The American journalist Tara Murtha, in her recently published book Ode to Billie Joe (Bloomsbury), attempts to solve these mysteries. Her book, then, is a reporter’s quest that takes her across America to find people who knew Gentry and are willing to talk.
Holley inherited boxes of Gentry’s discarded possessions from his father, and insists that he’s keen to return them to her – but he’s only met her once. He encourages Murtha to try on Gentry’s fur coat, then allows the journalist to leave with a box of the star’s possessions. Murtha acknowledges her invasiveness: “sometimes the line between being a journalist and plain old creepy is thin as skin."