When Bad Events Lead to Good Outcomes: Snippets from The Prodigal Band Trilogy and The Murder Rule, Part Two

I said in the previous post that my next post in this new snippet series would be in mid-March, so, here it is, mid-March, after a ‘spring break’ camping trip with family. While during most of the trip I did hiking through forest-river areas, I did consider what could make up the second post—which is similar to the first post about an evil man who repents of his evil and accepts Christ as Lord and Savior in his death bed. Yet in this post, the ‘accepter’ so-to-speak is minutes or even seconds away from death by murder, and this event takes place within Part One of The Murder Rule. And did this victim, Denny Spradlin, a rock star and friendly rival with members of the prodigal band Sound Unltd, actually repent and accept Christ in such a short time before death took him, or is that how his band mate, Blake Fenmore, interpreted a statement the victim left in a metal strong box? Note: Both Denny and Blake are featured in Battle of the Band.

The snippet below (© copyright 2023 by Deborah Lagarde), from Chapter One of The Murder Rule (Part One), contains an email letter from Blake to ‘CalEdit’ of the alternative pop culture magazine, X-Zine, sent in 2005, asking X-Zine to investigate what Blake sees as the murder of his Wolfin band mate and best friend, Denny, in early 1996; Blake had originally told the media it was a suicide or drug overdose, but did so out of fear that if he revealed it was murder, he too would be ‘murder-ruled.’


This is Blake Fenmore, formerly of Wolfin, now living alone in the countryside in a rocky farmhouse, but I won’t say where, in England. I have let go of the guilt I felt about not saying what happened to my mate Denny Spradlin. Lloyd Denholm was right. Denny did not commit suicide by OD-ing on skuz or skank. He also did not OD on skuz or any other cocaine- or opioid-laced drug. So how do I know this? I will state what I know later in the letter, but Lloyd was right. Denny gave up his crystal nose spoon because he was giving up addiction to skuz and the other drugs as Lloyd had surmised. I knew this all along, but I could not admit this in public until I knew for sure how Denny died.

Denny had a large metal box he stored important documents within. I had originally opened it straight-away after he died as he had given me a key in case anything happened to him.

He told me he believed someone was going to hurt him. Why? He had said weeks before he died that he owed money and was in debt over an estate he had bought back then as well as another car he had bought and that he had not paid his driver in over a month due to the debt.

But then I found documents within the box, receipts, proving he paid the debts and had also paid the driver right before he died. So, since he no longer owed money, it was not the bank or outfit he owed money to that was out to hurt him.

Then I found in the box a note he left, scribbled quickly. He must have stuck the note in the box in desperation before he collapsed. Here is what the note said.


“A hooded man has forced poison up my nose, not skank or skuz. Pray for my soul. Denny.”


In other words, Denny knew he was going to die and wanted to let me know how it was done.

More proof Denny would not commit suicide:  he had told a friend of his—I won’t say who this friend is—that he was giving this same friend his prized razor-blade earring because he had a better one. This is true. I found an almost exact match to the old earring in this metal box, but the new one was in a gift box within the metal box.

I do not know who did this act and killed Denny, but I think I know why.

Denny was giving up the life he had led and that I and so many others in our profession led. The party-party-do-what-you-want-no-consequences-lifestyle that was leaving him empty and without meaning. That was why he wanted back into the studio, for a life purpose again. But it seemed to him anyway that there were people of influence in the business that would not let him escape the emptiness he was trying to overcome. People that wanted to continue to control him and Wolfin as a whole, who wanted Denny to continue to be the front-man he had been, to keep fulfilling their agenda. Since Denny was trying to oppose their agenda, he felt these people were out to harm him. Denny was the one they had to ruin to punish Wolfin, since we had started to refuse to carry out their wicked agenda.

