Under the Sycamore Trees: Magic and Mystery in Twin Peaks (Pt. 1)

Under the Sycamore Trees: Magic and Mystery in Twin Peaks (Pt. 1)

For C.P.- “For I am like a refiner’s fire.”

Through the darkness of future past,
The magician longs to see
One chance out between two worlds:
Fire, walk with me.

An Invitation to Love: The Black Lodge Edition


A couple of years ago I called my best friend crying in a state of turmoil; I was yelling at him for not warning me about the end of Twin Peaks. Granted, at the time I was embroiled in a nasty love affair, drinking pretty heavily, and have always been an emotionally volatile person. I wonder every so often if there’s a possibility I’m a high functioning schizophrenic. All those things considered, there’s still something to a show that can elucidate such a violent reaction. Twin Peaks is shit hot television for multiple reasons; one of which may be its magical elements of composition.

About a year later I was more-or-less fixed up and in a much better place when another friend was viewing David Lynch and Mark Frost’s show for the first time. When it ended he, like so many other viewers, felt screwed out of a satisfying conclusion. There were so many stories and ideas to be explored that were curtailed by the cruel executives at ABC and the general stupidity of the American viewing public. (I mean, seriously…it seems like goddamn Two and a Half Men as been on for decades.) It was on the first day of this year, which already seems like a fucking lifetime ago, that I made him a guide to some of the occult underpinnings present in the show for his further amusement and edification. Humorously, perhaps tellingly, I titled the guide the “Black Lodge Do-It-Yourself Possession Kit.” Good god, I hope there’s at least one Twin Peaks fan reading this… it may read like nonsense otherwise. As the ever-so-sophisticated Dick Tremayne says; “This is all so… technical.”

In the likely circumstance that some, if not most, of the readers looking over this aren’t overly familiar with the show, here’s a rundown for you. Twin Peaks was a television series aired for little more than a year from 1990-91. Famous today for it’s cult following, it was known at the time for being one of the strangest shows to ever be broadcast. Understandably, as one of its creators, David Lynch, should be immediately recognizable as one of the most important filmmakers and surrealists of the late twentieth century. With a repertoire of films such as Eraserhead, The Elephant Man, and the spectacular Blue Velvet under his belt by the time he collaborated with Mark Frost on the show, weird things could generally be expected from him. To grossly oversimplify the plot, Twin Peaks is about the investigation of the murder of a local homecoming queen Laura Palmer by the quirky and admirable F.B.I. Special Agent Dale Cooper (played by Kyle McLachlan) that takes place in the eponymous town which is a vital character in its own right. Filled with brilliant, if disconcerting, camera work and character development it also included themes such as possession (perhaps demonic), prophetic dreams, and the posited battle between good and evil, all juxtaposed with a (decidedly sinister) small town atmosphere, cherry pie, and excessive caffeine abuse.

In my ever humble opinion, Twin Peaks is essential viewing for any paranormal enthusiast. While it wasn’t the first supernatural television show by any means it still made an undeniable impact on that part of our culture. Unlike its younger brother The X Files (whose David Duchovny guest starred in TP as the cross-dressing DEA Agent Denise), Twin Peaks isn’t valuable to our interests because of any obvious parallels with actual anomalous phenomena, I mean to say, I haven’t heard of any Man from Another Place sightings… though I have pointed out the similarities between a murder documented on here and Killer BOB. It is valuable because in its very fabric there is something uncanny taking place; while much of this can be attributed to artistic mastery and subtle psychological manipulation I would argue that there is an authentic, if not exactly appetizing, does of magic and the occult to the whole matter. Then again, I wouldn’t really argue those elements are mutually exclusive. What I’m positing is Twin Peaks may be the event, the anomaly, itself. So pour yourself a damn fine cup of coffee and prepare for the Occult Secrets of Twin Peaks to be revealed.

