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I Belong


Spooky Legends: Amanda Bonilla

Click to see the Spooky Legends Master List with links to all the previous posts and giveaways

Today’s Spooky Legends guest is Amanda Bonilla, debut author of the Shaede Assassin urban fantasy series from Penguin/Signet Books.  The series launches in December with SHAEDES OF GRAY, and continues with BLOOD BEFORE SUNRISE on July 3, 2012.  Our story features the Idaho’s Jack the Ripper urban legend.  Want to win your own copy of the book?  Comment below for a chance to win!

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Idaho always makes me twitchy. Not that I go there often. It’s not like Idaho’s a hotbed of criminal activity or anything. And since this assassin only takes out the lowest of the low, I don’t have much of a reason to visit. There’s too much space in Idaho. Not enough people. There’s not nearly enough hustle or bustle for my taste. It’s too hard to be obscure in a place like that. I try to stay close to Seattle. I feel safe in the crowds of people. No one pays attention to me there. I can stay relatively anonymous. Shadows lurk around every corner, what’s one more among the masses? In Idaho it would only take a heartbeat for someone to notice the faint, inhuman glow of my eyes or catch the dusting of shadow from the corner of their eyes as I leave my corporeal form behind. That’s the sort of attention I don’t need. But I’m not here to complain about my hang-ups. I’m here to tell you about one of Idaho’s most notorious murderers, and the historical state penitentiary he still haunts to this day.

Believe it or not, The Old Idaho Penitentiary is listed as one of the most haunted places in the United States. That’s saying a lot considering Idaho’s population and obscurity in relation to the other 49 states. Let’s face it: most people east of the Mississippi confuse Idaho with Ohio. Anyway, in 1956 this guy named Raymond Allen Snowdon murdered Cora Dean, a local mother of two kids. Now, if I’d been in Garden City when the SOB was caught, you can bet your ass he wouldn’t have gone to prison. One thing I can’t stand is an abuser, and even worse, a drunken abuser. I would have gladly run my dagger across his throat and avenged Cora without the help of the authorities. Apparently, after a night of drinking, Raymond got into a spat with Cora and he backhanded her. Cora retaliated, and kicked the bastard. Good girl. Raymond didn’t so much like being kicked in the middle of his slapfest and he snapped. He took a two-and-a-quarter-inch pocket knife, slashed the poor woman’s throat, and severed her spine. As if that wasn’t enough, Raymond stabbed Cora repeatedly. According to the coroner, around 30 times.

After the murder, the lowlife had the nerve to ditch the knife in a gutter in front of Hannigan’s Cigar Shop in Boise, and after that, he went in to the store’s bathroom to freshen up. Lovely. A real pillar of the community. Luckily, Ray’s porch light was a little dim. The local cops found the discarded knife in the gutter and connected Raymond to Cora’s murder. He was convicted and sent to the infamous 5 House at the Idaho State Penn, where only the most heinous of the state’s criminals were kept. The violent nature of Ray’s crime came as a shock to the peaceful community. In fact, the local papers dubbed Raymond as Idaho’s Jack the Ripper, due to the fact that he’d slit Cora’s throat. Ray must’ve liked the title. He bragged to the other inmates, and claimed to have committed two other grisly murders that he’d never been convicted of. In 1957, a year after Cora’s murder, Ray was taken to House 5’s gallows. I suppose there’s a certain poetic justice to Raymond Allen Snowdon’s death. When he dropped through the hatch, his neck didn’t break. His death was slow and painful: he dangled from the noose, struggling, as it took fifteen minutes for him to suffocate. I have to say, I hope Cora was watching from wherever her spirit had gone, and I hope Raymond’s death eased her soul.

The inmates rallied around Raymond’s death, stomping, chanting, beating on the sandstone walls, and shaking the bars of their cell doors as he died. News of the event made its way north to Seattle. The Russian mob boss I’d been working for at the time told the story to his cronies—myself included—after one too many shots of vodka. The guy’s mother was gypsy or something, and he was superstitious as hell. He claimed that Ray’s soul would become earthbound. He never bothered to explain why. Maybe it was because of his slow, tortuous death, or maybe it was the chanting of the inmates as he struggled for his last breath. Who knows, maybe Ray’s soul was too dark, even for hell to take. But something kept Raymond Allen Snowdon’s soul earth-bound.

Hannigan’s Cigar Shop still operates in Boise. The owners attest to hearing footsteps and strange noises in the bathroom late at night. The same bathroom where Ray washed Cora’s blood from his hands. Even though the penitentiary was shut down sometime after 1973 due to degenerating conditions and is now a registered historical site, paranormal investigators claim that the sounds of talking, screams for help, and loud, unexplained banging echoes throughout the prison. Some of these ghost hunters have even said that in the middle of the summer, it becomes so cold that you can almost see your breath and strange laughter bounces off the sandstone walls. Could it be Raymond? Perhaps he lives there still, reliving the brutal murder he committed as he laughs in the face of death.

