Saturday, March 9, 2013

The filming location for Dumb and Dumber, Breckenridge, Colorado in 2012

In St Paul, MInnesota a few years ago touring the filming sites of Grumpy Old Men

The Blues Brothers filming spot in 2012. Joliet, Illinois

Monday, November 5, 2012

Every Which Way But Loose

"Every Which Way But Loose" was filmed at Georgetown, Colorado

The "Ghost Hunters" team at Buffalo Bill's Grave, Golden, Colorado

The show "Ghost Hunters" came to Colorado for an investigation in 2008.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Town of Eastlake, Colorado

To look at the history that is the area of Thornton today takes a journey back 100 years to Eastlake. An 1899 map shows an area called East-Lake Farm owned by the Denver Land Company. Right after the turn of the 20th century, the town of Eastlake, Colorado, was founded by John Frank Church and Andrew Morrison Patten. Both men had an interest in bringing water from the mountains to irrigate farmland in Adams County, so they purchased 1,520 acres from Judge Charles Toll's estate around 1905.

They formed the Eastlake Investment Company, in which Church owned two-thirds and Patten owned one-third of the company. Three reservoirs in Eastlake held water to irrigate land subdivided into plots of 80- and 160-acre farms. The Union Pacific Railroad was built by the fall of 1907 and daily service started on November 11, 1908. Farmers used rail to ship crops and livestock to market in Denver, and trains also took people to downtown. The town of Eastlake was officially platted by the Eastlake Investment Company on November 7, 1911.

The Eastlake State Bank opened in 1910, and both a dance hall and pool hall started operating.

Eastlake in 1929

A man named William Hopkins established a lumber operation, a general store, bank, and drugstore in town. Founder Andrew Patten owned a hotel boardinghouse, and Dr. R. D. Elmore cared for the sick in Eastlake. The Eastlake Post Office opened on June 8, 1912, and an Eastlake blacksmith shop operated in town. Around 1914, the Eastlake Grain Elevator opened, and the Farmers Co-Operative Elevator was built around 1920. That same year, Eastlake School opened for grades 1-12. The First Congregational Church of Eastlake was built around 1915, and Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church opened by 1917.

The Our Lady of Sorrows Mission Catholic Church in Eastlake in 1950. First Communion Class

The Our Lady of Sorrows Mission Catholic Church in Eastlake, present day

Eastlake was its own community for about 80 years before joining Thornton. In 1990, Eastlake residents voted for annexation by the City of Thornton to connect to city sewer service. The Eastlake Post Office still serves the 80614 Eastlake zip code, so Eastlake continues to truly retain an identity and charm all its own.

The Eastlake Congregational Church, 1950's

The Eastlake Congregational Church, present day

To take a drive through the small town of Eastlake, take 120th to Claude Ct. and go North. Eastlake is centered at 126th and Claude Ct.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The "Jane Doe" of Boulder

On April 8, 1954, a woman's beaten body was found near Boulder creek. The body had been stripped of all clothing, jewelry, and anything that could aid in identifying it. Identification was also hampered by the fact that the girl's face had been badly torn by animals. The teeth were perfect and had never been worked on, shutting off positive identification by dental charts. The case eventually turned cold with very few leads.

For more than fifty years, her identity remained a mystery and her grave in Columbia cemetery had been marked as "Jane Doe".

In October of 2009, the mystery of her identity was finally solved:

Sheriff Joe Pelle announced that the woman's identity has been confirmed as Dorothy Gay Howard, who was reported missing from Phoenix, Arizona, in March 1954. She was 18at the time of her disappearance.

The Sheriff's Office received lab results that showed a match between Howard's DNA and samples provided by a long-lost sister, confirming the family's suspicion that their relative, known as "Dot," was Boulder's "Jane Doe." Detectives think the identification will help them finish piecing together the murder case.

Howard's naked and battered body was discovered along the banks of Boulder Creek, near Boulder Falls, eight miles west of Boulder, on April 8, 1954. The body had been placed in an airtight rubber bag to prevent further decomposition. This was to protect the body for up to two years however it was not until 2004 that Boulder County exhumed the body to obtain DNA samples. The wooden casket had collapsed over time, making the exhumation more difficult. A planned four-hour job turned into a two day process.

Due to the findings, her reconstructed skull provided a DNA profile.

Meanwhile, Howard's great-niece had been following Pettem's Web site,, but put her suspicions aside that "Jane Doe" could be her great-aunt because investigators had initially believed the woman was Katharine Farrand

Last month, Farrand was discovered alive, living in an assisted living center in Australia. That discovery prompted Howard's great-niece to come forward with information about Howard and her disappearance. The younger sister of Howard provided a DNA sample that was then compared against "Jane Doe's" profile, establishing a match.

Authorities eventually built a compelling circumstantial case for naming serial killer Harvey Glatman -- who was executed in California in 1959 for the murder of three other women -- as Howard's murderer.

Harvey Murray Glatman

Pettem is the author of the book "Someone's Daughter: In Search of Justice for Jane Doe," which chronicles her journey to identify the young woman.

Dorothy Gay Howard

Dorothy's grave in Columbia Cemetery in Boulder, Colorado. Her old "Jane Doe" marker was set next to the new one with her name.