Flowers for Dana

Denise Tanaka

A true crime story pulled from the headlines of 70 years ago.

On Mother’s Day 1949, someone killed a high school girl in a church kitchen. The janitor found her body the next morning…. brutally beaten… strangled… lying in a pool of blood.
Baffled police got an anonymous phone tip to go ask her classmate Lee Goode Scott, an Eagle Scout who sang in the church choir. Officers went to the school and called him to the principal’s office. The minute they saw the scratches and deep cut on his face, they knew they had their man.

So began the saga of a notorious, sensational crime that shattered the hearts of post-war Roanoke, Virginia.

Here, for the first time, is the story behind the headlines. Voices from the past speak again in their own words—including the victim’s mother and the killer himself—from personal letters archived with government documents for more than 60 years. This in-depth account explores the human aspect of what happened and asks the difficult question: Can a wounded community make peace with their anguished past?

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