A Shaede doesn’t fear ghosts. Really, what could an earthly bound spirit do to a preternatural creature like me? It’s pretty hard to harm a shadow. But if I were human: frail, mortal, and trapped within a corporeal form, I’d stay as far from Raymond Allen Snowdon’s spirit as possible. I’d hate for one of you to become his next victim.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

About Amanda:

Amanda Bonilla lives in rural Idaho with her husband and two kids. She’s a part-time pet wrangler, a full-time sun worshipper, and only goes out into the cold when coerced. She loves the outdoors, black clothes, pink appliances and thinks junk food should be a recognized food group. In the summer, she can be found sitting by the lake, enjoying the view from her dock.

You can visit Amanda around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Amanda Bonilla?

Shaedes of Gray

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This giveaway is provided by Amanda Bonilla

One winner will receive a ARC of Shaedes of Gray: A Shaede Assassin Novel 

by Amanda Bonilla

Available on December 6, 2011 from Penguin/Signet Books

About the Book:

In the shadows of the night, Darian has lived alone for almost a century. Made and abandoned by her former love, Darian is the last of her kind-an immortal Shaede who can slip into darkness as easily as breathing. With no one else to rely on, she has taught herself how to survive, using her unique skills to become a deadly assassin.

When Darian’s next mark turns out to be Xander Peck, King of the Shaede Nation, her whole worldview is thrown into question. Darian begins to wonder if she’s taken on more than her conscience will allow. But a good assassin never leaves a job unfinished…

Click HERE to read an excerpt

Pre-Order from

GIVEAWAY GUIDELINES:



**Don’t forget to visit All Things Urban Fantasy today for her Spooky Legends guest blog with Jess Haines and a chance to win a copy of THE REAL WEREWIVES OF VAMPIRE COUNTY**

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44 Responses to “Spooky Legends: Amanda Bonilla

  1. RebeLovesBooksNo Gravatar
    1

    The first lines of this made me laugh – “It’s not like Idaho’s a hotbed of criminal activity.” So funny! I’ll definitely have to check out this new UF series!

    rwschwarz11ATgmailDOTcom

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  2. AmyNo Gravatar
    2

    Since I’m a human and not a Shaede, I’d be afraid of ghosts lol. I really like the strong heroines in urban fantasy, and would love to learn more about Darian.

    angeldream3[AT]gmail[DOT]com

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  3. Theresa @ Fade Into FantasyNo Gravatar
    3

    What a great urban legend! I would love to visit the penitentiary, but during the day–NEVER after dark. LOL

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  4. erin fNo Gravatar
    4

    awesome story! I think I have heard about this story before but it was neat to read this version. This book looks awesome, thanks for the giveaway!

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  5. LaKishaNo Gravatar
    5

    Interesting urban legend, sounds like a great book.

    moc.oohaynull@senojaahsikal

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  6. JenniferKNo Gravatar
    6

    I’m surprised that I haven’t heard this one before since I live close to Idaho. I love the cover of this book, it makes me want to go and grab it right now. Thanks for the giveaway.

    jcalvert719(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  7. Chrisitna MadisonNo Gravatar
    7

    Thanks for the giveaway and chance to win! Shaedes of Gray looks great!

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  8. Barb PNo Gravatar
    8

    I love the ghost stories! The book looks fantastic. Thanks so much for the giveaway! ten.labolgcbsnull@31146kcirtapb

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  9. MarthapaoNo Gravatar
    9

    Hahaha I know how it is to live somewhere with too much space and not enough people! It sucks!

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  10. SusanNo Gravatar
    10

    I enjoyed this story, and the book looks interesting. Thanks for the giveaway.

    sab5723 at hotmail dot com

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  11. Tracey Garvis GravesNo Gravatar
    11

    This was awesome!! What a cool post by one of my favorite authors :)

    Tracey

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  12. Rain maidenNo Gravatar
    12

    Ooooo I love finding new authors and books. Enjoy a good assassin story, thanks for the giveaway.

    moc.liamtohnull@3tmnJ

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  13. Aurora m.No Gravatar
    13

    Urban Legends always start with a grain of truth! Most tend to be true. Thanks for the chance
    veltara(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  14. Cowboy and VampireNo Gravatar
    14

    Great post. Clark grew up in Montana and toured the penitentiary a couple of times. Love the history woven in to the paranormal. Add this to our list.

