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Mostly the silent observer, May McDonough strikes you as having a bird-in-mouth mystique about her. So it's no surprise that when she opens her mouth she has quite the sharp tongue. But her cunning wit and i-know-something-you-don't-know demeanor makes the truth about her life rather elusive.

The most common story I hear claims McDonough was raised in Long-beach on the laps of longshoremen, gesturing with maimed limbs and whales of tales to her, as her private eye parents were out brushing with death on stake outs. Another story protests that her mother was a lion tamer for the once animal playland Gentle Jungle, and that McDonough grew up sharing a bed with her mother, and a wall with her brother in the park rangers cabin of Silverado Canyon. A third story claims May's father was mysteriously murdered when she was only thirteen, and that May with mother and brother in tow spent the next ten years of her life investigating the case outside of the law. A fourth story simply claims McDonough had seen 5 newly dead bodies by the time she was 13, and has been greatly surrounded by death her whole life.

The most common conclusion a rational minded man could draw is that these stories are half truths, spins, spattered with enough truth to make the stories possible, even mildly documented, while still maintaining their improbable air which is the very staple of their appeal. Their dubious and intriguing nature echoes the persona of the woman herself.

But if you meet a friend of May's, and you ask them for her story, most will swear on graves that she has lived one hell of a life- and she's only twenty-five.

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