t take the guilt and shame. Part of me is afraid that I did like it. Just like HE said. If it was all that bad, wouldn’t I have found help whatever the consequences? Maybe I am just a whore. But I don’t want to die alone. I want HIM to die too. For everything HE has done to me. For everything HE has made me feel.
I have to be the one to kill HIM though.
I want HIM to suffer. I want HIM to see it coming—to know that Death is standing near, ready to lead HIM into hell.
I’ve been out of school for some time now. Mom hasn’t said much to me lately since I told her about my condition. She wants to know who the father is. I try to make her understand that I can’t tell her, but she doesn’t listen—I can’t believe, though, that she doesn’t know, at least in her heart. I know she is disappointed in me. I’m disappointed in myself.
HE comes to me less frequently. Especially since I’ve started to show. But when HE does come, HE is bitter and angry. HE accuses me of doing this on purpose. HE won’t take responsibility. HE says if I wasn’t such a whore, this never would have happened.
HE only has anal sex with me now. I cry the whole time. HE gets so angry at the tears. HE is less careful now. Sometimes when HE hits me HE leaves marks that I later have to explain away for mom.
I want to run. But I know HE would find me.
HE said HE would.
May 8, 1965
I can’t help feeling like I’m being watched. Not by HIM. Someone else.
Raymond Levy hasn’t escaped so I know it’s not him. He’s still locked away tight at Loveland.
Mom and I sat down and had a long talk while HE was at the office. It’s not often that HE leaves the two of us together alone. At one time HE might have been afraid of what we would talk about. Afraid that I would tell her. I think that HE believes I’m too scared to do any such thing and is now a little more confident in the effect of HIS threats. I think HE may be right. Even if I did tell, mom wouldn’t believe me, not really. She still loves him, even though I can see she is scared of him, too. Nobody would believe me. He has them all fooled. No one but me knows the devil lives in Shelter Bay.
Or so I thought.
I don’t know where this came from or why now, but mom asked me if HE ever touched me. If HE was the father. I didn’t answer. I broke down into loud sobs and fell into her arms. It was enough of an answer for her. She stroked my hair and told me it would all be fine. We would get away. Soon. But we had to choose the perfect opportunity. It was then that I knew she was truly frightened of HIM. That fear had kept her silent just as it had me. She said that there was no one we could tell because no one would believe that such a “pillar of the community” was capable of such evils. We would have to suffer a little longer. But not forever. Soon we would be free.
It is such a relief to no longer be alone.
May 10, 1965
HE is keeping me hidden. HE doesn’t want HIS friends to know about my “condition.” HE has to save face with the community. And that just won’t happen with a fourteen-year-old pregnant daughter.
I am not allowed to leave the house unless it is with one of them. Even then, I have to dress in such a way as to hide my bulging tummy.
HE tells HIS friends that I have gotten very sick and can no longer go to school.
My friends are not allowed to stop by. Not that very many ever did anyway. They think HE is creepy. I don’t blame them.
I am as much a prisoner as Raymond Levy.
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—June 4, 1965:
Inn’s First Phase Nears Completion
Shelter Bay, OR—As builders approach the initial phase completion date for the Shelter Bay Inn, eager guests are scrambling to be among the first to have reservations for the gala grand opening of “the grandest hotel on the West Coast…”
…A spokesman for Elliott Enterprises assured reporters that “all participants are confident in the first-phase completion date of July thirtieth.”
The construction of the inn has been divided into three separate phases. The second phase’s estimated completion date is December 1st of this year, with the final phase to be completed by June 15th, 1966.
Taken from a note to Frank Elliott on July 1st, 1965:
It ain’t over ’til the fat lady screams.
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—July 15, 1965:
Threats Against Elliotts Resume
Shelter Bay, OR—Authorities have informed the media that the Elliott family is once again receiving threats from an unknown source.
Officials have interviewed Raymond Levy and are confident he is innocent of this new wave of threats…
…Levy still maintains that he had nothing to do with the previous threats against the Elliotts. But he refuses to offer investigators any evidence to the contrary. “God will judge the both of us,” he is reported as saying.
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—July 27, 1965:
Authorities on Look-out for Levy’s Father
Shelter Bay, OR—As threats against the Elliott family persist, authorities have begun a statewide manhunt for James Levy after newfound evidence suggests he may be responsible for the current wave of threats.
