Searching for the Lady of the Lake

Doing research for Greywalker #6, I’ve been looking into the Legend of the Lady of the Lake. But she is no legend. Hallie Latham Illingworth really lived, and died, at Lake Crescent and her saponified body rose to the surface of the beautiful glacial lake nearly three years after her husband threw her dead body into the lake, hoping it would never be found…

Cherie Priest and I went out to take a look at the sites associated with Hallie Illingworth. You can look at the album at my FaceBook.

There’s a lot more to the book, but here is where we start….

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About Kat Richardson

Writer, editor, eccentric pain in the tail, bestselling author of the Greywalker novels.
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6 Responses to Searching for the Lady of the Lake

  1. andrew says:

    Excuse me while I say “shit!”

  2. Whyfor you say “shit”?

  3. andrew says:

    Well, for starters, I’m surprised that the body rose up after three years her husband tossed her in the lake and that’s spooky on some standard. Pardon the word.

  4. ahhh… the lake’s quite cold and very deep, but there’s a lot of mineral seepage at the bottom due to the sandstone substrate of the area, so the bottom of the lake is slightly alkaline. the cold kept her from rotting away and fat plus alkaline = Ivory Soap. So once the wrappings had rotted a bit and enough her was floaty soap, up she bobbed.

  5. Alex says:

    That’s a really creepy story, as are the pictures of the location. Nice.

  6. Cat says:

    I’m somewhat surprised it took 3 years, although I don’t know the particulars of this event. The problem with disposing of bodies in water, for the most part, is that the dead generally will float briefly, get waterlogged, and sink. Internal decomposition then will often produce gas, which causes the body to rise and float a little longer, before eventually the gas is released and the body then settles down for a nice long stretch. There are also problems inherent in the body drifting in currents, etc.
    Wait, wrappings, right, probably weighted. Gotcha. Plus the cold in the lake would hold back decomposition quite a bit. But any deep diving fresh water fish? They probably might like a nibble or two.

    (Why do I know about body disposal? I had some strange thoughts as a kid, and I imagine I’m still a little morbid as an adult.)

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