Thursday, June 09, 1988
Big Muddy Monster sighted in Murphy
By David Hiser
Just when you feel like everything’s all right, it comes back.
Just when you feel like you’re safe walking through that wooded area in the full moonlight, there it is.
Yep, it’s the Return of the Big Muddy Monster.
“What was surprising to me was that it came right up behind the garage. It gave out a real high-pitched scream or bellow. Norman could make a sound like that.”
Bob Reiman was recounting the events of early Friday morning when the legendary monster reportedly made an appearance in his salvage yard on the north side of Murphysboro near the Missouri Pacific tracks just off Business Route 13.
Reiman had been called to the scene by security guard Charles Straub, who though [sp] there might be a prowler in the salvage yard. Reiman and Straub searched the yard for a while, then came upon whatever they said was an 8 to 10-foot tall creature covered with fur.
“Its eyes were red in the beam of the flashlight,” said Reiman. “And it had lots of teeth. They weren’t like fangs, they were just teeth. You could sure tell it hadn’t been using Polident.”
Reiman said the first thing he and Straub noticed was a strong odor. Then they heard a rustling in the treeline on the edge of the lot and saw the creature.
“When they called us about it, we thought they were joking,” said Joyce Tindall of Royalton. Joyce, Reiman’s sister said she had loaded up some toilet paper to pull a prank on Reiman if it turned out to be a joke.
“When we say [sp] Bob and Charlie’s faces, we knew it wasn’t any joke.” Joyce said she, Cheryl Reiman, and the rest of the group encountered the creature in the south portion of the salvage yard.
“When it stood up, I just couldn’t speak. Then it ducked back down and all these words just came out of my mouth.”
“It seemed to be making semi-circles around us like it was stalking us or checking us out. It seemed to be just as curious about us as we were about it.”
The night before, Mrs. Tindall said they had heard a loud slurping noise coming from the vicinity of the pan of water which the dog normally drank out of. The next morning, the pan was dry.
Tuesday, Reiman was spending all of his time on the phone in his garage, talking to reporters and other interested people.
“We didn’t want to report it to the police, because we thought we’d be ridiculed. Folks from the newspapers haven’t been like that, though. They seem to be genuinely interested in this thing.”
The weeds in the area show signs of being trodden down and a path leads to the low area next to the railroad embankment where what was claimed to be a footprint of the monster has now seeped full of water.
The tale of the Big Muddy Monster dates back to 1972.
The creature got its name because some of the first sightings were in the 20th Street area and near Riverside Park adjacent to the Big Muddy River which flows south of Murphysboro.
Some 21 persons had previously reported sighting the monster.
Police Chief Larry Tincher was quoted as saying, “Fortunately for the Murphysboro Police Department, the monster has stayed out of town.”