Denny had taken an oath, as had I, but not Art and Pete. That oath was to Andelusia, a secret society of wealthy entertainers such as Denny and I. Part of the oath we took was to live by what is called The Pleasure Rule. But there was only so much pleasure Denny could handle. The Pleasure Rule is a core concept of Andelusia which one had to give an oath to in order to make it big in present-day show biz. Andelusia though leaves one empty and without meaning and purpose, just pleasure-living high on drugs that one could easily OD on and die. It’s great for a while, but when one starts to grow up out of the party lifestyle, one realizes there is only so much pleasure one needs. One also needs meaning and purpose in life. It is my core belief someone in the Andelusia hierarchy punished Denny for giving up living by The Pleasure Rule, and killed Denny in the process. It would be my wish for X-Zine to aid me in the process of finding out who did it.

Signed, Blake Fenmore.

X-Zine did accept the assignment, and handed it over to pop culture pundit Lloyd Denholm, the narrator of The Prodigal Band as well as The Murder Rule, Parts One and Three. Denholm free-lanced for X-Zine, and Denholm was mentioned in the letter as having surmised that Denny had been murdered and had not died by suicide.

In the next and final snippet, from Chapter Thirteen of The Murder Rule (Part One), Denholm, in 2005, visits Fenmore, who had, in fear for his life, moved to a remote rural area near the Lake District in Cumbria in northwest England.

While it is not assured that Denny Spradlin actually did accept Christ—even though Blake considered that Denny did in fact do so—Blake, who is no longer in fear of his life, even if he stated he was in his letter to ‘CalEdit,’ did in fact get over his fear by doing the right thing, as he admits to Lloyd in his cottage. Note: Kemmy, a Sikh from Sri Lanka, was Denny’s personal assistant who hid the metal strong box from the killer.

And ‘someone I know’ had a similar outcome in 1997! Hmmmmm…. Only the fear was of a different kind of scenario ‘close to home.’

Here is the snippet (© copyright 2023 by Deborah Lagarde):

(A week later at Blake Fenmore’s country cottage near a lake)



“Glad you finally arrived,” Blake smiled as he nodded while shaking my hand, then ushered me into his stone cottage. “I reckon you visited Kemmy.”

“Yes, and what he told me was a shock.” I headed straight for a living room couch. “But I’ll get to that later.”

Blake stood amidst the room. “Brew? Whiskey? Tea? Water”?

“I’ll take water for now.”

“And I’ll drink a brew,” as he headed toward the wooden bar. “Because I’m gonna need one.” Laugh.


The last time I saw Blake was on television being interviewed over Denny’s death from ‘too much skank,’ that is, too much nasal ingestion of a wild American southwest desert plant, jimsonweed, that could be deadly in large amounts. Blake had said that it had to be suicide since Denny knew how dangerous skank could be in large amounts; I suspected that it had to be murder, since Denny had told me the morning of his death that he would never commit suicide; I also suspected Blake knew the truth, but was too afraid to admit it publicly.

But that was then and this is now.


“Let me guess,” I looked at Blake, sitting in a lounge chair directly opposite my position on the couch. “You told the press Denny committed suicide, but in truth you had always believed he was ‘murder-ruled’.”

Fenmore threw his head back in despair, and then snorted loudly. “He was.” Then hung his head in shame. “And I knew it all along, but was too bloody much of a coward to admit it to the media.”

I thought, Coward? No! Blake, had you admitted murder to the press, you would have been next on the ‘death list,’ and you know it! I understand why you said what you said.

“Look, Blake, had you told the media you thought Denny was murdered without knowing exactly who did it, you would have been hounded in any way possible for many months, without mercy. And you would have been living in fear for your own life—”

He stood up, shaking. “I did live in fear for my own life! Why do you think I moved all the way up here? They—”

“They? Who is ‘they’?”

Shouted at me. “You know bloody well who ‘they’ are! The ones who run ‘the Order’.”

“The ones who wrote ‘The Pleasure Rule,’ which, if you turn against this so-called ‘rule,’ they throw ‘the murder rule’ at you. Didn’t that Pleasure Rule manual claim the only way you can leave ‘the Order’ is by death?”

