The Watcher & Laura Ingalls Wilder

Jul 29, 11:00 AM
Derek and Maria Broaddus couldn’t have been more thrilled. In the summer of 2014, they bought their dream home in Westfield, New Jersey. But their dream home quickly turned into a nightmare when the couple received a series of unsettling anonymous letters. The letter writer knew their names. The writer knew the nicknames they gave their children. The writer alluded to secrets within the walls of the home, and referred to the Broaddus children as “young blood.” Each creepy letter was signed, “the watcher.” 

Then, Kristin tells us about the controversy surrounding the literary estate of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Laura Ingalls Wilder authored the Little House on the Prairie series of children’s books. She began writing them when she was in her sixties. The books brought her tremendous financial stability. When she died, her will was crystal clear. Her literary estate would go to her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. Upon Rose’s death, the literary estate would go to the Laura Ingalls Library of Mansfield, Missouri. But that’s not what happened. 

And now for a note about our process. For each episode, Kristin reads a bunch of articles, then spits them back out in her very limited vocabulary. Brandi copies and pastes from the best sources on the web. And sometimes Wikipedia. (No shade, Wikipedia. We love you.) We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the real experts who covered these cases.

In this episode, Kristin pulled from:
“Lawsuit on the prairie: Battle pits small library against huge estate,” by Hallie Levine for the New York Post
“Little library on the offensive,” by Lynda Richardson for The New York Times
“Little library on the prairie  in a legal tangle,” by Stephanie Simon for the Los Angeles Times
“Little house on the controversy: Laura Ingalls Wilder’s name removed from book award,” by Kat Chow for NPR
“Rose Wilder Lane” entry on Wikipedia
“Laura Ingalls Wilder” entry on Wikipedia

In this episode, Brandi pulled from:
“The Haunting of a Dream House” by Reeves Wiedeman, The Cut
“The Real Life Story Of The Watcher Feels Like A Stephen King Novel” by Alana Robson, TheThings.com
“'The Watcher' house is sold years after a family was terrorized with creepy letters” by Allen Kim, CNN