The Life of Emma “Grandma” Gatewood
Emmy nominated "Trail Magic" profiles Emma Gatewood. Her story speaks to the courageous, undaunted spirit of Appalachian people everywhere. Emma Caldwell was born around 1887 at Raccoon Creek in Gallia County Ohio; she was one of 15 children. When she was 19 years old she married Perry Clayton Gatewood, a teacher and a produce farmer. During a time when abuse was considered strictly “a personal matter”, Perry would often beat Emma. By 1943, Emma left Perry for good.
After raising her eleven children, apparently Emma decided she needed another challenge. When she read about the Appalachian Trail in National Geographic she discovered that no woman had ever hiked the trail alone from one end to the other. She decided to BE that woman. She managed to go the entire 2,170 miles becoming the first person to solo walk the entire Appalachian trail at the age of 67, was no small feat! Emma, became known to the public as “Grandma” Gatewood, and became a cause celeb across America. Being the first woman to solo hike the AT end to end, Local reporters followed her story, Sports Illustrated featured her, even the KEDS sneaker company latched onto the marketing opportunity and supplied her with shoes. After completing the hike she was featured on the “Today Show”, Groucho Marx’s “You Bet Your Life” show and the “Tonight Show”. Her story raised the veil on several cultural barriers of the day, including age and sex descrimination. This project is in conjunction with the non-profit Eden Valley Enterprises. This Emmy Nominated documentary can be booked for screenings.
A factual series in pre-production
On October 10th 1991, according to Charles Montaldo author of “Profile of a Child Killer”, Susan Smith reported to police that she had been carjacked by a black man who drove away with her sons still in the car. For nine days, she made dramatic pleas on national television for the rescue and return of her children. However, following an intensive investigation and a nationwide search, on November 3, 1994, Smith confessed to letting her 1990 Mazda Protégé roll into nearby John D. Long Lake, drowning her children inside.
When police arrived at Long Lake, the Police Office in Charge had determined that a suspected homicide that may have involved several victims of unknown age had occurred. A C.S.I.D.T. (Dive Team )had been called in by the CSI at three a.m. to investigate the possibility of children being the victims of an“accidental” drowning/possible homicide.
Once the Police Department CSI Team had processed the scene including the boat ramp to the water’s edge and their processing was completed, the CSI Team advised the C.S.I.D.T. Team to begin their investigation procedures. While this was not the first time and underwater CSI team had been called into action, it is perhaps one of the most famous cases involving CSIDT and trained underwater experts to assess the watery murder scene.
Underwater crimes scenes through the ages have often been left unexplored or often undiscovered altogether allowing crimes of violence, passion, neglect, incompetence to go un-investigated and unpunished. Today trained dive teams with powerful AUV, ROV and other discovery craft can locate, identify and investigate a crime scene before the ravages of time and water destroy the crime scene.
Our team of CSI forensic specialists, a skilled team of divers, investigators, and ROV pilots that all happen to be women will unravel unsolved underwater crime scenes some considered too difficult to tackle. This is their story
The John Parker Story, a dramatic film
On a "Friends of Freedom" bus trip from Columbus to Ripley Ohio on a chilly fall day 3 years ago I had the opportunity to tour the historic homes of Reverend John Rankin and John P. Parker. On these home tours I learned just enough about John Parker, a former slave, conductor on the Underground Railroad, and a successful businessman, to be really intrigued. This man, John Parker, and his town (Ripley), played an amazing lead role in the abolitionist movement among the small border towns of the Ohio river. This was a story just waiting to become a feature film or documentary, based on Parker’s autobiography “His Promised Land”. For more on this project visit our project website hispromisedland.com