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01 Joe Poole made an agreement to pay Annabelle $500,000 to insure she stayed in business. Was Annabelle's disappearance prompted not by the death of the young men, but by a chance to walk away with that money? Was Joe Poole the chump/target all along? This solution is my personal favorite. I was not able to prove that Joe Poole made a contract with Annabelle, but I did find a record of the sale of the business: $500.000. If this represents Joe's note to Annabelle, the scenario makes a tight little circle. Joe would have figured to make quite a bit of money if he insured himself against Annabelle going out of business. But if she did go out of business (as she did), he would have no way to collect. Unless, of course, Annabelle gave him the business in exchange for his insurance contract. In this way, Annabelle might have been in the whole scheme just to "sell" a going business, and Joe might have been in it just to "get" one. This solution does not account for the deaths of the young men.
About the deaths, however, there is little to be said. A few weeks later, the ultimate victims appeared to have been forgotten--the first to swirl down the drain of forgetfulness, swamped by new chances for insuring against ill fortune, staying in the game.