Alan Prendergast, Denver Westworld: John Francis Beech had a date with destiny last summer. He counted down the days on a calendar in his garage, crossing out each day leading to the final Sunday in July, on which he’d scrawled the word “OUT.” But first he had one last bit of business, one final appointment to keep.
On July 17, Beech, a 53-year-old retired Coors manager, drove to Laradon Hall in north Denver. He’d called a few days earlier to arrange a meeting with Annie Green, the acting director of Laradon, a nonprofit that operates an alternative school and other programs for people with developmental disabilities. Beech had never met Green, but he explained on the phone that he was planning to leave his entire estate to Laradon. He was a member of a local Elks club, he added, which had adopted Laradon as its primary charity.
Green readily agreed to see him. But then she was unexpectedly called away by a death in her family. Although she tried to cancel all her appointments, Beech showed up on July 17 anyway. He handed a large white envelope to the receptionist and asked that it be delivered to Green.
Laradon’s director found the envelope in her mailbox when she returned to work four days later. On the back, in handwritten block letters, were six words: WAIT UNTILL YOU HEAR FROM CORONER. And below that, in parentheses: PLEASE DONT CALL EVERYTHING IS OK.