Buried Treasure or Mythical Folklore

 Author WC Jameson’s book “Buried Treasures of New England” tells stories of pirated gold, lost church silver and hidden precious gems from all six states .    But two of the most interesting stories may actually lie dormant under the eastern fork of the Salmon Brook River in Granby, Connecticut (USA).  

Though not much is written about this folklore, they are characterized in his book as “The Neptune’s Inland Cache” and the “Lost Washington Dollars.”  

Neptune’s Inland Cache is based on the legend of Dutch Pirate David Marteen.  Marteen and his crew raided a Spanish galleon named the Neptune in 1655.  After they slaughtered the entire crew, they allegedly stole over twenty million dollars worth of gold coins.  The story then suggest that Marteen and his crew sailed up the Connecticut river to around the Windsor area.  From there it is believed that they buried several chests of gold coins somewhere along the east fork of the Salmon Brook.  To date, no known trace of the treasure has ever been found.  According to the former University of Central Arkansas professor, at one time, some treasure hunters found rocks with strange markings but were never able to decipher the directions they gave.    He alleges that these markings on the stones will lead to Marteen’s buried loot.  

“The Lost Washington Dollars” are a large cache of gold coins that belonged to the Continental Army.  Jameson states that the treasure was stolen one night from the then Bates Tavern in 1779 in what is now,  East Granby.  According to lore, several Tories (British Loyalists) buried it near the east branch of the Salmon Brook River.  Tragically, all but one of the thieves were killed by Native Americans in an ambush when they went to retrieve the multi-million dollar treasure.  The one survivor never was able to retrieve the coins as he had gotten into trouble with the law and had fled to England to escape prosecution.  To date, the treasure has never been recovered.  However, the book states that in the last sixty years, there have been three occasions where individuals have found Washington Dollars in the Salmon Brook River.  The most recent incident being in 1987 when a woman went down to the bank of the river near the Route 20 bridge and found a Gold coin.   Jameson explains that the discovery of these coins in the river are a good indication that the chests that held the coins has “rotted away”  and that vast majority of the coins are in or near the river, not far from the Route 20 bridge.   Unlike the Marteens treasure, the Washington Dollars have been a subject on the forums of Teasurenet.com for several years.  Some are avid treasure hunters that believe a fortune exists of gold coins that the French government gave to the Continental Army to help them meet payroll so they could defeat the British.  Others ask for proof and wonder why there are no pictures of the coins and who the people were that found the Washington Dollars.  

Is there treasure in Granby or is this an attempt to sell books?

There is not much known about pirate David Marteen, but his piracy was centered around Central and South America.  It would be difficult for any pirate to sail up the Connecticut River and then walk several miles with large chests of gold.  But there is little information about Marteens, so it is possible that there could be treasure there.  

The Washington Dollars stories with it’s accounts of people finding it’s coins would be a more realistic story.  Yet, there are key questions relating to the “Lost Washington Dollars” as Eastern Connecticut University History Professor Emile Pocock explains. 

“The Continental Army was chronically short of any form of money (save at times paper bills printed by the Continental Congress) and thus it seems doubtful it ever had gold coins for very long, if ever,”  Pocock explained.  “The Continental Army operated only briefly in New England (Boston primarily) in mid-1775.” 

As far as the alleged thieves being murdered by a band of Native Americans, Pocock added, “There were few natives resident in Connecticut and Massachusetts, but well organized and powerful tribes still occupied lands not so far to the west and north.  The Mohawks, for example, maintained villages just west of Albany and participated in raids on towns and settlements in New York as British allies during the revolutionary war.  So I suppose it is possible some natives could have been in or passed through Windsor sometime after 1775.”

But perhaps the biggest question is, where did these accounts of people finding the coins come from.  There were no newspaper articles (Hartford Courant) or books that mentioned these discoveries.  

When WC Jameson was contacted in regards to his references for this article, he politely declined stating that his notes were in storage and would not be able to retrieve them because he was currently on a speaking tour.  

Professor Pocock summed it up best as to whether there is buried treasure in the town of Granby.  “Romantic, but like most buried treasure stories, probably quite fanciful.  Sometimes there is a germ of a story that got embellished, telescoped, and confused over time.”

That is until someone finds another Washington Dollar in the Salmon Brook River.   But I’m not counting on it….

(Article was originally written over ten years ago but never published for the local newspaper. Would still love to see those notes though…) 

Murders Investigated by a Connecticut Serial Killer Task Force Still remain Mostly Unsolved Decades Later….

One of cinema’s greatest and most evil villains- Hannibal Lecter

In 1991, a movie called “The Silence of the Lambs” came out in cinematic theaters across the world. It featured two terrifying serial killers named “Buffalo Bill” and the psycho psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter. While they would terrorize theatergoers, women across the state of Connecticut were being murdered by one if not several different unknown killers. In April of 1992, a state task force was set up between various Law Enforcement agencies as they looked into a possible connection between the murders of at least 18 women from 1985 to 1991.

