This website was motivated by the book, Colorado Cold Case, The Botham/Miracle Murders, written by Marti Talbott and published by Publish America.
This is the story of the amazing coincidences that led to the discovery of Marti's book about our family . . .
My brother, Thad Botham, came to visit me over Thanksgiving break, 2003. While he was visiting, we went hiking in the Blue Ridge mountains, off of the Blue Ridge parkway. As we were admiring God's great country and talking about how the land just isn't the same in Indiana where Thad currently lives, we touched on a number of subjects in our conversation.
One of which was that he found an article online while showing a friend how to conduct some internet searches. Thad was explaining how to locate a person, if you knew the name and location, and used Linda Miracle in Grand Junction, Colorado as an example. The pages that came up were numerous, as usual, but one in particular jumped out. It was an article about Linda Miracle and Patricia Botham, two women who had been murdered nearly 30 years ago.
Later, at home, Thad again looked it up and began to read. What he found astonished him, and later both of us, as we began to examine the document, while he visited during his fall break.
We began to read, and then printed the article so that each of us could read it, and disseminate the information in our own way, at our own pace. Actually, I was more interested in the video game I was playing at the time, because I hadn't actually read very much, just the first few lines.
It turns out, the article that we had stumbled upon was a rough draft of a manuscript that was, at the very moment we were discovering it, working its way through the publishing process. That rough draft, an incomplete manuscript, was an early version that had evolved into the final book form, and was initially posted on a writer's message board from the author, for feedback purposes. The manuscript was later removed from the internet. A few search engines that contrive their databases on the technique of spidering searches had made an html, or web copy of the original Microsoft Word document, which was then no longer available. That "spidered" html document was the document we had found. (That document has now been removed as well, to prevent early release of the book.)
As I was playing games, Thad was being absorbed by the story. He began to read aloud excerpts now and then, then more and more frequently as he neared the end of that rough manuscript. Soon, it was evident to me just what the document was about, what it meant, and what it contained . . . which was completely shocking. It was like reading a documentary of ourselves, of our family. Facts and events that we had been keeping secret about our past were now printed in black and white, out there for all to see. Feelings across the board coursed through my mind, but overall, there was an element of excitement due to the factual and, as we both felt, accurate nature of the events portrayed. Much of what we had known our entire lives was now represented on paper, our lives laid out for inspection; a bit unnerving.
Over the next few days, we both read it very carefully, measuring it against the lives we had once vividly lived. Time has been kind to our family and over the years issues have died away, feelings have softened. Where bitterness and resentment once flourished, acceptance has now rooted, although passively at times.
But what did all this mean? What would happen now? Above all, what was the ending of the now final draft, book to be? Who was the author, this Marti Talbott? How in the world did she know all this about us, our family, about the man we know as our father, Ken Botham?
Thad and I both decided that we would talk to our father about it, as we didn't know who Marti Talbott might be. But that would mean writing a letter, and then waiting anxiously for a reply. Even so, the decision was made, we would ask our dad.
Patience is a hard practice at times. At my workplace, we had entered into a relatively slow period and I found myself with extra time to mull things over. Other people were finding themselves with leisure time, one of which was a friend, bored in her office. I had been developing a friendship with many at my job, and found that this new manuscript offered me an excellent opportunity to share my past without going into a big, drawn out story that is hard to follow, as there really is no centralized focus or theme, just a jumble of seemingly unrelated events. I gave the manuscript to her, and she read it, enthralled. When she came back in the next day after finishing it, she was adamant, "Where is the ending?"
Patience indeed is a hard practice. I made mention of the fact that the author's email address was included at the top of the document, and that my friend should email her for the ending. Well, wouldn't you know that is just what she promptly did, right then and there. As I watched her pen the note (or type, I should say), I asked her to add a question that had been nagging me since I had read the story myself, several days prior. "Ask her who the character Matti Rhoads is?" I said.
A few hours later, a prompt, incredulous, albeit insistent reply found its way back through cyber space. My friend was worried, so I sat at her desk and answered Marti, telling her who I was, and what I had done.
Over the next few weeks, Marti and I shared facts that the other was unaware of. Marti shared the ending of her book, which I am privileged to have seen before the release. In turn, she has added a few words about my brother and I. Thad and I are excited about Colorado Cold Case because it provides the opportunity to change the future through the possibility of individuals sharing what they may know about our fathers case.
Hence, this website.
The book, Colorado Cold Case, was the portal to the unveiling of our lives. Up to that point, I had lived mostly under the umbrella of anonymity, with those around me for the most part not knowing who I was and where I had come from. In Grand Junction from time to time, when I would visit and my name would come up, there would be an occasional flicker of recognition. But for the most part, I have been safe behind my veil, attempting to be "normal."
Until now. This book has given our family, my brother, myself, and my father a route to communicate to the world some of what we feel. We know that some very unscrupulous deeds have been made. The facts just don't add up, some things just don't make sense. Too much has been falsely proclaimed, too much deceit proclaimed as truth.
After consideration, I felt it would have been a largely burdening task to ask Marti Talbott to change her website, to add all the details, the facts, circumstances, cross-referencing items to and fro. Now, due to negative opinions voiced to her about this case, Marti Talbott has withdrawn her website, casewatchers.com, which documented a wide range of crimes, missing persons, and helpful information. Many will miss that avenue.
The wealth of available information to us is immense. The creation of this website helps to meet that need.
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