During the second season, things get weird. Not that they haven’t already been weird but the whole show, and town, seem to disintegrate after creators answer the infamous question; “Who killed Laura Palmer?” To much of the swineherd that watched the show the act of answering this question, heretofore the evident driving force of the series, defeated the point of continuing the story. There are alleged Twin Peaks “fans” who will snottishly express the opinion that the second season is somehow inferior to the first; they are a fringe element that will be dealt with harshly and swiftly when I rise to power. (Insert shouting in German and pulpit pounding.) But I digress, during the second season the elements that any viewer will come to be associated with a motif that occurred in the third episode after the pilot, a famously bizarre dream sequence in a red room, come back with a fury. References to the Lodges, cosmic forces of good and evil that seem to be based conversely outside of the town and inside of the hearts of man, are replete in actions of the characters and events in the town as the violent, mind-wrenching, game of chess between Agent Cooper and his former, now mad, mentor Windom Earle draws toward a terrifying stalemate. The conclusion, or what we’re provided in place of a conclusion, occurs under the sycamore trees…

“Once upon a time, there was a place of great goodness, called the White Lodge.” So begins Windom Earle’s parable about the genesis of the Lodges, both White and Black. Typically, white represents goodness and purity, while black represents evil and power…the power to reorder the earth itself. Among the fans of the series it is generally known that Lynch and Frost borrowed the concept from an adventure novel, The Devil’s Guard by Talbot Mundy.  This particular novel takes place in the continuity of Mundy’s Jimgrim and Ramsden series which were published during the nineteen twenties and thirties. Jimgrim is the nickname of an adventurer, an Allan Quatermain type, whose excursions into the Orient draw him into encounters with mysterious immortals and secret societies. Mundy himself was involved with the Theosophical Society, the occult group started by the marvelously disreputable Madam Blavatsky and responsible for much of the magical revival of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. During the time he authored The Devil’s Guard he was not only a member of the Society according to this one nice website but a “prominent and leading member.” Whilst discussing the resurrection of pulp adventure during the second magical revival of the twentieth century, Gary Lachman describes Mundy as an ex-confidence man (oh well, Blavatsky and Gurdjieff were both implicated in very mundane confidence schemes at points), who was the “master of the mystical adventure” with his tales constituting the main precursor of Indiana Jones.

In Mundy’s novel, which supposedly differs from much of the contemporary writing about the Far East due the fact that it paints oriental peoples as equal to Westerners, (I’m not so sure about this statement, but at least his villains aren’t bumbling or stock-board stereotypes… even then he may use “the Old Jew” as a descriptor too much.),  the explorers are drawn through the Himalayas where a battle is taking place between two rival Lodges. The narrator, Ramsden is a proto-Agent Cooper as he upholds morality and loyalty and searches for his onetime compatriot Elmer Rait whose lust for knowledge and association with the the Black Lodge with its dugpa sorcerers makes him a nice analog for Windom Earle. Naturally the Black Lodge is at war with the White Lodge. Most of the reviews I have read from the reviews of Mundy’s novel dismiss it as unimportant beyond the point that it contains the original concept of the Lodges. This is ridiculous as not only is Mundy regarded as an entertaining writer, leading me to suspect they haven’t actually read the book, it also contains the story of the dugpas.

“These evil sorcerers, dugpas, they call them, cultivate evil for the sake of evil and nothing else…this ardent purity has allowed them to access a secret place of great power…”

This is a pretty terrifying concept, I’m sure you’ll agree, which is explained by the wretched Earle who wants to bargain with or become one of these black magicians. Like the many other nuances that make Twin Peaks so entertaining and immersive this is never fully fleshed out or explained. It is up to the viewer to decide what the dugpas are and if one is ever present in the show. Perhaps Killer BOB, who is primarily portrayed as a trans-migratory spirit, is a dugpa; there are ways, probably incorrect, to interpret the series that BOB was once a serial killer as a man. He could have made a bargain that made him into a dugpa. Personally I don’t think so, due to BOB’s enormous power I feel he is one of the “native inhabitants” of the Black Lodge. In a way this makes the dugpas all the more terrifying. Who or what are they? Where are they?

