A word of thanks.

Perhaps Thomas Thomas will now at last be able to rest in peace.

Perhaps Thomas Thomas will now at last be able to rest in peace.

I would just like to say a huge thank you to everyone who contacted me with messages of support and positivity following yesterday’s news.

Murder at the Star began as a pet project which has been taken to a completely unexpected level thanks to the support of those reading the blog and following on Twitter.

When I started researching the murder of Thomas Thomas, it never crossed my mind that what I was doing would be of any interest to anyone apart from myself. How wrong I was.

The blog – which in reality is still in its infancy – has been read almost 2,000 times by readers from as far a-field as the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Spain, France, Germany, South Africa, the Middle East, all over the UK, and of course here in Wales.

The use of this blog and Twitter – and the way readers have used them to respond and interact with me throughout the process so far – has, I believe, made Murder at the Star a truly unique project. There may be something similar out there somewhere, but I am honestly yet to find. That is down as much to you, the readers, as it is me, the writer.

I truly believe we have all been part of something which has changed the way writing will take place in the future. The Murder at the Star blog – and subsequent book – may not be the greatest piece of literature ever penned, but I really do think it will have played a part in defining writing and researching in the digital age.

The increasing interest created by the use of social media has proved inspirational in pushing me to dig deeper, look further and work harder to uncover all the facts. I now feel I know exactly what happened on that fateful night 93 years ago, and in the days and weeks – and indeed years – which followed.

It is only due to the support, feedback and – continued and ever-increasing – interest in what I was doing that I took the decision to actually contact a publishing company.

Nothing is yet signed and sealed, but I’ve been given every indication that a formal deal will be approved within the next two weeks.

While on a personal level, the thought of Murder at the Star appearing on the shelves of bookshops across the country is incredibly exciting and rewarding, the real winners – I hope – will be truth and justice – and trust me, I am aware just how pretentious that sounds.

For more than 90 years one man has been labelled a killer in the pubs and shops and over the kitchen tables of the Amman valley. Those rumours were undoubtedly wrong.

Murder at the Star will finally clear the name of man wholly innocent of the heinous crime which claimed the life of Thomas Thomas. For that reason alone, these hours spent in libraries, archives and dusty storerooms – not to mention the hundreds and hundreds of hours spent staring at a computer screen long into the night – will all have been worthwhile.

Similarly, the chance to name the man who I always suspected and am now completely sure took a blameless life for nothing more than £100 or so – only to then rub shoulders with his neighbours, point fingers at the innocent and spend the remainder of his days living a happy and successful life – has proved a major driving force.

While it is obvious that the truths I plan to reveal have come much, much too late to have any impact on these men, they will – unofficially at least – bring down the curtain on the Amman valley’s only unsolved murder.

I hope they will also, in some strange way, allow Thomas Thomas to finally rest in peace.

For your support and interest, I once again thank you all and I am sure that somehow, somewhere Thomas would like to do the same.

Steve

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Tomorrow’s research

I will be spending tomorrow afternoon (Tuesday, October 15) at the Carmarthenshire Archives in Carmarthen.

I intend to spend a few hours going through the minutes of Cwmaman Urban District Council from around 1915-1920 in search of any mention of the building of Commerce Place, the block where Star Stores was situated in the hope of confirming who owned the building.

I will also be looking through the deeds of sale drawn up by Lord Dynevor’s estate.

Lord Dynevor owned the land on which Garnant was built and around the time of the First World War parcels of the estate were sold off for the building of homes, shops and businesses.

I am hoping this will give me the exact details of when the plot used for the building of Commerce Place was sold and to whom.

Murder at the Star – the story so far.

It seems a little strange to be starting a blog on the murder of Thomas Thomas at Star Stores now. I have already put in many months of research, totalling many, many hours of work.

I thought at this stage it would be worth posting a quick insight into where I have been to bring me this far with the idea being that from this point on I will try to post regular updates on what I have found, what I have researched and where those enquiries have taken me.

So far there have been trips to the National Archives in Kew and well as visits to the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth.

Countless hours have been spent staring at the microfiche machine in Ammanford, Llanelli and Carmarthen libraries as well as at Carmarthenshire Archives in Carmarthen.

The internet has also thrown up an incredible array of information, in some cases directly linked to the murder, but more generally into life in Garnant generally in the years during and following World War One.

I have also created a library’s worth of information on the various individuals who played some role in the original events, however seemingly inconsequential.