There was the two murders of Karen Everett and Mildred Alvarado who were found off the route 8 highway in Harwinton just months apart with much similarities. There was the homicide of Jacqueline Liriano who was last seen alive at a Southington Rest Stop and found dead off of Interstate 84 in the town of Tolland. But the majority of murder affected women from the city of Hartford who were dumped in various towns outside the Capital city.

At one time, there was a strong suspect in some of these cases. A man named Alfred Swinton was arrested for the murder of Carla Terry and was convicted of her death. He was also the prime suspect in several other of the Hartford murders as well. However, Swinton was exonerated decades later for the crime and Terry’s murder remains unsolved. Many of the cases below are featured on this website under the various Connecticut pages and Serial Killer page. It is believed that most if not all these cases still remain open.

Sources: The Hartford Courant April 4, 1992 and the National Registry of Exonerations

The Yorkshire Ripper was one of the United Kingdom’s Worst Serial Killers…

Peter Sutclffe was a monster who may have had more victims than the infamous unknown killer, “Jack the Ripper”. Sutcliffe brutally killed 13 women and seriously wounded several others. Youtuber Righteous Minds ENT has created a 26 minute documentary about Sutcliffe and his victims. WARNING: This does contain descriptions of violence. Listen at your own risk.

Pregnant Postal Worker Still Missing Years Later…Several Persons of Interest….

Kierra Coles was several months pregnant and believed she was going to have a son. However, the Chicago Postal Worker was last seen on surveillance video on October 2, 2018 in her work uniform leaving her apartment at 81st Street and Vernon Avenue. Her vehicle was found in front of her apartment along with cell phone, purse and a prepared lunch. It is believed that the father of her unborn child was one of the last persons to see her alive and that a mother of one of his children has personal issues with Coles. No suspect has been named but Chicago Police have looked at different people. There are several rewards for information as to where Coles is. Foul Play is strongly suspected.

Source : Missing pregnant postal worker Kierra Coles’ disappearance still a mystery 2 years later: ‘What really happened?’ – ABC News (go.com)

Help by Signing Petition to Keep Convicted Baby Killer Behind Bars

Marie Justus Carter was just one years old when she was murdered in 1994 by the fiance of her mother. This monster’s name is Jesse Anderson and he is up for parole. Jesse’s mother died almost ten years after the death of her daughter. Now family friends are trying to pressure the parole board to keep Anderson behind bars and prevent him from harming another child.

(NOTE: I must warn you, the petition contains horrific details of the injuries that Marie suffered. Read with caution. https://www.change.org/p/indiana-parole-board-deny-parole-for-child-killer-jesse-d-anderson?signed=true

UPDATE: The petition has been closed. Apparently, it looks like this child killer will be released no matter what. This post is being kept on here as a memorial for MArie Justus Carter and her mother.

Answers Delayed and a Suspected Killer takes a Secret to the Grave….

West Hartford’s most famous resident, Noah Webster

On Christmas Morning 1980, a resident at 20 Lancaster Road in West Hartford, Connecticut smelled smoke coming from an upstairs apartment at 6am.  The neighbor found thirty-five year old Susan D’Angelo unresponsive on her couch.  Her two children, Michael aged seven, and Beth aged three, were found in their rooms, unharmed and taken to safety. 

Susan D’Angelo was declared dead on arrival at a nearby hospital.  Police immediately viewed her death as suspicious. 

D’Angelo whose maiden name was Glickman, was divorced and a former teacher in the West Hartford School System.  At the time of her death, she was working as a reading consultant in the Hartford Public Schools.    

At first, police thought she died of smoke inhalation.  There was no fire in the house when Susan D’Angelo was found however, the Damper in the fireplace was closed.  An autopsy later revealed that D’Angelo did not die of smoke inhalation and the Medical Examiner did not list a cause of death. 

The West Hartford Police interviewed numerous individuals including her ex-husband Robert D’Angelo.  However, he had a solid alibi in that he was visiting his parents in Brooklyn, New York at the time of her death. 

A current boyfriend of hers was also questioned but an alibi ruled him out as a suspect. 

However, Police did have a strong person of interest early on in the case, a male friend who was the last known person to see her alive.    

With no cause of death listed on the autopsy report West Hartford Police also explored the possibility that her death as being accidental.  A Duraflame log was found in the fireplace of D’Angelo’s residence.  At the time, the logs were relatively new to the market and police suspected that poison gasses from the log could have incapacitated her and caused her to die. 

In 1998, a different Medical Examiner, H. Wayne Carver reviewed her autopsy report and concluded that Susan D’Angelo was indeed a victim of homicide. 

She was a victim of traumatic asphyxia and most likely was smothered. 

With the classification of Da’Angelo’s death as a homicide, West Hartford Police tried tracking down the male friend who last saw D’Angelo alive.  He had relocated out of the Hartford area shortly after her death and moved to several out of state areas in the following years.  In December of 2001, West Hartford Police got bad news in that they learned that this person of interest had died several years prior to 2001. 

Due to the fact that the Medical Examiner could not classify D’Angelo’s death a homicide until nearly two decades later, the West Hartford Police were limited legally in what they could do during the investigation.