The strange case of Velma Cruther and Leroy Jessup... born in the South but of exact "parts-unknown"... and not even exact birth-dates or certificates. Were they neighbors, classmates, siblings, lovers, or perhaps even the same person??
What IS known for sure is that they seemed to have lived their entire and fairly short lives within a 23 mile radius of their childhoods and final... ahem... "demises". They both, coincidentally, had careers in custodial and housekeeping service, and never progressed past the 7th grade. They never attended any professional academy or training facility, nor did they serve their country in the military or in civil service. Neither of them was apparently married or had children, or even had relatives to be concerned when they were deceased.
As to another theory of who they were; in the South, the tradition in vaudeville and showboat minstrelsy included "gender comedy" with performers donning costumes and characterizations of the opposite sex. Perhaps these "two persons", both known for extreme eccentricity and borderline anti-social and even criminal activity, may have fallen on hard times and been driven to unfortunate fates in the backwaters of the South. According to authorities and what few public and official records we have, they both came to fairly terrible ends which were verified by witnesses and local (though rural!) coroners. Yes, bodies were buried in marked graves, although both bodies were seriously disfigured, beyond absolute recognition as was recorded, though their identities were surmised and seemingly irrefutable. But.... were they actually Cruther and Jessup?... or bodies substituted in some bizarre conspiracy?... and what did the pair of bright red girl's tap shoes and a small bottle of so-called "smelling salts" have to do with anything?? Are Cruther and Jessup perhaps one-and-the-same?... and is he, or she, still wandering the country, looking for work... and possible mayhem!
So! We leave it up to you dear readers! Velma Cruther and Leroy Jessup; Separated at birth?... or THE SAME PERSON?!?!?... you decide!
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