A source within the Sheriff’s Department, who has requested that his identity remain confidential, is quoted as saying “although [he] may not discuss the particulars, there is sufficient reason to believe James Levy may have been responsible for the threats from the beginning. The wrong man may very well be sitting in jail.”
Taken from the personal journal of Mary Elliott:
August 1, 1965
We’re going to go stay a couple nights at our own private room at the Shelter Bay Inn.
I would be happier staying home, though. Then I wouldn’t be trapped beneath HIS watchful eye.
I know that that will never happen.
This is so horrible.
I went to bed, but couldn’t sleep. I got up to go downstairs for some water. There was a noise coming from their bedroom. Someone was sobbing.
It was mom.
Why was she crying? What did he do to her?
Then, “Please, no more Frank.”
I heard HIM say, “I know how you both love to get it up the ass. You’re a couple of sluts. Dirty, rotten whores. Stop your fucking whining and suck me.”
I heard HIM slap her. She began to cry harder.
“I’ll do anything you want,” mom said. “Just leave Mary alone. Please, Frank, leave her alone. She’s just a baby.”
“She’s a cock-sucking whore. You both are.”
I heard a loud crash, and them mom yelling, “You bastard! You sick bastard.”
Another slap, and a noise that sounded like something heavy falling on the floor.
Footsteps. Coming towards the door.
I almost ran to get HIS gun. I know where HE keeps it. HE doesn’t know I know. But instead I ran back to my room and shut my door.
I hate myself. I could’ve ended it there. I should’ve.
What’s wrong with me?
I cried for a long time into my pillow.
August 3, 1965
It will be a beautiful hotel built by a horrible man.
It is perched directly against the cliffs. Only about 200 feet of beach separates the hotel from the ocean. Guests enter the main lobby on the 9th floor. There are 10 floors in all.
When it is finally completed, the main building will have two wings that stretch out and angle slightly away from the cliffs, creating a sort of enclosure within the miles of beach that make up the coastline.
Our room is on the 10th floor. #1002. It is a small suite. There are two bedrooms, a kitchen, and 2 bathrooms. The large living area is decorated with leather furniture, glass-top tables, and artwork depicting the beauty of Oregon’s many beaches.
One painting, in particular, caught my attention. It wasn’t like the others. It was a print of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” I stared at the subject of the painting for a long while, captivated by how the brushstrokes seemed to suggest that this screamer was swirling in on himself. As if the whole world would eventually fall inward until there was only the cold emptiness of space.
August 4, 1965
The baby is due anytime, but I’m not sure I want to keep it. I’m not sure I want to bring a young life into a world filled with monsters. I don’t want to give HIM someone else to hurt. But what choice do I have?
I’m not sure I want to keep it because it’s HIS. How could I love anything born of such pain and hatred?
But what can I do? Harm myself in the hopes of harming the baby? Kill myself and insure that neither one of us would ever have to suffer HIS touch again?
I want to cry at the thought of letting HIM off that easy. How could I let him go unpunished?
And what about mom?
How could I leave her alone?
When will our time come?
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—August 6, 1965
Two Dead in Hotel Killing
Shelter Bay, OR—Last night, Sheriff’s deputies responded to a disturbance call at the Shelter Bay Inn. The deputies arrived to find Evelyn Elliott, the wife of real-estate tycoon Frank Elliott, and their daughter, Mary, savagely murdered by an unknown assailant.
Investigators told reporters that the victims looked like they had been hacked at repeatedly with an axe.
Frank Elliott, who was present during the attack, had no comment. However, a source close to the family told reporters that “Mr. Elliott is devastated by the loss of his family. As you can imagine, they were the most important things in his life.”
Investigators surmise that the attack began in the bedroom of young Mary Elliott. The initial report of the medical examiner estimates that the assailant struck the youngest Elliott “at least fifty times with a sharp instrument. Probably an axe.” From there, the assailant moved to the bedroom where Mr. and Mrs. Elliott slept, and allegedly struck the latter “upwards of seventy-five times.”
Mr. Elliott was not harmed. He informed investigators that the attacker “was a very big man,” and that “his head was covered by a dark hood.” Sources close to Mr. Elliott suspect that the killer’s objective was to “hurt [Mr. Elliott] by hurting the ones closest to him. Mr. Elliott was found bound and gagged with heavy tape.
Sheriff’s lab technicians dusted the suite for fingerprints, but were unable to find anything conclusive.
