Did A Real Life Crime Inspire David Lynch? Read The Preface To “Twin Peaks – The True Story”

Twin Peaks: The True Story

“One horrible nightmare ended a young woman’s innocent life, and forever changed another.” With permission of the author, Welcome to Twin Peaks presents the complete preface to Harry E. “Buzz” Teter’s book Twin Peaks: The True Story, released on April 9 2015 and available as eBook and paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

This book tells the story of one man’s thirty-year search for answers to questions about who murdered his girlfriend in a brutal and devastating way. His questions burned, and memories haunted him. Who murdered Nancy Easton? Who hid the truth? Who knew the truth, but wouldn’t or couldn’t ever tell it? Did Hollywood happen upon this story long ago? Why did it end the way it did, and was justice truly served? The author wants you to decide in his touching and poignant memoir spanning decades.



For 40 years I’ve played the “What If” game. If I’d done things differently, would my girlfriend still be alive? What did I do so wrong that caused a beautiful young girl to lose her life in an extremely violent manner? Well, after 40 years, you come to find that some questions just don’t have answers. You make yourself crazy thinking about it. That old axiom, “Time heals all wounds,” is total B.S. Time might take the rough edges off, but that’s about it.

This is the true story of the violent murder of a young woman in Twin Peaks, California, in the 1970s. It’s also a story that has been an albatross around my neck for the last 40 years. The impact of the murder has had far-reaching effects on my life, good and bad. Mostly bad. The two worst are developing a lifelong “fuck it” attitude, and consuming large amounts of alcohol. More on that later in the story.

When I first watched David Lynch’s Twin Peaks on TV, it was like a knife stab to the gut. I had spent many years trying to ease the memory of what happened that winter night so long ago. Then comes along a friggin’ TV show, opening up all the old scars. My wife, Debi, really liked the show, as did my son, Bryan, so I was stuck with it playing in the house. I ignored it, but it was impossible not to pick up bits and pieces. After a while, I was convinced Mr. Lynch had gotten his idea for the show from the real murder mystery that happened several years prior in a small, ex-mill town in the mountains of Southern California.

Here’s how I think it happened. David Lynch lived in Los Angeles from 1971 to 1979 – the same years the murder and following investigation took place. The type of Hollywood people Mr. Lynch would associate with are the same people who have hideaway vacation homes in nearby Lake Arrowhead. Lake Arrowhead is a mountain community in the San Bernardino National Forest comprising a mosaic of small towns, with Twin Peaks being one of them. The area, only one-and-a-half hours away from Hollywood, has long been the refuge for celebrity types looking for a quick escape from the killer pace of movie-making. Many big-name stars, producers and writers have owned homes in the area since the 1930s, when Noel Coward first set up shop there. I don’t know if Mr. Lynch ever owned a home at Lake Arrowhead, but he undoubtedly had friends who did…friends who lent their homes to friends for weekend stays.

Also during this time, the commander of the Sheriff’s substation was a guy named Ken Blackwell. Ken would know the particulars concerning the murder since it happened on his turf. It was well-known in town that Ken was a major league suck-up when it came to visiting celebrities. It’s very possible that Ken leaked details of the crime to Mr. Lynch or one of his friends.

One other thing tells me Mr. Lynch was familiar with the Lake Arrowhead/Twin Peaks area. In 1985 or ‘86, Mr. Lynch pitched a movie project to Dino De Laurentiis just before he went out of the movie-making business. Not much is known about the project, other than that it was a mystery story. The name of it was “Up at the Lake.” Anybody in the movie business from Hollywood asks you, “Where you been?” and you answer, “Up at the Lake,” they know you mean Lake Arrowhead.

So, let’s take a look at the similarity of the fictional TV show and the real murder. Obviously, we’ll start with the town itself. The fictional Twin Peaks is a mill town situated in a mountainous, forested area. The real Twin Peaks was a mill town up until 1956. Many parts of the Dexter Mill exist to this day. The town is in a mountainous, forested area.

Next up would be the age of the victims and how they died. In the TV series, Laura Palmer is 19. She was raped and stabbed to death. In the real murder, the victim had just turned 20. She was raped and stabbed to death. In both cases, real and fictional, the women were Homecoming Queens, very attractive, very independent.

As to “One-eyed Jacks, the lodge across the lake,” Lake Arrowhead had its own Lodge. Opened in 1923, Lake Arrowhead Lodge was of Norman-style architecture and was situated on the lake shore…just like the fictitious “One-eyed Jacks.” During prohibition in the 30s, it was a hotbed of illegal boozing and prostitution. If Mr. Lynch stayed on the north shore of Lake Arrowhead, which is where all the celebrities’ homes are, the Lake Arrowhead Lodge would have been referred to by the locals as “The Lodge across the lake.” It was torn down in 1976 to make way for the new Lake Arrowhead Village.

As to the crazy characters depicted in the TV series, Lake Arrowhead certainly had more than its fair share. Still does today, though I can’t say we had a Log Lady. Lake Arrowhead and Twin Peaks in the ‘70s were exactly those kinds of small towns that Mr. Lynch would love to dissect. There was just so much material there to work with.

