Like any other bleak winter day, Sunday, January 6, 2002, was gray and windy, the metallic smell of rain heavy in the air. Cape Cod knows only three colors in winter: gray, darker gray, and the muted green of omnipresent scrub pines, somber hues that only add to the depression that engulfs many locals during this phase of the year. As Henry David Thoreau once observed, “It is a wild place, and there is no flattery in it.”
Just outside the kitchen of the bungalow at 50 Depot Road, Christa Worthington’s green Ford Escort was parked, as usual, at the top of her long driveway. A plastic Little...