A spokesman for the Sheriff’s Department told reporters that, at this time, their only suspect was James Levy, the man believed to be responsible for “at least the most recent threats against the Elliotts.” But so far, no trace of Levy has been found. Sheriff’s deputies have begun a larger canvas of the Shelter Bay area.
Further construction on the hotel has been suspended until investigators conclude their inquiry.
Part of the Shelter Bay Inn opened for visitors on July 30th.
Taken from a note left at the Elliott crime scene on August 5, 1965:
I hope you mourn your loss for the rest of your miserable life. There is no one left to love you. No one left for you to love. Maybe now you will begin to understand how much I hate you.
To leave you alone. With nothing. What could be more fitting for the cold-hearted fuck you are?
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—August 20, 1965:
Manhunt for James Levy Continues
Shelter Bay OR—Officials within the Shelter Bay Sheriff’s Department are reported to have sought the assistance of other law enforcement agencies around the state in the search for the suspect of two killings at the Shelter Bay Inn on the night of August 5th. James Levy is still at large and investigators say they “are short of leads in this case…”
… Although cooperative, interviews with the suspect’s son, Raymond Levy, “have not been able to shed any light on the whereabouts of James,” sources say.
Raymond Levy is serving a ten-year sentence at Loveland State Penitentiary for death threats allegedly made against the Elliott family. He still maintains his innocence and has begun to seek clemency from Oregon’s governor.
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—August 28, 1965:
Governor to Grant Levy Clemency
Salem, OR—Sources close to the governor yesterday announced that “in all likelihood, Governor Packard will offer clemency to Raymond Levy within the week…”
…After reviewing evidence provided by Shelter Bay Sheriff’s investigators, Governor Packard told reporters in a press conference yesterday that he was “confident the wrong man had been sent to jail. Our justice system is not perfect. But it works. Most of the time. It is unfortunate that this is was not one of those times.”
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—September 4, 1965:
James Levy Captured
Shelter Bay, OR—Authorities pursuit of James Levy finally ended yesterday. An anonymous tip led Sheriff’s deputies to a small cabin hidden in the Pinewood Forest where the elder Levy is said to have hidden since the arrest of his son.
Levy was taken into custody without incident. Deputies surprised Levy while he was taking a nap.
Raymond Levy, the son of James, in response to questions from reporters about his father’s capture, said only, “To each his just rewards…”
…James Levy is suspected to have been responsible for several threats made against Frank Elliott and his family as well as the murder of Mrs. Elliott and their daughter, Mary, several weeks ago in the Elliott’s room at the Shelter Bay Inn.
Raymond Levy is preparing for his release from Loveland State Penitentiary later this week after having been finally granted clemency by Oregon’s governor.
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—September 6, 1965:
Raymond Levy a Free Man
Shelter Bay, OR—After serving four months in Loveland State Penitentiary, Raymond Levy returned to Shelter Bay a free man.
Levy claimed to have been “saddened by the thought that his father could have done such horrible things,” but didn’t want to dwell too much on that part of his life.
Raymond’s father, James, has been charged with the murders of Evelyn and Mary Elliott and is awaiting trial in October.
James wished to extend his “heartfelt condolences” to Frank Elliott, the victims’ husband and father, and offered his “sincerest apologies” for the hurt that Mr. Elliott has suffered.
The younger Levy did not admit to knowledge of his father’s actions, saying only that he could not believe his father capable of such a crime. Levy admitted that after having been uprooted by Elliott’s Shelter Bay Inn Project, his father had grown very despondent. “The home that was taken from him,” the younger Levy said of his father, “held special significance in my father’s life. It had been where his own father had been born and died. It was the home that he had been born and had hoped to die in. But that dream was taken from him by Mr. Elliott.”
A little over a year ago, Frank Elliott had been under investigation for accusations made against him of unlawful means used to secure the property for his Shelter Bay Inn project. All claims against Mr. Elliott had been dismissed after the District Attorney’s office could find no evidence to support the allegations. When asked if his father believed in Mr. Elliott’s wrongdoing, Levy said that neither he nor his father “would have ever given up that property except for the coercion of Mr. Elliott.”
Mr. Elliott refused to comment on the resurfacing of these allegations.
Raymond Levy said of his freedom that he “[wishes] to try to re-enter the society [he] had been wrongly removed from.”
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—September 20, 1965:
Shelter Bay, OR—Suspected murderer James Levy, confessed to killing Evelyn and Mary Elliott in their room at the Shelter Bay Inn on the night of August 5.