Last but not least, drug use. Both the fictional and the real victim used drugs. A lot. In the series’ investigation, one of Laura’s friends, Jacques Renault, is identified as a drug dealer. In the real life story, one of the victim’s friends is identified by police as a drug dealer. So, are all these similar incidences coincidence?

I think not. I can’t say this is where David Lynch definitely came up with the story, but the similarities are compelling. I will stand by the facts as I’ve written them. I think the best thing to do is let the reader decide.

This is also the story of a bungled police investigation by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and how that institution used its authority to protect its reputation once it discovered how badly it had screwed up.

My big problem was I could never stop thinking about it. Over time that preoccupation paid off when I eventually uncovered a nest of monsters that had been living right in front of everybody involved…the whole time.

The albatross around my neck got a whole lot lighter when the monster who murdered my girlfriend died a miserable, lingering, cancerous death. I think writing about what happened will be cathartic and help remove the rest of the leftover weight.



Nancy, it’s been 40 years. It’s time to tell your story.


Harry E. “Buzz” Teter


Twin Peaks: The True Story, available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Twin Peaks: The True Story

NOTE: In a conversation with the author, Welcome to Twin Peaks pointed out to Mr. Teter that the scripts for the TV show were co-written by David Lynch and Mark Frost. Further, that Mark Frost drew inspiration from a real life crime story that unfolded while he was growing up. The author acknowledges that, and has no doubt that the two creative minds at work collaborated on the creation to make into the brilliant product it became. No slight to Mr. Frost’s contributions was intended.

The author’s sole intent was to share the story of Nancy Easton’s murder and honor her memory in his own way. He never claims, then or now, to be an expert on the TV show Twin Peaks.  When Ms. Easton was murdered, Mr. Frost would have been approximately eleven years old. However, Mr. Lynch was already an adult living in southern California. Mr. Teter’s opinion remains that the similarities to this murder may have influenced Mr. Lynch. The author has faith that, after reading the book, readers’ will be capable of discerning and recognizing these similarities to decide on their own.

Questions to the author can be posted below or on the book’s Facebook page.

Written by Pieter Dom

Founder and curator of Welcome to Twin Peaks since 2011. Bobsessed since March 1991.


Share your thoughts
  1. As far I remember Laura Palmer was only 17 years old at the time of her death. It is very sad story but also beautiful that someone still remember and thinks about the victim after so many years.

  2. this says it’s a true story when it absolutely has a lot of false things being said in it and he had no right to use the bunny named he needs to take my brother’s name out of his book of BS

    • Jayni Bundy was a little girl living 80 miles away from Twin Peaks when this happened, and has no first hand information. Her info comes from Joanne Bundy who was a minor player in this tragedy.The only thing I have to say about Mrs.Bundy William Congreve said best. ‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’.

    • Karen, my name is Michael O’Connor. I was with your cousin Nancy, BuzzTeter, Dick Reynolds, and Chris Davis on Saturday the 2nd of March. None of what Teter wrote is true. Nothing! My friends gave Teter a ride home on March 5th around 11:00pm. A lot of other info has been relayed to the SB County Sheriff. Interviews have been given or will be in the near future. I hope we can help bring justice for Nancy.

    • This man Harry Teter is the probable murderer of my cousin. My Aunt always believed that he did.
      His parents sent him to Mexico, to be a drunk I guess, right after the murder.
      I deeply resent that my cousins murder will support him for the rest of his worthless life.

      • Karen. Go to the National Smokejumper Association’s website. Click on ‘Jump list’ and enter my last name-Teter. Base jumped out of-Redding.It show that I jumped for 6 years, just like in the book. The U.S Forest Service Smokejumper unit only takes the very best wildland firefighters. You have to of been a firefighter for many years before they will even look at you. Then take a trip to your local FBI office and file a FOIA request concerning my security clearances. Years 1986 to 1989, the time I worked for the DOD at Kwajalien, Marshall Islands.They won’t give you much info, but they will confirm that I had TOP SECRET security clearances during that time. Just like in the book. Pretty good for a drunk living on the beach in Mexico! I have always felt very bad for Nancy’s family, but like Joanne Bundy, they are sadly misinformed.

      • Karen, my name is Michael O’Connor. I was with your cousin Nancy, BuzzTeter, Dick Reynolds, and Chris Davis on Saturday the 2nd of March. None of what Teter wrote is true. Nothing! My friends gave Teter a ride home on March 5th around 11:00pm. A lot of other info has been relayed to the SB County Sheriff. Interviews have been given or will be in the near future. I hope we can help bring justice for Nancy.

      • Karen, the SB County Sheriff has been updated with information debunking every alibi Teter has given so far. As of March of ‘22 interviews have taken place with cold case detectives. Hopefully your cousin Nancy will get the justice she deserves.

        • Wow Oakie, Talk about the kettle calling pot Black. Everyone knows you murdered Karen so you could get the Deer Lodge House back. And all evidence points to JB being your accomplice. Yea, you got away with it, but we all know.

