On Thursday, May 11, at 4 p.m. in the DesertView Theater, Friends of SaddleBrooke Libraries (FSL) will host the last of its 2022 to 2023 lecture series. Patrick Whitehurst will present “Murder and Mayhem in Tucson.”

Gun play, foul play, playing with fire—sunny Tucson has a dark side pockmarked with murder and mayhem, and author Patrick Whitehurst hits the lowlights with this compendium of true crime and catastrophe. There’s something for everyone, from military misadventures such as the midair collision of WWII fighter bombers over Pantano Wash, to notable conflagrations that consumed civic landmarks such as the Tucson Opera House and the Pioneer Hotel, to 1983’s deadly Tropical Storm Octave, which submerged homes, destroyed infrastructure and injured nearly 1,000 people.

Many familiar, larger-than-life personalities put in an appearance, including Geronimo, Dillinger, Mafia boss Joe Bonanno and Louise Marshall of Marshall Foundation fame, who had the distinction of being both crime victim and perpetrator when she discovered her unfaithful husband had been trying to poison her with arsenic and shot him for his trouble.

Patrick Whitehurst, who writes both fiction and nonfiction, is the author of the Barker Mysteries novellas. He lives in Tucson, but previously lived in California. His non-fiction work includes the books “Haunted Monterey County” and “Murder and Mayhem in Tucson.” His stories range from true crime to thriller fiction reminiscent of “Tales from the Crypt.” His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, including Shotgun Honey, Pulp Modern, Hoosier Noir, and Switchblade Magazine. He’s been featured in the anthologies “Bitter Chills,” “Wild Violence,” and elsewhere.

This lecture is free for FSL members and $5 for non-members.

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