Does he look evil to you?

The little historical information I can find tells me that in “reality” the dugpas or “the red-hats” are a sect of left-hand (a term for mystic traditions typically regarded as dark or evil) Tibetan Buddhists founded in the thirteenth century. They are reminiscent and oftentimes confused with the Bonpas or Bon Sorcerers. These wicked mystics are present in Alexandra David-Neel’s A Tibetan Tale of Love and Magicwhich I have not read; I do know that they are described as boiling down hapless travelers that stray into the mountain vales under their domain into an ointment that grants youth. David-Neel also tells us that “dugpa” means thunder, due to the fact they were the first sect to build their monastery in the midst of a thunder storm. Perhaps it was the wrath of the heavens raging at their defiance: in Mundy’s novel they are depicted as failed initiates to the White Lodge who, out of resentment and lust, have turned to forbidden knowledge to aid their rebellion. Supposedly some sects that are descended from the dugpas still exist openly in the world today.

When I first read the description of the Black and White Lodges I was immediately reminded of Aleister Crowley’s Moonchild: of The Butterfly Net, upon further inspection it would seem that at least one other commentator had this idea as well. Published in 1917, Crowley’s best known novel consists of the operation to create a “moonchild”, a messiah or antichrist depending on personal persuasion/grade of initiation, by the White Lodge and the attempts of the Black Lodge to thwart any such occurrence. Here the White Lodge is a thinly veiled portrayal of Crowley’s own magical society, the A.’.A.’., it would then go to follow that the Black Lodge would be populated by his enemies and former colleagues from the Order of the Golden Dawn. While I really like Crowley and pretty well agree with his conclusions about people, it goes without saying that the characters should be taken with a grain of salt. Crowley is a trickster working in the field of admitted fiction; that said, he also went back and declared Moonchild to be a fanciful retelling of an actual magical operation. If that’s true then maybe the moonchild or its descendants walking around out there…Crowley indicates it was brought to North America. In the novel there are some pretty genius explanations of magical concepts and ethics and again, despite what modern critics say I think it is a cracking good read.

Moonchild Versus Dugpas: the secret war that affects your everyday life; I smell a book deal. I can’t believe how much there is to write about this topic; Twin Peaks is a famously complicated show however and like any surrealist work it mimics the unconsciousness. As any psychoanalyst can tell you dreams and the unconsciousness can be interpreted; as many an artist will tell you they can be interpreted endlessly. It looks like this is going to have to be a two–parter, one for each Lodge, and next time around we’ll look at the fearsome Dweller on the Threshold, why there should be a free Tibet, and making the magic of Twin Peaks “work.” In the meantime, I know you’re all waiting eagerly for your Finding Bigfoot DVD and the release of Planet Weird. In the meantime, why don’t you swing by Amazon or Netflix and check out Lynch and Frost’s masterpiece? I always fell like returning to the R.R. Diner and One-Eyed Jack’s when the crisp Autumn air moves in; after all, Fall and Winter are traditionally associated with the genres of tragedy and irony, both of which Twin Peaks has in spades. Until next time, remember, the owls are not what they seem.

Note: On further consideration Cooper, with his career excellence and abundance of wisdom, is much more akin to Jimgrim than Ramsden. Ramsden, who is a stolid friend, simple, but pure is much more like Sheriff Truman. By reading The Devil’s Guard and drawing obvious conjectures, obvious upon a little bit of meditation that is, I feel that one can find where Twin Peaks would have ended up if it had been continued.


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  1. jp

    12/06/2012 at 9:19 AM

    Good stuff– looking forward to the rest of the series. Peaks has long been a fave, and I agree that the 2nd Season is the key. I’ve read the Talbot Mundy book, and I have to say I was a little underwhelmed by the writing, but it definitely has some cool ideas.

