Killer in unsolved murder that inspired iconic TV show named 100 years later

A pair of 'Twin Peaks' fans claimed they solved the 113-year-old cold case that inspired the iconic '90s TV show after five years of research, their book claims.

David Bushman and Mark Givens, known under the pseudonyms, Thomas & Mercer, have spent five years researching the death of 20-year old Hazel Drew, who inspired the Twin Peak's character, Laura Palmer.

In the real-life murder case, Drew's body was found face down with her skull crushed in Teal’s Pond, Troy, New York on July 7, 1908.

The investigating district attorney interviewed all the locals who knew her, her family, many of her secret lovers, and anyone who encountered her on the night she was murdered, but after ruling out two major suspects, the case remained unsolved.

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But while her case files were stuffed away collecting dust, Drew's story carried on.

Decades later, screenwriters David Lynch and Mark Frost told the story through the TV show, based on the warning from Frost's grandmother about Hazel Drew's ghost haunting the area.

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The pair had found their inspiration for their character Laura Palmer, played by actress Sheryl Lee in their cult hit crime drama which first aired in 1990.

Both Hazel Drew and Laura Palmer were small-town beauties whose murders exposed the corrupt elite and strings of secret lovers.

But while the "Twin Peaks" murder is eventually solved, Drew’s killers were never revealed – until now according to a new book, "Murder at Teal’s Pond".

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The solution, which they described as "explosive", claims Drew found herself in a "cauldron of crime, sex, glamour and corruption".

They alleged that the embalmer at the local funeral home, a certain William Cushing, and of a friend of his, a leading figure in the local Republican party, Fred Schatzle are the killers.

The authors said: "After five years of intensive research and deliberation, we have concluded that Hazel Drew was murdered by William Cushing and Fred Schatzle – and protected from justice by William Powers and possibly his fellow detective Duncan Kaye."

Describing the events they believe happened, the authors claim detectives knew that Cushing had borrowed the wagon from Schatzle that night, but they never investigated the clue.

Reports say the motive could be to protect themselves or other Republican party members from a scandal by getting rid of Hazel because she "knew too much".

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