          • Glad you replied Buzz. Dick told me by phone on March 21, 2022 that your were not with him fixing your Cruiser at his house the evening of March 5, 1974 like you told the cops and me. Your Cruiser was broken down in Blue Jay at the gas station. He told me you were in the guest bedroom on March 6, 1974 in the early morning after sneaking in, taking a shower, changing clothes, and fixing food. At least he has a conscience. You may have controlled him enough back in 1974 to make him lie and eat a shit sandwich, but I really doubt he still enjoys the taste. By you replying to this Nancy will now be in your head. Be careful she is pissed. A broken femur and cardiac arrest is only her beginning.

          • Danny & Cindy gave their statement to Detective Eric Ogaz. You were given a ride to the Twin Peaks house you shared with Nancy on March 5, 1974 around 11:00pm by them. Dick told Karla the whole story about the murder one night. She told Karen and me. I didn’t want to believe it. I forgot about the whole thing but then you had a brainiac idea to write a book. Nancy is glad you did. So is her brother Eric.

          • Remember when you told me you “drilled holes in the kitchen floor to make the house burn hot and quick.” I do. I remember really well.

          • Your alibi in your book is that your needed to stay at Dick’s house on the night of the murder. Why? Is it impossible to drive through Twin Peaks on the way to San Berdo? But then your story gets better much better. So 30 minutes after the first alarm Deputy Bill Holloway called Dick’s house to alert you your house was on fire. Really. Deptuty Holloway knew where you were? How? Please explain. Oh I know The deputy always kept tack of you every moment of every day. Is that your asinine story now?

          • Good try Oakie. The biggest problem with your story is: YOU WHERE NOT THERE. You were in the navy when this happened, stationed on San Nichols Island. This is easily provable from Navy records. You also told Dick that that was where you were that night. Dick also told me that he said nothing even near to what you are claiming. He simply told you the truth. I hope that you and Danny and Cindy really did give this “New” information to the cops. You can be prosecuted for lying to the cops.

  3. “probable” then “always believed” then “his worthless life”

    Look, I don’t know really anything about this book or story past what I’ve just read on this site, and I don’t know you, or Jayni, but I feel so badly for the pain you’ve all experienced.

    I can’t help but wonder – and I mean no offense here, this is just a thought – if the man who wrote this book was not the one who did the crime, then he suffered very very greatly, and these are very strong comments you’ve made against someone who is possibly feeling close to the same thing you are, possibly more, given his relationship with the victim.

    If he did not do the crime, then these kinds of accusations that are prefaced by the admittance that you don’t know for sure if he did it, are far more devastating than you might be aware – and in a public forum no less.

    All I know is if my girlfriend was murdered and our/her home was burned down and the case was not solved I would want to be drunk for a very long time because I don’t think I could cope or even continue in a healthy manner.

    I just would like to say that – and again, I’m so sorry for your loss – all of your loss.

  4. Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog jump out. Please let me know where you got your theme. Many thanks

  5. This book was very disappointing … glad I only paid $3.99 for it on my Kindle. All this seemed to be about was Teter’s work history. Where are the explanations for the similarities that were list in the 1st few pages of the book which compared this to the TV series?????

  6. The idea that the author could Jane made a difference. .. had he done something different. …. is preposterous and self condemning.

    This is God’s world. ..

    I had a lesson in the miniscule difference that we can make to God’s plan. …

    I have rescued many birds from death by falling from the nest. … and then. ..i spent some time in prison.

    I was a “fix your problems” person, before that… my son, when i returned home, had some serious issues that i thought i could fix. … God said “no”.

    ….. one day. .. there was a thump on my roof. .. and i went outside on my porch to discover that a bird had fallen from its nest in a tree above my roof and fallen. … with many bounces. .. to my patio.

    I rescued it.

    I brought it into my house and feed it through an eyedropper for two weeks.

    It’s mother appeared on the talking of my porch. .. aware that her baby was in there.

    I decided that the thing to do was to return the chick to its mother. …. she knew better how to raise it than i did! So i did.

    The next morning i was awakened to the dogs of birds frantically squawking and came out of my front door. … just in time to see a squirrel. … eating the chick in my driveway!

    Mom didn’t do so good!

    I decided, that my intervention was wrong. … even though it had danged the lives of many birds before. …
    So. . When two days later. ..i found another. .. much younger. .. bird on my porch. ..i investigated and found a nest in my patio overhang that it had come from. ….. .i put it back in the nest. … thinking that was the best thing to do.
    The next morning, it was on the patio again. …i put it back. .. again. …. the next day. … it was on the patio again. …. dead.

    I climbed up to look in the nest. .. and there was another, smaller chick on the nest. … barely alive.

    I realized them that mom had died. … and the chicks were starving!

    So i took this third one. .. into my house and feed and nursed it to health. …

    I flew around my house for several weeks and then went outside. ….
    With no exposure to the truth of nature. … it died the first time that it left my protection.

    The story of the the birds. .. was God’s way off preparing me for the suicide of my son. …. no matter what i did. ….all three birds died. … so did Travis…
    i…. as a man. … have no power over life and death. ….. only God does!

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