    Here are some old archived links from a long gone project discussing the Black Lodge that you might enjoy:




    And here’s a good place for more fun speculation re the Peaks:



  2. S.

    12/06/2012 at 11:39 AM

    Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    That’s an interesting series. I assume you’re the author, yes? I thought your points about fear were very pertinent and the theme of fear of oneself/the doppleganger/ and succumbing or overcoming the fear fit very nicely with Cooper’s final trial. My own opinion of fear is summed up nicely by the G.’.D.’.’s “fear is failure and the forerunner of failure” which has been mentioned on some of my other articles before. Not to say I’m not afraid…I’m a very anxious person. I liked the Vallee story in the first part as well. I don’t remember if I mention him during this article but I do go over “Twin Peaks”‘ connection to Project Blue Book in the second half. he certainly fits the subject!

    You certainly seem to know a lot about Gnosticism. I have a great sympathy for that subject but my own knowledge of it is limited to older studies such as those by Jonas and Lacarriere, the Nag Hammadi scriptures, and Elaine Pagels. I actually wrote my History dissertation on the Serpent in Gnosticism and “real” Satanism.

    I haven’t read the second article yet but if I think of anything I’ll get back to you.

  3. S.

    12/06/2012 at 12:05 PM

    Alright, just found time…good god office jobs are boring.

    Not so crazy about the second article. It was very entertaining in a paranoid/lucid kind of way until it started talking about satanic ritual abuse and the sociopathic tendencies of Crowley. Considering that satanic ritual abuse has all but been proven to be mass hysteria, on par with witch trials, and that one of Crowley’s masterful holy books was taken completely out of context it lost me.

    I don’t know. Belief in ritual abuse can only cause harm and paranoia at this point. I’m “very deep” into the occult and Crowley among other things and have an infant daughter who I love and cherish. If that bothers anyone they can go fuck themselves.

    While certainly a rascal, Crowley was no scoundrel and had a higher sense of “morals” than many. Interpreting him or his works as “evil”, “violent”, or “dangerous” betrays a marked lack of scholarship and/or deeper understanding in the author whether they are a follower, critic, or member of the ignorati.

    Then again, on the Sirius article I mention this, I’m just now finishing “Masks of the Illuminati” which is about malefic preternatural beings and misinterpretations of Crowley. Perhaps it just tis’ the season.

  4. jp

    12/06/2012 at 1:54 PM

    Rockin’, thanks for taking the time to read. Yeah, I write on “Gnosticism”, though I’m of the opinion that there’s really no such beast, historically speaking. So I write on my own Gnostic system, over at my current site: http://jeremypuma.wordpress.com. It’s a little different than a lot of the ‘neognostic’ stuff you find out there– I try to cut through a lot of the namby-pamby bullshit as much as I can.

    The first series is me, the second is another guy named Jeff Wells. Come to think of it, I probably should have re-read that article and not included it, because it draws on a lot of stuff that was pretty pertinent at the time, but isn’t any more. So ignore it. 😉

    Anyhow, looking forward to the rest of the series. Cheers!

  5. S.

    12/07/2012 at 1:33 PM

    Neat website with some very cogent arguments. I can definitely relate to your “stay off my yard” sentiment. The most I know about neognosticism or Gnosticism outside of a “scholarly” light is when I’ve bought “The Gnostic” magazine whenever they run something by Alan Moore. And Philip K. Dick’s opinions on the matter; though I wouldn’t consider him as someone trying to live up to a tradition.

    Anyways, making your own system of belief is advised by pretty much every one of my idols, so sounds good to me! Thanks for the feedback.

  6. ND Melander

    12/22/2012 at 8:19 AM

    You will have to kill me because I lost interest in the show right after the murderer was found out. There were some interesting twists and visuals for a few shows after, but I just felt the fire died out. My own belief is that they should have pushed the idea that there was more than one murder even though seemingly unrelated. A disembodied killer that jumps bodies would be cool and yet they didn’t stick with the mystery elements that generated viewers. After the “murderer” was discovered the show started answering questions that were never asked. This is sort of opposite JJ Abrams and Chris Carter who write stories that build up questions that never get answered.

