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The cover of John Cagle's book, available at book sellers online.

History talk features investigator discussing hiker murder Sept. 28

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Pickens Historical Society

            A Pickens native and retired GBI agent John Cagle will discuss one of his last, most gruesome and most famous cases September 28 as part of the Pickens Historical Society’s Drinking and History series at Pendley Creek Brewing at 7 p.m. The talk is free.

            Cagle, now serves as the commander of the Pickens Sheriff’s office criminal investigation division.

            He lead the investigation into the murder of a hiker on a north Georgia trail before his GBI retirement and later wrote a book on it, entitled, Those Days in January: The Abduction and Murder of Meredith Hope Emerson.

            A press release for the true crime book described it as, “More than 10 years after the murder of Meredith Emerson, lead investigator John Cagle reveals his take on the case and the lasting impact it has had on his life in his transparent true crime debut, Those Days in January: The Abduction and Murder of Meredith Hope Emerson.”

            “Meredith Emerson seemed to be the all-American girl with a wonderful family and group of friends who loved and supported her,” says Cagle. “For her life to end this way at the hands of such an evil person was such a tragedy.”

            In Those Days in January, Cagle takes readers through the investigation from start to finish in a day-by-day account. Readers witness firsthand the struggle to seek justice for Meredith, all while law enforcement does their best to protect her memory from the opportunists, sensationalist reporters, and unscrupulous practices that threatened to deny her the dignity she deserves. Chapter by chapter, Cagle reveals not only the facts of her murder, but the impact on the personal lives of those who worked tirelessly to find Meredith.

            Cagle wrote Those Days in January to give those interested in the case a more intimate look into what happened in the investigation than what TV stations could provide. He also hopes it can be therapeutic for himself and others who were close to the case.

            “For years I have struggled with this case, as some other agents have,” says Cagle. “I broke a rule that every investigator must follow. I let this case become personal. I simply got too close to it. I’m hopeful telling this story will help me move on.”

            Those Days in January is available now oand

            The talk is free and is part of a series designed to educate about local history in an informal setting.

Oct. Speaker  

            Following on the true crime history, the Historical Society will host Stoney Birt speaking on The True Story of Georgia’s Dixie Mafia October 26. Birt is famous as the subject of the podcast In the Red Clay.

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