Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Faded memories and a bizarre murder story

 TRAVIS HOFFMAN AND Chris Koetters have an awesome local podcast, Wild Quincy. I joined them this week to talk about a crazy story, maybe the most interesting and bizarre tale I ever told in my 24 years in journalism - the murder of Phillip Stanley Goodside.

You can listen to the podcast here. Stanley was killed in 1976, his body cut into pieces and found in two separate locations. The story involves a love triangle, a huge pot bust, a sensational murder trial and a lot of unanswered questions.

I was trying to remember how the story got told. Now it's beginning to make more sense. Let's face it - 15 years is a long time and memories get clouded. So here's some info that's come to light since we recorded the podcast.

I don't remember the conversation, but I believe Lani Block, the central figure in the story, called me in October of 2009 and asked if I knew anything about it. I investigated and called up some the characters involved and wrote a column for The Herald-Whig about it.

Again, memories fade, but I think Bob Brewer of Quincy read the column and called me to talk about the strange things he experienced in the house where it all happened. Back then we were really pushing social media stuff at the paper, so I wrote a Herald-Whig blog about Bob's experiences. I can't find the blog post online. Some of them were archived but most vanished into cyberspace after I left the paper.

In 2012 I wrote a much more detailed story about the murder. I cannot remember what prompted it - maybe another conversation with Lani? Click here to read the story.

I think Lani saw the blog about Bob Brewer's experiences in the house several years after it was published, saw the photo of Roger, and she called me. She'd never publicly talked about the story. Maybe it was time.

 This was a good story. Like all good stories, it wrote itself. I do remember putting a lot of effort into it, and that's something because by 2012, I was months away from leaving the paper. I had covered crime and courts for more than a decade and I was burned out. Few things got me fired up towards the end, but that story sure did - I remember going to the property at 24th and Locust and being amazed at everything that happened.

Here's what I want everybody to take away from this - Lani Block was an incredible person. She passed away about a year ago. She would call from her Arizona desert home and you hear the pain in her voice and the sadness, yet you could also trace the love she had for Stanley Goodside.

I have been in contact with Lani's sister, who lives in Iowa. She is letting Lani's daughters know about the podcast, and I hope they listen.

Lani and Stanley weren't criminals. Not even close. They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I think Lani wanted Stanley's spirit to be at peace. And that's why she called me all those years ago.

Thank you, Chris and Travis, for shedding light on a dark time in Quincy and showing respect for Lani and Stanley.


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