“That’s what scared me and Denny.” Slug of brew as he sat back down. “But we had to leave it. We were pretty much has-beens by then anyway, so we figured it wouldn’t matter to them if we left anyway. No video deal, right? But we wanted to get back to work and get some kind of meaning in our lives again, successful album and videos or not. We figured ‘the no video deal’ was the punishment for not continuing to serve ‘the Order.’ Yet, not a one of us actually thought the Pleasure Rule would become the murder rule.”


As I sipped more water I went into thought mode. You said the ones who run ‘the Order’ ordered Denny’s killing. Well, Swami Negran died in early 1996 right after he tried supposedly to kill two members of Sound Unltd by heart attacks, and two years before that, he killed Adam Bloodlove. So it had to be someone who Negran trusted at the time, associated with him here in Britain. Negran likely had a hand in the death but he too is dead now. So his second-in-command likely planned it. But who else?


“Likely, Swami Negran had something to do with it,” I responded. “He’s gone now, however, so he cannot be brought to justice—”

“I’m sure he has been! Justice, eh? He’s likely roasting in hell for eternity.” Laugh.

Has Blake gone Christian like the Super Six? “So, you now believe all that Bible stuff, ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’ stuff?”

Snort. “That’s in the Matthew Gospel, right?”

“Matthew 8:12. Christ said the wicked would be cast into the ‘outer darkness,’ that is, hell, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And several other verses as well.”

Finished my water. “Blake, are you Christian now?”

Smile. “Yes, but I’m not some church-goer. I really do want to stay out of the limelight. I was such a mess I just wanted to, you know, confess my sins and repent and all. And I suspect Denny did as well like right before he died.” Moved forward. “He left me a note telling me someone had poisoned him, and for me to—he actually wrote this—pray for my soul.”


“Now why would he write that if he didn’t even think anything about praying? Like, he writes the note really fast—I don’t even know where he would have gotten the pen and paper, eh? So he writes the note and as he’s writing it he’s asking Jesus to forgive him or something, like, praying for forgiveness. Then he puts the note into the strong box I had the key to, and then dies. Like, he accepts Christ as Savior and then God’s happy he did, so then God takes him if you know what I mean.”


“Well. That’s my take. I’ve had that idea in my head for years now. And then all the sinister events happening to Jack and Erik and them”—that is, Sound Unltd—“and I figure if they can go ahead and become Christians as well after all they went through, then why not me? Nothing bad has happened to them since 2001, right? And nothing bad has happened to me either.”

“Are you doing any missionary stuff?”

“Not yet. I want to get this murder of Denny solved before I do.”

Missionary stuff…which is one reason I created this website!

Use the menu above to purchase books, read about the books, download the FREE PDF The Prodigal Band, read various trilogy snippet posts, and more. Cheers!

Author: deborahlagarde

Born on Long Island, NY, in 1952, now live in the mountains of far west Texas. Began writing fiction stories at about 8 years old with pen and loose leaf paper, and created the characters in my Prodigal Band Trilogy as a teenager. From the 70s to the 90s I created the scenario which I believe was inspired. While bringing up and home schooling my two children I continued to work on the novels and published "Battle of the Band" in 1996 and "The Prophesied Band" in 1998. Took off the next several years to complete home schooling and also working as an office manager for the local POA. In 2016, I retired, then resumed The Prodigal Band, a FREE PDF book that tells the whole story to its glorious end. Hint: I'm a true believer in Christ and I'm on a mission from God, writing to future believers, not preaching to the choir. God gave me a talent and, like the band in my books, I am using that talent for His glory, not mine (and, like me, the band is on its own journey, only fictional.) I also wrote for my college newspaper and headed up production, was a columnist in a local newspaper in the early 2000s, and wrote for and edited "Log of the Trail," the news letter for the Texas Mountain Trail Writers, and wrote for and edited it's yearly catalog of writings, "Chaos West of the Pecos." OmegaBooks is my self-publishing sole proprietorship company founded in 1995. Other jobs included teaching secondary math, health aide, office worker, assembly line work, and free-lance writing and bookkeeping,much of it while home schooling.

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