Chattanooga Ghost Tours owner Amy Petulla is set to release her second book, "The Corpsewood Manor Murders in North Georgia," Aug. 8.
Before starting Chattanooga Ghost Tours, Petulla practiced law for 20 years. She said she first heard about the case involving the 1982 Corpsewood murders when she came to North Georgia in the mid-80s.
An openly gay couple, Charles Scudder and Joseph Odom, purchased property in the woods of Trion, Ga., and built their dream home, which they called Corpsewood Manor, by hand. Rumors of drug use and Satanism circulated about the couple, who were brutally murdered in their home by men who had visited the home to socialize with the intention of robbing them.
"In my 20 years in law, it was the most bizarre case I ever worked on," said Petulla. "It was a story that was begging to be written."
The home, which contained satanic images and carvings as well as several human skulls, black candles and other items related to the occult, is said to be haunted by the couple. Some believe there's a curse, and Petulla said many people who have taken "souvenirs" from Corpsewood - the ruins of which still stand - have had bad things happen to them.
When she started working on the book in October 2014, she said no one had written anything about it, but three other books have been written since. Petulla's book differs in that it was written from both her perspective as an attorney and as the owner of a business focused on the paranormal, she said.
"There are things in my book that aren't in the others," said Petulla, who pored over tons of court documents and talked to more than 30 people while researching the book.
She said that many people in the area have strong opinions on the case, though not all of them can be supported by facts. Petulla said she's never encountered a case in which people's opinions of the victims were so polarized.
"People say they're either angels or demons," she said of the couple. "Most agree the killers were the bad guys."
Petulla said people who don't know anything about the case will likely love the book, but people with strong opinions may not like it because it doesn't go along with their preconceived notions.
"I wanted to tell the real story about what happened, and this is the only place you're going to get that," she said. "Besides learning about the crime, I think people will find it to be a really good story."
Another unique aspect of Petulla's book is her examination of other bizarre events that have occurred in Trion. She said she got permission from Stephen King to compare Trion to the town of Castle Rock, a nexus for paranormal and supernatural events featured in many of King's works.
She found so much information involving Trion that she plans to release a sequel focused on the town in the future.
The book is available online through barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com and walmart.com.
Contact Emily Crisman at email@example.com or 757-6508.