    • S.

      01/02/2013 at 11:56 AM

      Send me your address and we’ll get this over with.

  7. Shamus

    01/21/2013 at 2:45 PM

    I love your blog posts but could you please refrain from using the word “jipped” sometimes spelled “gyped”? Like many people you probably aren’t aware that it is an ethnic slur against the Romani people otherwise known as Gypsies. People use to say “jewed” with the same meaning but it’s much more visible to people why this is not an appropriate term.

    Thanks and blessed be.

    • S.

      01/22/2013 at 9:26 AM

      Thanks. I can’t edit anything that’s already been posted but I will keep that in mind in the future. As you guessed, I had no idea and I am embarrassed as I count etymology as one of my passions. I apologize.

  8. toadvine

    05/21/2013 at 5:03 AM

    Hi there,
    Thanks for the article, it was a terrific read. The mysticism of TP and FWWM has long been an obsession of mine as well. Thanks also for letting me know about the Mundy novel, you’ll have to excuse my ignorance of that.

    I’ve always thought (like the poster above) that the theories of Jacques Vallee, John A. Keel, Carl Jung, Jim Brandon and their ilk play a key role in understanding this whole thing. This becomes particularly apparent with the Project Blue Book stroyline. The constant use of fire and electricity, especially in FWWM is telling. If you go by Keel’s theories, these entities are electromagnetic in nature. UFO’s have been noted to follow power lines. The war-whoops issued from the MFAP in TP and down the electricity pole in FWWM seem to point to these being the methods by which these entities travel in modern times. They say certain Native American tribes tell of their adoption of the war-whoop from certain forest spirits/demons.

    These spirits can possess and they can manifest themselves into monstrous (Latin: monstrum; signifying a showing forth or a warning, usually of divine (or demonic) origin.) beings. The owls would seem to be these manifestations in the TP universe.

    Anthony Roberts and Geoff Gilbertson’s book “The Dark Gods” details the need for these entities to induce fear/pain as a form of nourishment.

    As for the identity of the Dugpas; I believe the Tremond/Chalfont couple are the key. They are the instigators and enablers of the Black Lodge. The boy (who looks like he is dressed as a cheap magician) shows us his magic trick with the Garmonbozia in TP. They give Laura Palmer her entry to the Black Lodge through the painting. More than one Chalfont occupied the trailer park space over time, which suggests that area is a “place of power” where manifestations occur. The old lady that appears at the door of Teresa Banks’ trailer is one of these and Carl recognises her for being what she is. Carl is obviously no stranger to these entities. They also have the same physicality outside of the Black Lodge. They are the active and unrepentant dugpas.

    The One Armed Man is the reformed dugpa. Especially as he tells of BOB being his familiar. It is the One Armed Man who chants out between two worlds and he removed his possessed arm for the sake of redemption.

    Thank you for your article and I hope I didn’t waffle on too much with my own crackpot ideas.

    • S.

      05/21/2013 at 8:37 AM

      Your theories don’t seem like “crackpot” ideas at all- or no more crackpot than my own! I enjoyed reading what you had to say very much. I personally feel that Vallee, Keel, and Jung (sorry, I don’t know Brandon) are all onto something about our reality in general. (RAW did as well- when reading his Cosmic Trigger: The Final Secret of the Illuminati I was impressed by how much deference he gave to Vallee.) The possibility that Twin Peaks was influence by or happens to fall in line with their theories is part of what makes it so interesting for me.

      I’ve always heard/read about Mrs. Tremond talked about as another Black Lodge spirit but I like your theory much better. The dugpas are able to disappear, transform, and possess people in Mundy’s novel so that would give some credence to your theory. What I want to know is what the occult significance of the Seinfeld episode “The Marble Rye” which has Mrs. Tremont, Dr. Hayward, and Sarah Palmer in it would be!

      Thanks for taking the time to share and if you have any other theories, say after reading “The Devil’s Guard,” let me know.

