Rachel Crook was the daughter of a Confederate General, a spinster. She opened Chapel Hill's first automatic laundry right there at the curb, at the end where there is a curve. Well, I think, it might have been right after World War II. Rachel sold fish and pecans from her grandfather's farm down in Alabama, remnants, and have washed her seams in there.

And I guess on Labor Day weekend in 1951 or 1952, she was very viciously kidnapped and murdered. That was in an old filling station. She barely got on off and they took off the entry to it, the filling station entry, because all the gasoline stations used to have two pillars out in front and you just drive in right out the front door. Well, that's where Rachel's place was.

Roland Giduz

I decided I wanted to open a restaurant of my own, so I leased a space. It was a condemned building. It was called Crook's Corner because there was a woman who had a fish market there, and in 1951 she was brutally murdered. She was abducted from the fish market and taken out old 86 toward Hillsborough, and they could hear her screaming...

They came and ate there, they just didn't necessarily come back because we weren't a very good restaurant.

Anyway, it was a bulldozer driver for a construction company in Durham, one of the biggest in the world at the time. They considered him such a valuable bulldozer driver they got him a good lawyer and he got off. That's the story.

So I opened a restaurant with my partner Ray Wittenburgh called Crook's Corner Barbecue. Everybody said that it was such a bad part of town, that it was just winos. Nobody would ever come eat there. Well, they came and ate there, they just didn't necessarily come back because we weren't a very good restaurant.

Anyway, after I gave it up, I turned it over, Bill Neal and Gene Hamer took it over and they've run an incredibly successful, popular restaurant ever since.

Cam Hill