In the days following Beth’s disappearance, Greg Nicholas experienced a major misadventure. On Christmas Eve, he hit a moose and totaled his car. Who could have guessed that a large ruminant would be involved in the destruction of evidence? Hint: Anyone who lives in Alaska.
In interviews, meanwhile, Greg continued to insist that he had not seen nor picked up Beth after stopping at her house on December 22nd. But there were problems there too. Greg waivered on some things. Was that the alcohol talking? Or something more insidious.
INTERVIEW (cont.): Greg Nicholas, December 26, 1971; AST Investigator Benson (excerpts)
“I drove to Kenai on Friday night [December 24] with Elsie Young, Tessi Young and Dave Young. We left Anchorage at 7:30 pm, stopped at the Bird House* for a few drinks. At Mile 81 of the Sterling Highway (five miles from Naptowne), I struck a moose. Troopers did not come. A state highway man came. The state man towed it, the car, to Naptowne.”
“I don’t think I went to the shop [Fly-By-Night] to see Dave. I really got drunk.”
“Ron [Broughton, Greg’s cousin] said he was going to a bar downtown. He did not use my car.”
“The last time I saw Beth was at her house. I have not seen her since. I do not know anyone else who saw her.”
“Jack [Beth’s father] told me early Thursday that Beth was missing. [She disappeared on Wednesday.] I don’t know anyone who would have harmed her. I don’t know anyone that went and picked Beth up at her house. I did not drive south of Klatt Rd. on December 22, 1971. I did not pick up Beth along the road or at any place on December 22, 1971.”
Klatt Rd. in relation to McHugh Creek & van Zanten House
* The Bird House was a ramshackle legend of a bar along Seward Highway, south of Anchorage. Its floors were permanently slanted, the result of having survived the 1964 earthquake, which put it on about a 10 degree angle. Visiting patrons pinned panties, paper notes and sundry items to its walls in tribute to its tilted charm. It was as Alaska as it gets. It didn’t survive the ’90’s; an electrical fire burned it to the ground.
Bird House @ Bird Creek
Purchase Butcher, Baker