keddie was an idyllic resort — before the 1981 murders.
a rustic hotel, bar and restaurant surrounded by cabins, nestled in the woods near northern california’s feather river. they promised a peaceful vacation but then someone killed with bloody abandon a mother, two of her children and a friend of the the oldest boy. nothing was ever the same.
by the time i visited in 2007 the hotel building was shuttered, most of the cabins in various states of disrepair. a heavy feeling of dread hung over the woods.
i had no idea of the events that had haunted a community for more than 25 years. coming down the highway i had spontaneously made a quick left turn because a sign that said “keddie resort” looked interesting. i drove around checking out the place but something was off.
a rough-looking man came out from behind a broken-down pickup truck he had been working on. scraggly beard, greasy hands and hair, he stared as i drove by. i am sure he thought i was just another lookie-loo searching for the infamous cabin 28 where the killings occurred.
i was only looking for photo ops but felt uncomfortable enough to leave after only a few minutes. when i got back to my quincy motel i went online to see what i could learn about keddie. then i understood.
though there have been theories, a film and even suspects, the 32-year-old murder case remains cold.
cabin 28 has been torn down.