CRACKING THE HONEYCUTT THREE

BONNIE CHEN

Living in Philadelphia, Bonnie a freelance writer/blogger, hosts a true crime podcast called “Last Seen.” Each season she dissects one unsolved missing persons case. Though her exuberance may come off as flippant and caustic to some, her enthusiasm is sincere. As she prepares to record season three, Bonnie goes outside her safety zone and tries something new.

THE TOWNIES

IDA HEARTSTARK

Nearing retirement, Ida can boast of a barrier-breaking career as she is the first and only female to ever be voted into office of sheriff in Honeycutt County. She also happens to be the first black person to be given that station, which serves as a unifying and simultaneously contentious factor in the town’s politics. Honest and genuine, a salt-of-the-earth woman who, after decades of struggling against the ways of the world, has learned to appreciate life and all the flaws and follies therein. An inch away from retirement, Ida often finds herself considering her legacy. She’s much loved by the residents and enjoys a familiar relationship with her constituents, but over her long career she has watched Honeycutt deteriorate from a booming, middle-class coal town to a desolate drug-addled red light district, all while on her watch.

TARIQ

A dreamer, a hustler, a man meant for greater things than a place like Honeycutt can offer, Tariq hopes to one day make his way to Philadelphia and open up his own street-wear shop. An artist and designer, Tariq was born in New York to immigrant parents, his father from Pakistan and his mother from Puerto Rico, a truly American story. As a young child his family moved to Honeycutt to escape escalating drug violence in the big city, only to have the same issues follow them. Though he and his sister Kat have always stood out in the comfortably racist Honeycutt, it nonetheless is their home. 

Cindy Hill

Anna Hill’s older half-sister, Cindy never had to deal with the harassment that biracial Anna did when they were younger. Though she did her best to stick up for her sister with the neighborhood bullies, to protect her, for years Cindy has blamed herself for Anna’s disappearance. 

Kat

Tariq’s older sister, Kat has given up any desire to escape her small town years ago. She still runs her father’s liquor shop in town. Though it barely makes any money, she enjoys the perks of accessing her own stock whenever she wants. 

Akia Dupree

Sharla’s younger sister, Akia has never given up hope of finding her sister. She’s so dedicated to finding answers, in fact, she never changed her sister’s bedroom. Now, so many years later, after the grandmother who raised them has long passed away, Akia is married and expecting a new child and wants nothing more than to settle this old mystery and put her sister to rest.

Kayla Trout

Mitzie Jackson’s best friend at the time the teenager went missing in 1987, Kayla was the first person to figure out something was wrong, and the only person to alert the authorities. Kayla and Mitzie had known one another since kindergarten and lived rather parallel lives, trapped in the genetic spiral of abuse, addiction and poverty. Through the haze, they found one another for support. Kayla remains the only person left in the world who cares about what happened to Mitzie Jackson.