  9. Michael H

    12/26/2014 at 12:28 AM

    Thank you for the delicious article. I especially enjoyed the damn fine cup of coffee.

  10. Michael H

    12/26/2014 at 1:28 AM

    There are considered to be three Temples of Magic. The Black, the White and the Red. These correspond to the three schools of Tantra, the three phases of alchemy and the three pyramids of Egypt. These also correspond to three states of human consciousness/cognition. Essentially, we have the measurement of the triangle.

    There is argument over who originated Tantra. Was it the Buddhist’s Tibetan tradition? Or was it India’s Vedic tradition? There is, indeed, a difference between the two systems. If Lynch were aware of this symbolic correlation I suppose it would be quite obvious that his bet was on the Vedic tradition.

    Suffice it to say that there are three kinds of Magick being performed in Twin Peaks. (bear with my quotations) A ‘war’ between the ‘white’ and the ‘black’ ‘lodges’ fought on the ‘battlefield’ of the ‘red lodge.’ As you might expect, the Red Lodge is suffering the most from this war. But although it appears on the surface that it is an inactive participant — a victim — it can be quite apparent, given some extra care paid of attention, that the Red Lodge is actually the one waging the war.

    There is a buried concept, seemingly from ancient Babylon, known as the “Shells,” or “Qlipphoth [Hebrew]”. These “shells” are considered natural imbalances. They are, in a sense, best considered as genetic aberrations. Though no one can really agree on what they are it is widely agreed that they ought not even to be made mention of. If one must deal with such concepts one is to simply invoke the opposite of that which one finds as presenting itself. Much like one stooge knocking the heads of the other two together.

    What is being unfolded in the Twin Peaks series is a special formula of magick. This formula is that of the Holy Graal. In certain words, “It is the First of the Formulae, in a sense, for it is the formula of Renunciation. It is also the Last!” — Magick in Theory and Practice.

    Returning to the idea of Magick (as alluded to by the novel mentioned in this post as well as Cooper’s affinity with Tibet), it could be pointed out that the entire series starts with the ocean and the body of Laura. Furthermore, Laura is significant in that it is she that evokes Cooper’s presence. She does this by being linked to a previous cycle of death. Here we have it, Death Cycle, Woman and “exploration” or “investigation,” as implied by Cooper and the ocean.

    It is easily guessed that the Black Lodge would be resonant with the mysteries of death. The White Lodge would, in a sense, be concerned with the mysteries of light. The Red Lodge is reflective of the mysteries of generation. Laura is dead when the audience meets her. She was never alive as far as the viewer is immediately concerned. We later find out that she was willingly sexually objectified by certain sections of the population. Furthermore, she was also a helper of people in that same population (take Meals on Wheels, for instance). Thus we have three levels of “Laura.” Laura is a delineation of the magickal formula itself. She is also cognate with the concept, in magick, of the Scarlet Concubine.

    It was said many times in the show that Laura lived in multiple worlds. We can also observe her to lodge in multiple temples. For simplicity’s sake we may equate her with the middle; the Red Lodge. And how is it that Laura was supposed to achieve all of the things she did? Where did she get the time? It seems almost as though she would have had to have been in two places at once. Who is her darker haired living cousin? And most importantly, who invented the temples of magick and why are they warring in a small hill-top town?

    A dead girl with the reputation for being a prostitute. A small village where her body is buried. A veiled allusion to the Holy Graal. A point where the confluence of powerful agencies occurs. An emphasis on native (pagan) cosmology. Does this sound familiar? To me it sounds an awful lot like…

    The Mystery of Rennes le Chateau.

  11. Trichome

    07/17/2015 at 2:52 PM

    A few !!!!SPOILER!!!! thoughts to share (if anyone’s paying attention)


    One aspect of Twin Peaks genius: it was as if they wrote a synopsis, then buried key details – never revealing them.

