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Variations on the Account

        The Master Detective article has several intentional differences from the newspaper articles. First off, it should be noted that in the Master Detective article Wilbur Riddle was referred to as 'Bart Cranston', and several other people are given false names as well (Dorris Ditmar is called 'Debbie Krane', for instance); this was to protect their privacy, as the editor's note at the end of the article indicates. There are also a variety of dramatic enhancements to make the story more exciting; this article has Riddle literally trip over the body, not just find it, for example.

        The newspapers, too, show variations in details, but most of these are clearly due to incorrect initial information; as the articles get later, the facts become more consistent. Here are the major variations:

  • One newspaper article reports Tent Girl's height as five foot, eleven inches (The Graphic, May 23, 68); Master Detective magazine and the remaining newspaper articles say five foot, one inch, which agrees with the information listed on the tombstone erected for the Tent Girl. 
  • The Master Detective article says the bag was found about twenty feet from the highway; all other articles say it was found just past a fence near the highway. 
  • The article from The Graphic for May 23, 1968, says the towel was wrapped around the Tent Girl's head, where the Master Detective article says it was draped over her shoulder. Two other newspaper articles (unknown #1 & Lexington Herald of May 18, 1968) make no mention of the towel, making it clear that there were "no items of jewelery, fragments of clothing or shoes found with the body or in the surrounding areas" (both articles use the exact same sentence, so it was likely from a general news release). 
  • The article from The Graphic says that Riddle attempted to open the bag, but stopped when he smelled what was inside; the Master Detective article says he opened the bag. 
  • The article from The Graphic estimates the Tent Girl's age at between 18 and 20 years, but this is an early estimation; the Master Detective article and other newspaper articles all estimate her age at 16 to 19, which agrees with the details listed on the tombstone. 
  • The Lexington Herald article from May 18, 1968, states that Riddle was "taking down telephone wires"; all other articles agree that he was looking for glass insulators left by men who had done work on the lines.