As the jury selection process moved into its fourth week, the judge took over the questioning of prospective jurors. He covered the same ground as the attorneys. But Schulz was determined to cut the time devoted to each prospect by up to two-thirds. “We’ve got to finish by Thursday,” Schulz announced in quickening the schedule.
The judge’s increased role seemed to do the trick. By the seventeenth day of jury selection, seventeen people had been approved to hear the Investor case. Schulz was also confident that news stories about Jim Robinson’s sudden recognition of John Peel hadn’t contaminated the jurors. The biggest murder trial in Alaska history could finally begin in the newly refurbished courtroom of the Ketchikan Superior Court.
The year was 1986. Four years had passed since the murders in Craig. The jurors were in Ketchikan, sixty miles west. The two towns were now inextricably linked.
Excerpts from the unpublished original manuscript, “Sailor Take Warning,” by Leland E. Hale. That manuscript, started in 1992 and based on court records from the Alaska State Archive, served as the basis for “What Happened in Craig.”
Copyright Leland E. Hale (2020). All rights reserved.