CRIME: Footprints in the Foothills

It was odd how clumsy a first-rate state highway cop could be when it came to investigating a murder. The thin body of 20-year-old Margaret Senteney, bruised and garroted, lay sprawled face upward in the sagebrush, when Undersheriff John Ross and Highway Patrolman Leonard Kirkes got to the scene one day in August 1942. The place was a desolate corner of Maestro Leopold Stokowski's rambling foothill estate, high above Margaret's home town of Carpinteria on the Southern California coast. The only clues were a couple of big footprints and a tire track —and despite Undersheriff Ross's warnings, Patrolman Kirkes...

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