Levy maintains that his reason for committing the murders “was to get back at Elliott for taking away my home. Nothing I did got through to the man. It was the only thing I could think of that balanced the scales. Now both our lives are destroyed…”
Taken from the personal papers of Frank Elliott:
That fucking bastard. I almost wish they had never caught him. No scratch that…I do wish they hadn’t caught him. He’s going to ruin everything. This hotel has to succeed. I’ve put everything into it. Everything. I only wish there was someone to rid me of Levy like Levy rid me of the bitches.
Taken from the notes of James Levy:
I am ashamed of what I’ve done. I never wanted Raymond getting caught up in any of this. I hope he never finds out the reason all of this happened, but I know that is not God’s will. I could not face losing my land. But neither could I face losing my boy. I hate Frank Elliott. I should have killed him and left the girls alone. In the end, I only ended up doing what Elliott said he would do to me. I want to cry for the girls. I hope that wherever they are they might find it in their hearts to forgive a man like me.
Man will not judge me. I leave that to the Lord.
I love you son. God Bless.
James William Levy
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—October 1, 1965:
Levy Found Dead in Cell
Shelter Bay OR—The lifeless body of James Levy was discovered last night by Sheriff’s Deputies. The apparent cause of death, authorities say, is strangulation.
Levy was found suspended from his cell bars by a rope he had fashioned out of his bed linen. Authorities declined to answer how long they suspected Levy to have been dead. Further details are pending the medical examiner’s report.
The deceased’s son, Raymond, was questioned by reporters but declined to comment.
The Sheriff’s Department is calling this death a suicide based on a letter allegedly left by Levy in his cell.
Raymond Levy was asked by reporters about this letter and said that he “did not know anything about it.”
Services for the deceased have been scheduled for October 6, the day Levy was scheduled to stand trial for the murders of Evelyn and Mary Elliott.
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—October 3, 1965:
Elliott Faces New Accusations
Shelter Bay OR—Frank Elliott is once again being questioned by the District Attorney’s office regarding unlawful actions taken by him and his company in securing the land for his Shelter Bay Inn Project.
Coming two days after the death of James Levy, another former resident of Shelter Cliffs, one Bill Hayworth, has come forward to corroborate Levy’s allegations.
“[Frank] Elliott threatened to have me fired if I did not agree to sell my land,” Hayworth said. “I didn’t know if he had the power to do that, but I wasn’t willing to take that chance. I had a new baby on the way, and I just could not afford to be out of work.”
The District Attorney’s office admits to not being totally satisfied with their initial investigation in October of last year, but at that time “did not have enough conclusive evidence to bring Elliott under indictment,” a spokesman within the District Attorney’s office told reporters.
In addition to the above statement, the spokesman went on to say “the DA’s office did not entirely give up the investigation last October into Mr. Elliott’s business practices. If more individuals come forward to corroborate both Mr. Levy and Mr. Hayworth’s stories, we are confident that we would have enough of a case to bring Mr. Elliott to trial.”
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—October 6, 1965:
Raymond Levy Speaks Regarding New Allegations Against Elliott
Shelter Bay, OR—Raymond Levy provided reporters with his first extensive interview since his father’s arrest and subsequent suicide.
Levy told reporters he “was happy to see another man step forward and do what is right. I do not believe in the method my father used to seek justice, but I do not fault his wanting justice. There are many, I’m sure, who would agree with Mr. Hayworth and my father that the methods used by Mr. Elliott to gain possession of the land for his hotel were unscrupulous to say the least. His actions have brought unwarranted pain and loss to the people of Shelter Bay. I pray everyday for Mr. Elliott’s soul.”
Mr. Elliott was unavailable for comment, but a spokesman for Elliott’s attorneys said, “we are certain that justice will once again prevail.”
Taken from a letter to Frank Elliott from his attorney:
Three more people have come forward and told the DA they were threatened in someway. I’m not very optimistic about the outcome of this case should it go to trial. Had it just been Levy, I’m sure–with the death of your wife and daughter—that we would have had public opinion on our side. Now I’m not so sure. I know how important this hotel is to you, but I’m afraid that the possibility of you losing it—let alone going to jail—is becoming a frightening reality. I tell you this as a friend. As your attorney, I’m asking what you want me to do.
