The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Head Hunting

Gary Greg, to answer a question you left in the comment section last week, I'm not sure we'll be able to prove who stole our tools.

We think that our tools were probably stolen by a contractor we used a couple years ago. I can't tell you who he is exactly since I'd hate to get sued for liable. Lets just call him The Drunk. The Drunk got his sorry ass fired because: 1) he was a drunk, 2) he was lazy, 3) he lied, and 4) he was a cheat. Ironically, he was the only contractor we ever signed an official contract with.

When we fired him, he sent us a final bill with an inflated labor cost and a bill for materials that weren't used on the Queen (one example was he charged us for 50 sacks of concrete when he only used 25). To make a long story short, my wife told him that it all was all bull shit, shaved $2000 off his bill, and told him that was her final offer. If he thought that he was in the right, she’d be more than happy to see him in court. He took his greatly reduced fee, and that was the last we heard of him.

The Drunk is our number one suspect because: 1) he has a grudge against us, 2) he has a white truck, 3) he is one of the contractors that got his truck stuck in the mud because he parked too close to the Queen, and 4) he has proven himself to be untrustworthy in the past. Also, based on the quality of work he did for us, I doubt he has too many repeat customers. And, as a drunk, I’m sure he’s in need of beer money.

Tracking him down has been problematic. Online searches have come up with nothing, and I haven’t found him in the phone book. I have his old business card with a phone number on it but no address. I’d call but I can figure out what I’d say. “Hey Drunk, just calling to see if you still have that white truck because I think you stole all my tools last week.” Yeah, I’m sure he’d just confess and bring them all back if I’d just call.

What I really want to know is where he lives so I can drive by and get his license plate number and a better description (photo) of his truck. We suspect that in a few weeks who ever robbed us will be back to see if we’ve replaced our tools and left them laying around again. As it is, I’ll be writing down the license plate number of every white truck I see cruising our street.

We’re also going to start going to all of the local pawn shops on a regular basis. If we think we’ve found our tools, we can call the police and they can search the pawn shop records to find who brought them in.

Even so, we figure our chances of finding our tools or proving who stole them are pretty slim.

One tip for everyone out there, write down all of your power tools’ serial numbers and keep them somewhere safe (not with the tools for instance). We didn’t, and it would make finding them much easier.

10 Comments:

Anonymous Jeff said...

It was two maybe three weeks to the night that the people that broke into my house broke in again. This time however, they came in thru the garage, broke in the door and broke another locked door, all to find that I didn't keep my tools there anymore. I still feel it was a neighbor, he had already taken all the aluminum gutters I had stashed behind the house. So it was someone who had noted my patterns, and who had probably walked around the place. The house is supposedly in a good part of town, low crime, so I was stupid in thinking no one would bother the place, so I didn't cover up the windows, until I was robbed. They haven't been back since the second break in, so maybe they've seen me loading my tools up every night.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Gary said...

John,
Don't plan on being a real detective. It was Greg who left the comment, not I. I'll take the rap though if Greg will build me a long kitchen counter!

10:41 AM  
Blogger John said...

Oops. SNAFU.

I've now given you a frightful insight into how my mind works, that is it doesn't.

11:04 AM  
Anonymous Jenne said...

does your area have the assessment office online? I know where we used to live back in colorado, it was online, and searchable...and you could put in someone's name and it would show you their address, a photo of the house, and how much they paid for it, etc. Maybe you could find him that way?
Have you tried switchboard.com? You can plug a name into that and someone's get an address....

11:59 AM  
Blogger jm@houseinprogress said...

Have you tried "Zaba Search"? (http://www.zabasearch.com/) Also, if he cashed your check for the work, there could be some information on the back regarding his bank, etc. Good luck. I hope you catch the folks who took the tools...

6:40 PM  
Blogger John said...

Rural Arkansas is still really low-tech, so you still have to go to the county court house to search records. Also, I've tried Zabasearch and several other people search programs without too much luck (three leads for whatever they're worth).

Thanks for all the tips!

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At superpages.com you can do a reverse search and get an address from a phone number

10:11 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

I was going to suggest reverse look-up on the phone number, but you could also check court records. Missouri has CaseNet for searching, and their might be something there under his name if he ever heads north. But Arkansas looks to have something similar. Here are both URLs:

http://www.courts.mo.gov/casenet/base/welcome.do

http://courts.state.ar.us/online/or.html
(scroll down to "online searches")

9:26 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

You might also try http://find.intelius.com/

You can get a public records search for a little cash, which might be worth it to you, given the circumstances.

9:33 AM  
Blogger John said...

And again thank you for all the tips!

11:20 AM  

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