    Wrapped In Plastic #9
    Mark Frost interview
    page 4:

    MF: “I was originally approached with doing a novel–my idea was to do a Twin Peaks book a la James Michner–go back and start with the geological formation of the peaks and the strange ELECTROMAGNETIC force that grew up between the mountains and how it oddly affected all the people in the area.”

    That ubiquitous truth predates everything we saw, and influenced every character in Twin Peaks throughout their lives.


    Imagine the Palmer family situation just before Laura’s death. That family could have broken and blown apart in another way. Say Leland got Laura pregnant. She has a son. The DNA test takes a few weeks (1990), but Leland is the father; so he’s off to prison, or death. Laura is alive, but her life is ruined, and she will soon be dead or become a heroin-addicted prostitute in a trailer park. Who takes the boy? His grandmother, Sarah.

    That is what the Tremond/Chalfonts of the world are: broken families, best characterized by the mystery of the family members they lack. The grandmother and grandson have the personal, secret knowledge of how a situation of paternal incest can turn out. That is why they understand Laura innately, to their souls. Laura was utterly transparent and tragic and fascinating to them – an echo of their lost daughter/mother.

    The grandson’s mask was a statement:

    “This is you in a mirror. I am wearing your face. What does your face look like?
    – You have no mouth with which to speak.
    – You have no eyes with which to see yourself or the truth.
    – You have a long nose, because you having been profoundly lying to yourself.
    – You have a cuckold’s horn on your forehead, because you are a victim of your father’s adultery.”

    Tremond aka Trimontaine is in the center of old Boston, original settlers territory. Chalfont, UK is where the Quakers came from, and Chalfont, PA is where they settled.

    Palmer was a term used to refer to Europeans who crusaded to their Holy Lands, and brought back palm fronds (as seen hanging on the Briggs’ dining room wall).

    Tremond, Chalfont, Palmer – Pilgrims all.


    Here’s what Gordon Cole meant by the blue rose:

    How did Dale’s unconscious solve the murder? Dreaming, he felt age-inappropriate lust for young Laura (as when he nearly slept with Audrey, which was how L&F wanted the scene, but ABC ruined what could have been).

    Ask yourself, what part of Laura’s blueish, blood-drained body would most resemble Lil’s rose?

    The indelicacy is why Agent Desmond couldn’t tell Agent Stanley about that. The detective has to learn to think like the killer, including all of his evil, immoral, indecent appetites.


    The answer to Laura’s murder was available from the very start.

    1) Put the name of the hero next to the name of the killer.

    Dale Leland


    Not quite a palindrome – but statistically impossible by accident (I’ve mailed Will Shortz for confirmation of the wordplay odds).

    2) dale and lea are synonyms for meadow in a valley.

    3) Fix the non-palindrome. Add the missing n.


    Because that doesn’t mean anything, it is not a palindrome. However, can you see the opportunity for another letter-reversed sequence?


    PCR DNA testing wouldn’t become widely available for investigative forensics until the mid-1990s. The previous test required larger, purer samples to analyze and took weeks to reach the result. DNA forensics were widely discussed in the popular press of 1986-88, related to two high-profile murder cases.

    If PCR had been available, Leland would have been revealed and the murder solved before Gordon Cole ever dispatched Agent Cooper to investigate.

    Dale would never even have had the chance to smell a Douglas fir or eat a slice of cherry pie.


    I believe there were three unmentioned murders predating Teresa’s. The letters N, O, and S would have been found under the fingernails of the victims, on the way to spelling Robertson backwards. Since the bodies were disposed of in water, that evidence was lost.

    Metaphorically, Teresa scratched her attacker and got Leland’s DNA under her fingernails. Agent Stanley put Teresa’s hand into the machine he used to solve the Whitman case. He was the first to discover the evidence of the letters identifying the killer.

    These events were written during the historical cusp of the transition in DNA forensics from inadequately primitive and rare, to becoming a robust tool at use in every case, regularly resulting in ironclad convictions.

    alt.tv.twin-peaks alumnus

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