Winchester pass a clue in 1979 killing

A backstage pass to see folk legend Jesse Winchester is one of the few clues in a 28-year-old murder mystery that was featured tonight on the long-running Fox program America's Most Wanted.

The case began as a string of robberies in Austin, Texas, until the 1979 night when a struggling singer-songwriter named Michael Cahill chased down the thief who was stealing his guitar... and got a bullet in the forehead.

What makes the case so unusual is that the killing appeared to be the work of a burglar who targeted photographers who had contributed to an artsy photo calendar called "The Book of Days," whose small circle of contributors included future Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Berkeley Breathed of "Bloom County" fame.

Winchester, widely considered one of the heroes of American folk music, is unconnected to the still-unsolved case other than that pass which was made for a performance at the Austin Opry House and attached to Cahill's guitar at the time of the murder, according to the television program, which originally aired in April.

Cahill was obviously a fan of Winchester, a passionate foe of war who, in the 1960s, popularized the song "Yankee Lady" and fled the Vietnam draft to Canada. He moved to the Charlottesville area last year.

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2 comments

Thanks for the link to my blog (Michael being my uncle and all, it makes sense). There is another (later) link posted in response to the ensuing America's Most Wanted broadcast here: http://imagitude.blogspot.com/2007/04/note-book-of-days-murder-on-americ...

Thanks, above all, for keeping this story alive. Not many families of murder victims are as lucky.

I see that Jesse is scheduled to play at The Gravity Lounge on September 8, according to his website. I've seen Jesse twice; both times it was just Jesse and his acoustic guitar.....and all of those great songs that he has penned over the years. Both shows rank up there as two of the best concerts that I have ever attended.
I hope folks turn out to see him; they won't be disappointed.