Can You Keep Up With Pat Spain?
Fair warning: You’ll need serious stamina to retrace the investigations this biologist-explorer undertakes for the first season of Legend Hunter. Pat might even have more time on the road than he does in the lab (and we love him for it).
Jack the Ripper Museum, London
Pat begins his acquaintance with the Ripper’s crime spree in East London, where curator Patricia Knox introduces visitors to newspaper clippings from the 1880s. The museum gives the murders context by telling their story from the victims’ perspectives — a sobering and unforgettable series of tales.
Hot on Jack the Ripper’s terrifying trail, Pat heads to a port town in Kent to take a closer look at a letter penned by the notorious killer. Lost to historians for more than half a century, the missive just might reveal the fiend’s identity once and for all.
The River Thames, London
Three thousand years old and ever-changing, London presents a new face to everyone who visits it. The Thames, on the other hand, has been untouched for a century — and it buries and preserves artifacts. Pat receives special permission to join a historian along its banks in search of evidence from crimes long past.
Lake Cahuilla, California
Pat joins geologist Eric Drummond to inspect the Tufa line — that is, a formation that indicates the former waterline of Lake Cahuilla, a massive body that once filled southern California’s Imperial Valley. Did this desert really swallow a massive Spanish galleon hundreds of years ago?
Salton Sea, California
If there is treasure from an ancient expedition to be found in the desert, hopeful hunters need to go high-tech. Pat boards an airboat to join a robotics expert in hopes of using a remotely-operated vehicle to get to the bottom of the mystery (and the Salton Sea).
A Swedish rancher named Nels Jacobson once unearthed a chest that might have been part of the California desert’s legendary Spanish treasure. Pat and his team inspect the site: Could the barren land be coaxed into regurgitating its fortune?
Palm Springs, California
Pat hops into a helicopter to head down to the California-Mexico border, where petroglyphs dating back to the early 1600s depict what appears to be a massive ship. It’s a strong lead — and following it proves dangerous, given the unpredictability of local sand storms.
North Shore Yacht Club, Salton Sea, California
Built in 1959, this modernist resort once played host to Marilyn Monroe and the Beach Boys. Like the mysterious galleon Pat tracks across California, it fell victim to the desert’s capriciousness.
Pat travels to the heart of dairy country in search of the Beast of Bray Road, a wolflike creature encountered a whopping 31 times between 1989 and 2006. Bears and wolves are thought to have cleared out of the area long ago — but the eyewitnesses Pat interviews leave little doubt that something has decided to pay special attention to this farmland.
Walworth County, Wisconsin
Lee Hampel, the owner of this farm, tells Pat he saw the Beast of Bray Road just a few months ago. Infrared cameras and painstaking surveillance just might provide support for this persistent local legend (which means, of course, that it’s camping time for Pat).
Kettle Moraine State Forest, Wisconsin
The Beast of Bray Road would have a hard time finding cover near its namesake thoroughfare, which is a mere four miles long and situated in open farmland between interstates. Wooded areas like this one, on the other hand, are well suited to large creatures — and sure enough, Pat finds unusual tracks there.
Bray Road, Wisconsin
Could the werewolf-like creature reported so consistently in this area be a better-known species transformed by a debilitating disease? Do we know as much about the wilderness surrounding us as we think we do? Pat walks the road himself to consider the Beast — and arrives at an intersection of legend and science.
Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum, Fall River, Massachusetts
Believe it or not, visitors can lounge and even sleep in the very rooms where Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother were murdered. Pat doesn’t settle in for the evening — but he does wonder if the Borden murders might have been the first tragedies in a series of connected killings at the end of the 19th century.
New Bedford Courthouse, New Bedford, Massachusetts
Pat revisits the Bristol County courthouse where, in 1893, Lizzie Borden was found innocent. She was suspected of murder because she stood to gain the most from her father and stepmother’s deaths. Pat has a few theories about other family and friends that he needs to investigate before making up his mind.
The so-called Irish Crown Jewels were a symbol of England’s dominion — and for more than a century, no one has known where they are. Pat dives into — and beneath — Dublin to find out what really happened to them.
Dublin Castle, Dublin
Pat visits the supposedly secure library in Dublin Castle where a locked safe once held the Irish Crown Jewels. A series of underground tunnels links buildings all over Dublin, and it’s entirely possible that one of the prime suspects in the jewels’ heist used it to enter and leave that library undetected.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Though many of us associate vampires with Europe, superstitions (and grisly practices) associated with them made their way to America hundreds of years ago. Pat, in turn, makes his way to the Big Easy, a city that 50 modern-day vampires now call home.
Martha Dwight was the married daughter of Belchertown’s Congregational minister. She was also one of one of the first Americans suspected of being a vampire, and Pat visits her 230-year-old gravesite to find out just how far her father and his flock went to prevent her from doing them harm.
San Francisco, California
Many of us roll our eyes at the idea that clandestine organizations target private citizens and attempt to control their minds, but decades ago, the CIA attempted to do just that. Pat visits the home at 225 Chestnut Street where government officials and their operatives dosed unsuspecting citizens with LSD.
Pat calls Chicago the "epicenter" of American mind-control stories because of its high concentration of "targeted individuals" (that is, people who believe they are unwilling participants in secret government programs). Most of them are unwilling to meet with him in person, but he finds a willing interviewee — and visits a shop that specializes in technology to counteract attacks like the one he describes.