Taken from a letter from Frank Elliott to Robert Jolson:
I received your letter and am fearful of the same outcome as you. But part of me believes we can beat this thing. I want you to fight as hard as you can. Use every trick you know. Just don’t let me lose that hotel. And don’t let me go to jail. Use whatever means you must. You have my utmost confidence.
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—December 1, 1965:
Shelter Bay, OR—On the eve of the opening of the second phase of the Shelter Bay Inn Project, the developer and chief designer, Frank Elliott has been arrested on charges of coercion, fraud, and misappropriation of funds.
Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Elliott at his home last night. Mr. Elliott offered no resistance, a Sheriff’s deputy said. “He did, however, wish to contact his lawyer before we took him to the station,” the deputy went on to say. “My partner and I saw no harm in that.”
The District Attorney’s office reports that a total of fifteen people—not including Bill Hayworth and James Levy—have come forward with accusations of Elliott’s misdealing. In addition, the District Attorney’s office has “some two-hundred pages of documentation collected during the investigation…”
…Mr. Elliott was not available for comment.
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—March 20, 1966:
Shelter Bay, OR—After three months of testimony and five days of jury deliberation ending in a guilty verdict, Frank Elliott was sentenced yesterday by Justice Mitchell Adams to twenty-five years at Loveland State Penitentiary.
The prosecutor of the case, Gary Monroe, told reporters “[he’s] very happy with the outcome of this case. I am satisfied with Justice Adams’ sentence and feel that justice has finally been served.”
Many former residents of Shelter Cliffs, the site of Elliott’s Shelter Bay Inn, were on hand to witness the sentencing. Mr. Bill Hayworth, one of the first individuals to come forward with accusations of Elliott’s misconduct, said of the sentence, “It is fair. It is timely. What has been taken from us cannot be returned. But we have been vindicated in the end.”
The fate of the Shelter Bay Inn Project is still uncertain, but sources at city hall say, “when it is completed in June, the hotel will likely be put up for auction.” Jeb Prescott, Shelter Bay’s city manager told reporters “the project has already been funded. The contractor has already been paid. There is no reason to not continue to build. We have asked the former residents how they felt, and were met with a unanimous decision to continue. They had no wish for all of this to come to nothing. It will be a beautiful hotel, and it will be dedicated to those former residents of Shelter Cliffs.”
Mr. Elliott refused to talk to reporters.
Taken from the Shelter Bay Examiner—July 20, 1966:
Shelter Bay Inn Sold
Shelter Bay, OR—Jim and Marie Toneson yesterday agreed to pay the city of Shelter Bay ten-million dollars to take possession of the newly completed Shelter Bay Inn.
The Tonesons are from Texas where for the past twenty years Jim has been working at his father’s oil business. Two years ago, Jim’s father passed on leaving Jim in possession of the multi-million dollar oil empire.
“We took the hotel,” Marie said yesterday to reporters,” because we were ready for a change. We will not give up the oil company because it was such an important part of Jim’s father’s dream. But we realized now that we are older, we are needing something else in our lives to satisfy us. We have been facing an empty nest, and I guess this is our way of once again filling up our home. It is a long way from Texas, and we will be dividing our time between here and there.”
The following are taken from a journal left in the Toneson’s suite for visitors to Room 1002:
October 3, 1966
Thank you ever so much for visiting our beautiful hotel. This is something special Jim and I wanted to do for those visitors to our own private suite. As we are not always on the property, having to divide our time between Oregon and Texas, we decided to make this room available for rent when we were not occupying it. This room has much history. We will be interested in reading your entries when we return. Please feel free to tell us your thoughts on the room and the hotel in general. We really want to hear all about your stay at the Shelter Bay Inn.
Jim and Marie Toneson
November 11, 1966
You have a wonderful place here. My husband and I spent our days enjoying the mild climate with walks on the beach. We loved the spaciousness of the room. All in all we had a very romantic stay.
Mark and Louise
December 3, 1966
We too love this hotel. We are actually on our honeymoon, just cruising up the coast and decided to stop. We were so enchanted by its perch on the cliff and the wonderful view of the ocean it provides. The food in Albert’s was great. We will definitely be back. Maybe next year for our anniversary.
Matt and Simone Alexson
January 22, 1967
We stayed for three nights. We enjoyed ourselves until the third night. Maybe the walls are too thin, but we spent the whole night listening to a girl cry. It upset our daughter tremendously. We would like to give your hotel another chance. Just not this room.
