One of my most hopeful daydreams as a kid was to discover a secret compartment in our house, perhaps in a wall or under the floorboards, containing a cache of old papers that would set me on the trail of a long-hidden secret. (Since the house was built in 1970 and we were the first occupants, this was about as likely as finding a dinosaur fossil in one of the metamorphic rocks in the woods around our house; but it took me a long time to give up on that search, too.)
A few months ago, my friend Barry Isaacson actually did find a cache of old papers hidden in a secret compartment in his house. The real-life horror story they revealed is enough to give any child, or parent, nightmares.
Here’s Barry’s story as he wrote it for the LA Weekly.