Case Closed: Another Missive From The Pop Culture Dead Letter Office

By: David Jaggard

Archless & Associates
Private Investigations
555 555th Street
Queens, NY

Mr. Delmont Shannon
444 444th Avenue
Jacks, NY

August 17, 1961

Dear Mr Shannon,

Please be advised that, as per your request, our agency has traced, located, and investigated the movements and, insofar as possible, motivations of one Kristy Lou Salfetto, formerly of 446 444th Avenue, Jacks, New York.

One of our field agents was able to meet with Miss Salfetto and interview her regarding the two issues you have been wondering about.

In response to your first question, namely why — why, why, why, why, why — she ran away, Miss Salfetto offered six reasons, one for each “why.” I must warn you that this information is of a sensitive personal nature and likely to cause you emotional distress. But in compliance with our agreement, herewith are her explanations:

1) You tend to dwell on the past in a morbid, obsessive way. According to Miss Salfetto, your penchant for nostalgic reminiscing tends to put you in a state of nearly constant “misery.”

2) Perhaps due to your own professional or financial shortcomings, you have never purchased an automobile, preferring to walk wherever you go. As she said to our agent, she presumes that you are “still walking on.”

3) Your physical health is also a concern. Specifically she maintains that your heart is no longer “young.” Given that you are only 19 years old, we understand this to be an allusion to a possible cardiovascular condition which discouraged the young lady from entering into a long-term relationship with you for fear of passing on a congenital disorder to her future children. She mentioned that you frequently “feel the pain.” Mr Shannon, this is beyond my professional scope as an investigator, but if what she is referring to here is a chronic sharp ache in your chest and/or left arm, I must advise you to consult a physician immediately.

4) You are apparently not, in her opinion, sufficiently intelligent. The expression she actually used was “doesn’t have enough sense to come in out of the rain.”

5) When you get excited your voice tends to rise suddenly in pitch, becoming high and strident. It seems that your former girlfriend could not stress this point enough. She obviously finds it unseemly for a grown man to have an effeminate voice.

6) Lastly, and I am especially sorry to have to report this, but Miss Salfetto also expressed dismay with your “tinny organ.” We assume that the extra “n” in the first word is a typographical error in our investigator’s transcript. Again, I’m no doctor, but perhaps you should look into the possibility of a link between this condition and your vocal abnormality.

Now, as to your second question: Miss Salfetto’s ongoing transient lifestyle makes it impossible to predict “where she will stay” in the future, but we have been able to ascertain her whereabouts since her disappearance. Our agent has determined that, after staying for three days with her grandparents in Deuces, New Jersey, she decided to hitchhike to Los Angeles and spent the next five months living with a string of relatives, friends, casual acquaintances and short-term lovers. She is currently lodged at the home of her uncle and aunt, Francis E. and Valerie E. Trascato of Anaheim, California. A detailed list of her other temporary residences is enclosed.

We trust that you will find this report satisfactory. Please remit by return post the balance of payment due for services and expenses (see itemized bill) and we will consider this case closed.

Yours sincerely,

Seamus Archless

— Itemized bill
— List of residences, K. L. Salfetto, 1 February 1961 – present
— 23 (twenty-three) surveillance photos, Anaheim Cal., 15 July – 12 August 1961

NOTE: As you can see from the enclosed photographs, Miss Salfetto can no longer properly be called your “little runaway.” She has found employment at a rapid-service motorists’ restaurant they have out there on the West Coast called “McDonnell” or “Old MacDonald’s” (our operative is no longer sure of the exact name). Since accepting this job one month ago, she has eaten all of her meals there and her weight has ballooned to well over 200 pounds. As our investigator puts it, “She ain’t little and she ain’t runnin’ nowhere.”


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