Sheila LaBarre was a multiple murderer who killed two of her boyfriends by beating them to death, before scattering their remains across her New Hampshire farm. While LaBarre admitted to the murders she pled not guilty by reason of insanity. The defences argument was that LaBarre had a psychotic obsession with pedophiles, and that she was operating under the delusion that every man she met was a pedophile, which was why she murdered her two boyfriends. The prosecution, however, argued that she was manipulative, cruel and vindictive, and completely sane.

After a psychological assessment, which found that LaBarre did indeed have a preoccupation and obsession with pedophilia, along with serious anger issues and a high likelihood of a personality disorder, the psychiatrist could not link a mental illness to the cause of her crime. In the end she was determined to be sane, and was given two life sentences in 2008

Thanks to everyone who helped make this year’s Soup Roast a roaring success.  The celebration began with a catfish dinner on Friday night at CaJohn’s Faunsdale Bar and Grill. Steve Badanes launched the festivities with a dazzling presentation of his work spanning from 1969 to present. Jake LaBarre and Rural Studio Alumni David Austin, Amy Green Bullington, and Rand Pinson presented Pecha Kucha style slideshows packed with inspiring stories and beautiful work. Saturday was an all-day event consisting of presentations and reviews of current projects: RS Farm Storehouse, RS Fabrication Pavilion, Lions Park Shade, and the 20K House. Also on display were watercolors and hand-crafted chairs completed by the 3rd years students. At the end of the day we visited the ongoing Newbern Library and then made our way to Morrisette House for hot soup and bonfires.   

Special thanks to our panel of reviewers: Steve Badanes and Jim Adamson of Jersey Devil Design Build, Jake LaBarre of Miller Hull Partnership, Rusty Smith and Dick Hudgens of Auburn University, and Greensboro native William Sledge of Yale School of Medicine. Also, thanks to our cook Catherine Tabb, for Soup Roast isn’t Soup Roast without a hot bowl of chicken noodle to cap off the day.

What I’m Reading:

Wicked Intentions: The Sheila LaBarre Murders - A True Story Kevin Flynn

I ended 2014 on a bit of a theme:

Legally Dead: A Father and Son Bound by Murder by Kevin Flynn, Rebecca Lavoie

Notes on a Killing: Love, Lies, and Murder in a Small New Hampshire Town by Kevin Flynn, Rebecca Lavoie

Our Little Secret: The True Story of a Teenager Killer and the Silence of a Small New England Town by Kevin Flynn, Rebecca Lavoie

All 4 of them have been really interesting.

Also, I listened to the audiobook of The Martian: A Novel by Andy Weir on my drive from Ohio to Massachusetts.

I’m hoping to do a lot more substantive (i.e. not just Twitter/Tumblr/RSS) reading in 2015.

Update 2015-01-04: I finished this and it was good, but if you are going to read just one of these, I’d suggest Our Little Secret first, then Notes on a Killing and Legally Dead, and this one last. Not that it wasn’t good, but it was his first book, and I found the others to be “better” – although, in some ways, this case was actually the most interesting. I don’t know, I read them all in a very short span, so maybe I just liked the first one I read more than the others.

INK BRICK is a micro-press and journal dedicated to work that crosses the borders between comics and poetry. The second issue of the journal will debut at CAB for $10, ft. 48 pages of full-color comics poetry by creators like Jesse Reklaw, Alexandra Beguez, and Bishakh Som. Keren Katz has provided a gorgeous portrait of Pina Bausch for the cover.

Full lineup:

Vidhu Aggarwal and Bishakh Som

Kimball Anderson

Alexandra Beguez

Nicolas Labarre

Mark Laliberte

Tom Motley 

Summer Pierre

Jesse Reklaw

John Robbins

Alexander Rothman

Heather Simon

Alexey Sokolin and Angel Chen

Paul K. Tunis

Chrissy Williams

Cover by Keren Katz