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  15. MLNo Gravatar
    15

    Sounds interesting-a scary tale right in time for Halloween :) Thanks for the giveaway!

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

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  16. Laura DiamondNo Gravatar
    16

    Wow, this is super cool!!!!

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  17. Brenda DemkoNo Gravatar
    17

    Cool urban legend. Never heard of that one before. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  18. Marg @ Clockwork ReverieNo Gravatar
    18

    The ghost story/urban legend is definitely spooky. I have actually always wanted to visit a place that has been reported as being haunted.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

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  19. kelsey. dNo Gravatar
    19

    Haha absolutely loved it! :)

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  20. VivienNo Gravatar
    20

    Really loved it! I’m really liking the sound of this book too :)

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

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  21. ThonyNo Gravatar
    21

    Great urban legend..Creepy as well! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  22. TheresaNo Gravatar
    22

    What a great legend! Who knew….Idaho, huh?
    Kinda creepy if it were true!
    Thanks for the great giveaway!!
    Theresa

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  23. donnasNo Gravatar
    23

    Great legend. Beware of what you can find in the lesser known areas

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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  24. DeAnna (@SacredmOOn1)No Gravatar
    24

    Great urban legend! I have no doubt that he’s earthbound in spirit or whatever you want to call it. TY for the giveaway chance!
    sacredmoon1(at)gmail(dot)com

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  25. Barbara ElnessNo Gravatar
    25

    I enjoyed this story, and I liked the ending a lot. I haven’t heard of the Shaede Assassin series before and I’m looking forward to reading these books.

    Barbed1951 at aol dot com
    GFC ID: Barbara E.

    (Rafflecopter form is not working for me.)

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  26. Stacy (Urban Fantasy Investigations)No Gravatar
    26

    I can not wait to read this.

    Chllybrd(at)gmail.com

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  27. Anne RNo Gravatar
    27

    Awesome story,kind of gives me goosebumps, thinking of what someone may/could find in that Penitentiary. Pretty sure if I am ever in Idaho, I am not visiting this place.

    thanks.

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  28. Kelly MillsNo Gravatar
    28

    I’ve heard of Jack the Ripper, but not an Idaho Jack the Ripper urban legend. Sounds quite interesting.

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  29. SandyG265No Gravatar
    29

    I’d never heard this legend before.

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  30. ColeyNo Gravatar
    30

    I’ve never heard this legend before either, but it was very interesting. Thank you for sharing! I loved it being told in the character’s voice. And the book sounds fantastic.

    ntelhiard(at)gmail(dot)com

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  31. Danielle DNo Gravatar
    31

    I never heard this ledgend before, thanks for a new one :)

    Thanks for the giveaway, the book sounds like it will be fun

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  32. JasmynNo Gravatar
    32

    I would have to agree about Idaho…never would have thought.

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  33. Mickie TNo Gravatar
    33

    Haunted prisons or psychiatric hospitals seem likely spots for haunting – lots of unhappy things happen in both places. But Idaho’s Jack the Ripper is new to me.

    mdturett at juno dot com

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  34. LingeorgeNo Gravatar
    34

    Yes, I love it! I will have to put your book on my list.

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  35. JenMNo Gravatar
    35

    I guess you’d have to live in Idaho to have heard of this legend before. I certainly don’t ever want to visit that penitentiary, that’s for sure.
    jen(at)delux(dot)com

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  36. KarissaNo Gravatar
    36

    Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway :-)

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  37. Kristina parmenterNo Gravatar
    37

    okay..that totally creeped me out! i love paranormal stuff but ghosts definately scare me! 8o

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  38. elizabethNo Gravatar
    38

    I dont like them there scary and I cant sleep at night when i hear them

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  39. Jennelle SNo Gravatar
    39

    Loved the legend. This book also sounds good.

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  40. Jolene ANo Gravatar
    40

    That’s creepy. We went on a tour of Alcatraz a few years ago and it’s insane to be standing in a place where some really evil people were housed at one time

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  41. Teri CNo Gravatar
    41

    Ohh I have been waiting on this book!
    That was a fabulous urban legend I in fact, scared the kids with it. bwahahah!
    Thank you for coming on.

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  42. KristinaNo Gravatar
    42

    Uh, I don’t think I ever want to visit that shop. Correction, I don’t want to. Creepy!

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  43. Amy LynnNo Gravatar
    43

    I think I’ll take her advice and stay away from his spirit also. Creepy legend.

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  44. Kristin CliftonNo Gravatar
    44

    Totally could happen! I mean, there’s got to be a few spooky stories from each state, right?! And no better place than somewhere many trips get taken “downstairs” by evil people, right? Great legend!

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