Reel New Mexico, June, 2015
Screening at La Tienda in El Dorado on Thursday, June 11, at 7 PM, will be the documentary feature, ‘The Silence of Cricket Coogler’, produced by El Dorado resident, Richard Startzman (Mother O’Keeffe). Special guest will be author, Paula Moore, author of ‘Cricket in the Web’.
Book sales onsite courtesy of COLLECTED WORKS!
This documentary investigates the mysterious death of an 18-year-old waitress in New Mexico in 1949. Silence of Cricket Coogler is a Political Murder movie–but this horrific rape and murder wasn’t a random crime; instead, the young beauty was a victim of political corruption and Mafia connections After doing his own investigation, mystery writer Tony Hillerman lent his insight to the film as well.
The feature-length film covers all aspects of Ovida “Cricket” Coogler’s unsolved murder, which changed history in Las Cruces and New Mexico.
Coogler was last seen alive at 3 a.m. Thursday, March 31, 1949, when she entered an official state car on Main Street in downtown Las Cruces. Her body was found 17 days later in a shallow grave south of Las Cruces. Jerry Nuzum, a professional football player and former NMSU Aggie, was arrested for the murder and then released for lack of evidence.
Students at the New Mexico College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, now New Mexico State University, were so enraged by Nuzum’s arrest that they submitted a petition to the governor requesting a grand jury be appointed to investigate the murder. The grand jury was unable to indict anyone for Coogler’s murder, but the investigation resulted in the removal of the sheriff from office and the shutdown of local gambling joints.
The grand jury would not give up — it handed down 58 indictments against 25 people.
The documentary is narrated in part by the late John Ehrlichman with commentary by famed New Mexico author, the late great Tony Hillerman. In his remarks, Hillerman says “this strange little murder, and the incredible effort to cover it up, caused a kind of outrage that cleaned up New Mexico.”
Moore is the author of the 2008 book, ‘Cricket in the Web’, and has done years of research on the never-solved case. She will discuss her research and findings on Ms. Coogler’s demise, which involved numerous high level politicians in New Mexico.
Here is an interview with Ms. Moore: http://fnsnews.nmsu.edu/the-waitress-who-shook-new-mexico-part-one/
Film Trailer –http://www.cinevisionproductions.com/apps/videos/videos/show/12514050
There is a suggested donation of $5 and you can also bring food and drink into the theatre, thanks to the courtesy of our friends at the La Plancha Restaurant.
For more information, please contact Jeff Berg at 466.1634 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Coming in July… The Hired Hand, directed by and starring Peter Fonda – Made in New Mexico