May 7, 1967
I’m not sure how to write this. Last night I got up to go get a drink out of the refrigerator when I heard a noise coming from the second bedroom. My daughter was asleep in there. But she was not alone. Standing beside her, I swear there was some kind of apparition stroking my daughter’s head. It was a girl. Not much older than my daughter. Maybe 14. She looked right at me and then vanished like smoke swirling in a wind. I asked my daughter if anything unusual happened and she told me she had a dream about a frightened girl that is frightened when a monster comes into her room.
I’ve never seen a ghost before. I’m not sure what to make of this. I do know that you couldn’t pay me to bring my family back here.
August 5, 1966
This is absolutely a beautiful hotel. But I’m wondering what secret it is hiding. My husband and I drove out here from Virginia. We are on our way to visit my sister in Seattle. Last night, a terrible scream woke both of us up. My husband turned to me and just turned pale. He told me that I was covered in blood. We heard the scream again. This time it was coming from the other bedroom. We had left it undisturbed of course. It was only Roger and I who were staying. But when we went toward the room, the door slammed hard enough to crack the doorjamb. It was the most frightening night in my life. When my husband and I finally got up the nerve to enter the second bedroom, we found nothing untoward. But out of the corner of my eye, I swear I saw an image of the butchered body of a young girl.
June 11, 1968
I’ve read through these numerous accounts of ghost sightings and was just wondering—what are you guys smoking cause I want some too?
January 1, 1970
I know about the murders here a few years ago. It’s why I wanted to come here and stay in this room in particular. I’ve read accounts of unusual phenomena occurring in this room. I wanted to experience this. I stayed here four nights and did not see a goddamned thing. What kind of show are you running?
February 26, 1975
You have a marvelous resort. I had some friends who had stayed here a year ago and absolutely loved everything—the service, the food, the weather. My husband and I decided to give it a try. This is the first vacation we’ve been able to take together in two years. We weren’t disappointed. We were looking for somewhere quiet, somewhere out of the way, to just unwind. This was the perfect prescription.
I have to admit to being a little put off by all the entries about ghost sightings. But neither my husband nor myself saw anything even slightly resembling the paranormal.
Thanks for a beautiful stay.
Wendy and Tim Hazleton
June 14, 1978
Reading the inscription at the front of this book, one might believe you knew about the ghost and were mostly interested in reading about other people’s encounters. I don’t want to disappoint you. I don’t believe in ghosts, but I did see some things that I’m finding difficult to explain.
The first night I was here—I am here by myself so have no one to corroborate my story—I heard the weeping of both a young girl and an older woman. At times I think they spoke to one another, but I was unable to understand what they said. There were bumps and crashes all through the night, but in the morning, I found nothing disturbed.
The second night I saw a bloodied girl standing at the living-room window staring out at the setting moon. She turned to look at me. We held eye contact for close to a minute. She then began to walk in my direction and it was like she passed right through me and vanished. I instantly felt a chill that I was unable to shake the rest of the night.
On my third and final night, I woke to find a butchered woman lying next to me. She was sodden with blood, and her lips moved as if she was trying to tell me something. I have no idea if that indeed was what she was doing. But when she reached for me, she too vanished. My bed line was unstained, but I was left with a dark impression on my soul.
You have something here. Something that needs to be explored more fully. There is a story here that needs to be told. There is an ending that must be written.
October 31, 1979
We saw no ghosts. But we enjoyed ourselves just the same. Great place. We are going home and recommending it to all of our friends.
Frank and Sheila Diamond
March 5, 1981
We too heard some sobs in the night. Neither my husband nor I have ever had any kind of ghostly experience. We are still not sure we have.
Our daughter, Lily, though swears that a young girl watched over her while she slept. She says she dreamed of the girl and when she woke, she caught the briefest glimpse of this girl before she disappeared.
All in all we liked our stay. We don’t know if we will return. But we will recommend this place to friends of ours who are obsessed with the paranormal.
The Addams Family
P.S. That is our real name. No joke.
April 5, 1985
I saw the gost. My mommy duzent baleve me. But I did. She was very pretty and nice. She had a pretty smile.
September 9, 1989
This place is fucking awesome. Last night I watched a chair fly across the room on its own. I only had 4 beers so I know I wasn’t drunk. But my friend saw it too. We didn’t see any ghosts. But that chair was fucking priceless.
