La Canoa Legacy Talks: A Lie Halfway Around the World: The Carl Taylor Murder Case
April 21, 2018
Gabriel Meléndez of the Center for Regional Studies will discuss “A Lie Halfway Around the World,” a chapter in his book, Hidden Chicano Cinema. The chapter explores the shallow mysteries and deep complexities surrounding the death of the travel-adventurer and freelance journalist Carl N. Taylor in 1936. Taylor was murdered as he readied himself to attend a gala event in Albuquerque. What appears as a set of non-sequential links between New Mexico’s chronic poverty, its religious traditions, and its reputation as an arts mecca results in a series of unexpected outcomes that stem from the intricate and layered master-chore boy relationship that drew together “the mountain boy,” Modesto Trujillo, and his writer-employer, Carl Taylor. The real-life drama far outstripped Hollywood’s attempt to market its sensationalistic B-movie, “The Lash of the Penitentes,” designed to exploit the fears and anxieties of the nation, Taylor’s tragic death, and smudge the dignity of the neighbors Taylor had come to know and admire.
Free event, open to the public.