Thursday, October 20, 2022

New Podcast Episode: The Tragic Death of Ray Bradbury's Uncle Lester

Time for another new episode of my Bradbury 100 podcast! And this time, it's something of a true crime mystery...

Several years ago, I mentioned on this blog that I would soon be publishing never-before-seen facts about the shocking murder of Lester Moberg, Ray's uncle, which happened when Ray was just twelve years old. Uncle Lester popped up in several of Ray's interview anecdotes, although Ray never wrote Lester into his fiction.

Somehow, time ticked by with me never quite getting round to writing the article. Until Bradbury 100 became a thing, and I figured that, one day, I'd probably talk about Uncle Lester on the pod.

Well, it was ninety years ago this week that Lester's life was brought to a sudden end, so this seems like a good time to tell all. Besides, it's spooky season, and what better way to celebrate than with a murder mystery?

Not much has been published previously about the murder of Lester Moberg. Sam Weller, in The Bradbury Chronicles, merely says it was a random hold-up. But when I studied the transcript of the coroner's inquest (thanks to the Waukegan Historical Society, who have a copy in their Bradbury files) along with related documents, I began to sense that there was more to the story. The evidence is circumstantial, but I was able to put a suspect in the frame. Listen to the pod, and see what you think. But - as I warn near the beginning of the pod - do be warned that this is an unsolved case, so don't go expecting a definite resolution.

...and here's a short out-take: a little snippet of testimony which didn't make the final cut of the episode. In this clip, you'll hear what Lester's brother Philip had to say about Lester and his divorce:


No comments: