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The Present, Herron Studios in Culver City, Los Angeles

‘So this is where the body was discovered,’ I mused.

We had a bird’s eye view of Sound Stage 3 from the unused control booth high on the back wall.

‘Just over there, Miss Dupree.’ The lawyer nodded at the far, left corner where black and yellow striped Los Angeles Police Department tape blocked access.

A month ago a dead body had been dug out of that hole in the cement floor.

The man…Earl Curtis…had been missing since 1939.

The Curtis case had been in the news, one way or another, every day since the grisly discovery had been made.

First the shock of a cadaver being found in the floor of a hot new TV show…which of course seemed like a tacky publicity stunt. But, after the identification was made, everything had changed. The media had drawn a collective breath and exploded into a frenzy of reminiscences and speculation.

You see Earl Curtis was a legend.

Curtis had gone missing while directing in this very studio. Just seemed to walk into thin air, leaving behind a grieving family, a brilliant career and a reputation that’d skyrocketed with the years. According to all the experts, Earl Curtis was one of the pre-eminent directors of his generation…a shooting star in 1939, the golden year of old Hollywood.

And his disappearance while directing Gone With The Wind was one of the great unsolved Hollywood mysteries.