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Read the Strib’s Painful, Powerful Feature on the Death of Heather Mayer

Plus Leeann Chin's celeb connections, punks from the past, and Lowry Hill Meats closes in today's Flyover.

Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune|

Tracy Dettling holding a photo of her daughter Heather Mayer.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

You Don't See Articles Like This Every Day

At the risk of over-flattering our buddy, we'll go ahead and say the Star Tribune's Andy Mannix just delivered a master class in longform journalism with his sprawling, heartbreaking, gut-wrenching, and maddening feature on the death of Minnesota woman Heather Mayer. In over 10,000 words, Mannix introduces readers to Mayer, her menacing BDSM partner, and the hundreds of questions that still linger four years after she was found dead in a dungeon-like South St. Paul basement amid "chains, sex toys, a whip, an empty tequila bottle and a polka-dot party hat."

Initially considered a suicide, Mayer's cause of death in now listed as “undetermined," and her mother, Tracy Dettling, embarked on a quest to reveal what really happened to the "country girl" whose hard life met a sorrowful end. As the facts trickle in, other women impacted by Mayer's partner, Ehsan Karam, reveal the nightmares that occurred inside 225 Richmond St. W., and their fears about the man who allegedly orchestrated them. “He’s going to do this again,” one woman says. “I know that he is.” With its rigorous reporting, unflinching storytelling, and surplus empathy, the article Mannix produced is consummate must-read material. Spend a half hour with it this evening. It'll stick with you much, much longer.

The Story Behind the Leeann Chin Empire Includes… Sean Connery?

You probably know fast-casual chain Leeann Chin for its cheap lo mein, crispy cream cheese wontons, and plentiful fried rice. But before it became a 40+ location regional empire, Leeann Chin was a mom, an immigrant, and an entrepreneur. Though she died in 2009, her daughter Katie Chin continues to share her mom’s story, from emigrating from China, to starting a Chinese catering service in her 40s, to rubbing elbows in the ‘80s with the likes of Carl Pohlad, Robert Redford, and Sean Connery. "Sean Connery was exactly as you'd imagine,” says Chin of serving the O.G. James Bond at a party. “He was just so handsome and tall and he turned around and he was like, 'Nice dumplings.'" They must have been nice; Connery and Pohlad both invested in her business shortly after, which she sold to General Mills in 1988. You can read more about her story in this lovely profile from WCCO.

Let’s Watch a Bunch of Local Punk Videos From the Past

Over at 89.3 the Current, sometime Racket contributor Ali Elabbady has a nice feature on Dan Zimmerman, the Minneapolis scene veteran who filmed countless punk and hardcore shows in the ’90s and ‘00s. Zimmerman, who now lives in Brazil, has a YouTube channel called 25 Years After, where he posts many of these videos—you guessed it—25 years after they happened. (Usually, at least. Says Zimmerman, “I try my best to post it on the anniversary date, but [sometimes] it'll be 26-27 years after.” Not all of the shows took place here and not all the bands are from here (Zimmerman himself moved to Boston in 1999), but the channel is an invaluable archive of Twin Cities music history. Wanna see the Promise Ring playing an Elliot Park basement show in 1997? Kill Sadie ripping through an Extreme Noise in-store? Get a sense of what The Bomb Shelter was like? That’s just the start of what you’ll learn at 25 Years After.

Lowry Hill Meats Headed for Restaurant Heaven

Or butcher shop heaven, I suppose. In any case, Lowry Hill Meats, the fantastic Minneapolis meat shop that's been open on Hennepin Avenue for the last seven-ish years, will close at the end of June. Owner Erik Sather told Minnesota Monthly's Jason DeRusha that it's not any one factor: inflation, folks ordering more delivery and takeout, and perhaps most importantly, “foot traffic isn’t there, and it needs to be," Sather says. Their stretch of Hennepin isn't conducive to biking or walking, or driving for that matter, and a number of nearby businesses have gone out of business and remained un-replaced over the last several years. "This year, sales have been down over 28%. We were down in 2021 and 2022 also. The writing’s on the wall.” We will miss their superlative breakfast sandwiches most of all.

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