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John T. Cullen in San Diego Harbor late one summer afternoon Sample: My Coronado Books. After working in Coronado in the 2000s, I became interested in the notorious 1892 mystery of the Beautiful Stranger. I believe I am the first to solve the case, and I published my work as a scholarly, nonfiction book titled Dead Move. There's more to the title than the fact that it relates to San Diego's most famous ghost story. The Beautiful Stranger, in her early twenties, checked into the luxurious Hotel del Coronado on Thanksgiving Day 1892, attracted plenty of attention due to her elegance, beauty, and mysterious behavior.

Coronado Mystery. Five days later, she lay dead of a gunshot to the head, outside on the back (seaward) steps after a great Pacific storm of the century. Who was she, why did she sign in, and how did she meet such a violent end? Her case became a national sensation on the telegraph wires (the Internet of the day), generating tabloid-like scandal from coast to coast. In the years following her death, a famous ghost legend arose. Allegedly she was a grifter named Kate Morgan, married to a cardsharp who robbed his victims during card games on the new transcontinental railways.

Mystery Solved At Last. I say that is all false—evidence shows she was a dreamy, gorgeous shop girl from Detroit, named Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Wyllie. She had been 'ruined' (made pregnant out of wedlock) by her foreman at the bookbinding factory, and hooked up with that same grifter (Kate Morgan) in a scheme that I think clearly was aimed at blackmailing billionaire John Spreckels, owner of the world-class resort and hotel on Coronado Island's scenic waterfront overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Lizzie Wyllie, who could easily be mistaken for a movie star today, or a stage actress in the 1890s, was a tragic figure. My interest in her case lies in the true crime, not the famous ghost legend. I'll be writing more about her. I have two more books planned.

Three Books. See at right. Click the F5 at top to toggle at random. Each has its own web pages for a fuller explanation. Includes the Lizziepedia, a detailed look at key aspects of the 1892 cold case now solved at last after more than a century since Lizzie (not Kate) died of a self-inflicted, tragic gunshot to the head on the back stairs of the Hotel Del Coronado during a night ravaged by 'A Storm of the Century.'
(1) Read the nonfiction analysis that tells it all, titled Dead Move: Kate Morgan and the Haunting Mystery of Coronado.
(2) Enjoy a novel closely based on my research, titled Lethal Journey. The legend of Tom Morgan (untrue, but compelling fiction yarn) is added for maximum thriller effect. That's why I am an Active Member since 2009 of International Thriller Writers (ITW).
(3) The two books are available separately or together in one volume, a duet titled Coronado Mystery.

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