When her brother informed her of Sandy’s death, Charla was shocked.
She said: “Sandra was a troubled woman, and maybe she has some peace now.”
Two-forty-one Rock Rimmon Road remains almost exactly as it was the day Sandy left, held in limbo by order of the court. Rumors abounded after Sandy’s death that along with jewelry, antiques, and other valuables, somewhere in the ramshackle house she had secreted $80,000 in cash, and burglars broke in five times in the first two months. The gigantic addition is frozen in mid-construction, exactly as it had been that February day, its windows still glassless, so that leaves and small drifts of snow blot its unfinished floor. The life-size stuffed chimpanzee still sits in the oversize chair in Travis’s room, gazing out the window to the backyard and the woods beyond it.
A few miles away is a cemetery that has no tombstones. A plot there belongs to the Herolds. Beside Jerry, inside a sealed vault inside a sealed coffin, Sandy Herold wears an animal-print shirt and tight jeans distressed from ankle to hip. Her fingernails are painted pink, and her hands rest atop her abdomen. Against her one side stands an urn containing the ashen remains of her daughter Suzan. On the other, in the same urn she’d slept with every night since that day in February, are Travis’s.