March 8, 1991
You people are a bunch of idiots. There is no such thing as ghosts.
May 5, 1993
I was really interested in staying here. I had heard all the stories and even saw that special on NBC about the hotel. That mom and daughter died such an awful death. I can’t imagine it. I’m a parent myself and cannot conceive of ever losing my children.
Anyway, my family checked in two days ago. I wasn’t really expecting to experience some of the things some of your other guests have described. But I had a lucky break or something.
After the rest of the family had gone to bed, I saw the little girl at the window watching the moon or the ocean or something. She turned to me and I saw her lips move, but I could not make out what she was saying. She approached me and knelt before me. I looked directly into her eyes, and although she wasn’t much more than vapor, I could still see pain and fear there. She reached for my face, but a noise from the room my children shared drew her attention. She stood then and walked right through me. I have never been so cold in my life as I was then. But it was not an uncomfortable chill. It was like being coldly saddened, if that makes sense. She passed through the door and into the bedroom. I followed. Of course I had to open the door. I did it as quietly as possible. What I saw brought tears to my eyes. It was mother and daughter sitting at the foot of my children’s bed. They were holding hands and pulling each other close. The mother looked past her daughter repeatedly at my children on the bed. The daughter followed her gaze and then pointed at me. The mother turned and I met her gaze. So warm. So cold. So full of pain and joy at the same moment. She nodded slightly in my direction and then they were both gone.
February 3, 1995
When I read these entries, I did not believe any of it.
Until last night.
The ghosts must have been in a mood. I was staying by myself, waiting for my husband to join me with the children. It was about 10 when all hell broke loose. Cupboard doors began flying open and shut. Doors slammed. A chair flew across the room and fell just short of the picture window that overlooks the beach.
Then I began to hear screams and moans. The fireplace flared up. Mirrors shattered.
It was about this time that my husband showed up with the kids. As soon as he walked in with them, everything stopped. The room was quiet again.
Despite the destruction, I didn’t want to leave. I was not hurt. At no time did I ever feel the slightest bit threatened. Besides I had just witnessed something that most people never in their lives are fortunate enough to see.
The kids slept with us that night. I woke up at one point and saw the image of a young girl standing in the corner of the room. She held her hands to her breast and pointed to my kids. Then she smiled and was gone.
It was a beautiful moment when I realized what she was doing. She was watching over the kids to make sure they were not hurt. Here was this girl in the role of the most loving mother. I then began to wonder what had happened in her life to make her both destructively angry and lovingly watchful.
I will never forget this place. In the space of a couple of nights I had begun to challenge the depth of love for my children. It did not hurt me to see someone who was able to love my kids more than me. It made me thoughtful.
August 4, 1995
These stories are fascinating. In nearly thirty years I have still not forgotten that night. The night you both left my life.
I don’t necessarily write this for the benefit of the readers, but more for the two women who have seemed to occupy this place for nearly three decades.
You do not frighten me. In fact I rarely think of you. I was so close to having it all. I’ve done my time. I’ve paid my dues.
I simply wanted to come see how my little whores were doing.
It is a beautiful hotel, isn’t it? I knew it would be. There was no doubt in my mind. I know you both hated me and plotted against me. I wasn’t sorry you died… I hope you suffered like I have suffered. Everything was taken from me. My life was ended for me. And I had nothing to show for it. Nothing to come back to. Except this hotel. Except you. I’ll never stop hating the both of you. And if you were still alive, I would go on hurting you.
Good night my sweet whores. I hope you burn in hell.
Taken from the Shelter Bay Press—August 5, 1995:
Man Found Dead at Shelter Bay Inn
Shelter Bay, OR—The body of a man was found last night, apparently having fallen to his death on the rocks below the Shelter Bay Inn.
A source within the hotel claimed the deceased was Frank Elliott, a former resident of Shelter Bay who had been serving a twenty-five year sentence at Loveland State Penitentiary until his release five years ago.
Mr. Elliott had been the husband and father to the two who had been murdered at the hotel in 1965. At that time, Mr. Elliott had been the builder of Shelter Bay Inn, and had been receiving death threats from one James Levy, a disgruntled former resident of the land Elliott obtained for his hotel…
…Over the years, there have been several reports of ghost sightings in the very room where Evelyn and Mary Elliott were killed.
When asked if he believed it was the ghosts who killed Mr. Elliott, one resident who remembers that fateful day in 1965 responded, “It would be fitting.”