Friends of SaddleBrooke Libraries

May Lecture Features Crime and Catastrophe in Tucson History

Author Patrick Whitehurst is the guest speaker at the FSL lecture on May 11.

Nancy McCluskey-Moore

On Thursday, May 11, at 4 p.m. in the DesertView Theater, Friends of SaddleBrooke Libraries (FSL) will host the last of its 2022-23 lecture series. Patrick Whitehurst will present “Murder and Mayhem in Tucson.”

Gun play, foul play, playing with fire—sunny Tucson has a dark side, pockmarked with murder and mayhem, and author Patrick Whitehurst hits the lowlights with this compendium of true crime and catastrophe. There’s something for everyone, from military misadventures such as the midair collision of World War II fighter bombers over Pantano Wash, to notable conflagrations that consumed civic landmarks such as the Tucson Opera House and the Pioneer Hotel, to 1983s deadly Tropical Storm Octave, which submerged homes, destroyed infrastructure, and injured nearly 1,000 people.

Many familiar, larger-than-life personalities put in an appearance, including Geronimo, Dillinger, Mafia boss Joe Bonanno, and Louise Marshall of Marshall Foundation fame who had the distinction of being both crime victim and perpetrator when she discovered her unfaithful husband had been trying to poison her with arsenic and shot him for his trouble.

Whitehurst, who writes both fiction and nonfiction, is the author of the Barker Mysteries novellas. He lives in Tucson, but previously lived in California. His nonfiction work includes the books Haunted Monterey County and Murder and Mayhem in Tucson. His stories range from true crime to thriller fiction reminiscent of Tales from the Crypt. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines, including Shotgun Honey, Pulp Modern, Hoosier Noir, and Switchblade Magazine. He’s been featured in the anthologies Bitter Chills, Wild Violence, and elsewhere.

This lecture is free for FSL members and $5 for nonmembers.

#How Do You Like Us Now?

Janet Fabio, director of SaddleBrooke Libraries (photo by John Faulkner)

John Faulkner

As we start 2023, the Friends of SaddleBrook Libraries are launching a yearlong campaign to raise awareness of our great three-library system and thus encourage SaddleBrooke residents to join the Friends of SaddleBrooke Libraries (FSL). FSL and the libraries work hand in hand.

From the FSL bylaws, the Purpose of FSL “shall be to provide funds for the needs of the libraries in the SaddleBrooke community.” Joining FSL will ensure the continued funding of the libraries and allow the libraries to continue to offer high-quality library services.

We will be doing a series of spotlight articles that answer the question #How Do You Like Us Now? These spotlight articles will show the SaddleBrooke community more about our libraries and how the volunteers make our three-library system one that is the envy of other over-55 communities. This month’s spotlight is on Janet Fabio, our director of SaddleBrooke Community Libraries. I met with Janet recently, and here is what I found out:

Janet came to SaddleBrooke with more than 30 years of experience working in and managing libraries in the Twin Cities area. She has a master’s degree in library science from the University of Minnesota. We were very lucky, because when she and her husband moved to SaddleBrooke full time in 2003, Janet stepped up to volunteer to coordinate the existing libraries and plan the DesertView Library.

So, what does a director of SaddleBrooke Community Libraries do you ask? It is more like, what doesn’t she do? I asked her for a list of her duties, and she gave me a full-page listing of what she does. I will try to hit the main ones here.

As all library materials such as books, audio books, and DVDs are purchased with grant funds from FSL, she prepares the grant requests for each of the libraries. These grants make sure the 78 library managers and volunteers have the resources they need to provide the best library services possible in our community.

The library director provides overall direction for the entire three-library system. She works behind the scenes as a coordinator between the three libraries, working closely with the library managers.

She chairs the Library Management Committee, which sets library policies and provides direction for library operations.

In addition to serving on the FSL Board, Janet is also the key contact person for the two HOAs regarding any library issues, activities, or information.

Because of her library degree and professional experience, Janet is an invaluable asset of our library system and, as such, makes the challenge of fundraising through FSL a much easier task.

Since FSL provides the funding for the libraries, we can point to our great libraries as the reason why the SaddleBrooke community should consider joining the Friends of SaddleBrooke Libraries through their new or ongoing membership or donation.

So, you can see that FSL and the libraries work closely together. FSL works hard to raise the funds, and Janet and her great group of volunteers take those funds and make sure the library services offered are first-rate and up to date.

We would like to encourage SaddleBrooke residents to become members of Friends of SaddleBrooke Libraries so that we can continue to offer you top-notch library services. Go to for more information.

If you have never come into any of the three libraries in SaddleBrooke, drop by, get registered, and give them a try.

Find out more about genealogy from the Genealogy Collection at DesertView Library.

Access the great books you always meant to read from the Pulitzer Prize Collection at the SaddleBrooke One Library.

Drop in on your way to dinner at the Cholla Library and take advantage of their no-check-out Honor System.

And after you have tried us, you can answer the question, #How Do You Like Us Now?