New documentary focuses on 30-year-old Wilmington murder
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The creator of a new documentary is aiming to shine a light on a 30-year-old Wilmington murder of a lesbian woman in February of 1990, saying he wants to tell her personal story, not just what was reported decades ago.
For the past 15 years, social worker Tab Ballis has been creating a documentary film about the murder of Talana Kreeger called, “The Park View Project.”
“It struck me at the time that there was very little information about the victim, Talana Kreeger, about who she was,” Ballis says. “There were virtually no photos of her.”
The film is named after the bar where the 32-year-old was last seen alive, a building on Carolina Beach Road now occupied by The Dubliner.
“The bar was closing, the women were going to go to Hardee’s restaurant afterwards,” Ballis says. “The trucker asked if he could join them.”
Ballis says that trucker, Ronald Thomas, offered to driver Kreeger. During the ride, the conversation turned to Kreeger’s sexuality. The two never made it to Hardee’s.
“He, and this is the kindest way to put it, he manually eviscerated her with his bare hands and dragged her bleeding body into the woods where she bled to death in the cold,” Ballis says.
Ballis believes Kreeger’s case was treated differently in the media and in the public because she was a lesbian.
Thomas is serving two life sentences for her murder, but Ballis says he was not charged harshly enough.
“People ask sometimes, ‘Is a 30-year-old murder still relevant?’ I think it very much is because sadly, 30 years later, North Carolina still does not have hate crime protections for LGBTQ people,” Ballis says.
“The Park View Project” will premiere February 22nd at 7 p.m. at the Church of the Good Shepherd, the only church at the time that would host Kreeger’s funeral.
Ballis will be live in our studio Monday on Good Evening Wilmington to talk about his film.
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