From the early 2000s to 2016, Denise Noe was a well-known figure in metro Atlanta’s Caribbean community.
Although she is not Caribbean, she worked extensively for Caribbean-oriented publications, first as a writer for The Caribbean Express and later as a writer and the Community Editor of The Caribbean Star.
Noe wrote reviews of Caribbean restaurants, profiles of accomplished individuals of Caribbean background, and articles about other matters of special interest to Caribbeans. She sometimes wrote about the Caribbean itself, including a cover article on Haiti. As a Caribbean Star reporter, she visited The Bahamas as well as Trinidad and Tobago.
Unbeknownst to most with whom she worked, Noe suffers severe psychiatric disabilities. She has been diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder, impulse control disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Her handicaps meant that, when The Caribbean Star folded, she was unable to secure other employment despite a conscientious job search. She went to Georgia Vocational Rehabilitative Services (GVRS) for help in getting a job. Noe took many tests and participated in “work evaluation” programs. Under the guidance of GVRS professionals, she applied for work at many places and went on job interviews.
She was unemployed and being evicted when her father allowed her to move into his home in Bolivar, Missouri where she now resides. She has lived in Bolivar for slightly over three years and has had several books published. In fact, two different books from different publishers came out within a month of each other: Wishbone Behind the Scenes, a book about the children’s TV show Wishbone that Bear Manor Media published, and I Spy, You Spy, They Spy, a collection of articles about true espionage cases that Black Lyon Publishing published.
Most books Noe has written are either about the entertainment industry or about true crime. Her first book, The Complete Married… with Children Book: TV’s Dysfunctional Family Phenomenon, was published while she was still in metro Atlanta. Other entertainment oriented books by Denise Noe are Teletubbies Behind the Scenes and Maury: The Story of An American Popular Culture Institution.
Denise Noe also wrote Christmas Gifts from the Chanukah Crowd: The Extraordinary Contributions of American Jews. Denise Noe is not Jewish but when she learned that anti-Semites accused Jews of making war on Christmas, she was inspired to write this book about what Jews have done to enrich this beautiful holiday.
True crime is an area on which Noe often writes. Black Lyon Publishing is bringing out a series of four collections of her true crime articles, three of which have been published. One is the aforementioned I Spy, You Spy, They Spy and the other two are The Bloodied and the Broken and Justice Gone Haywire. The fourth and last book in the series will be entitled They Didn’t Mean To Do It, a collection of articles about accidents with an alleged or proven criminal aspect.
Noe believes some of her best writing is found in The Bloodied and the Broken. “The first story is about the torturing to death of 16-year-old Sylvia Likens,” Noe states. “It is the saddest case I’ve written about and also the most emotionally powerful and meaningful.” The last story in the collection tells the story of a 6-year-old boy who was burned over most of his body by his own father. “This was especially sad because a parent’s job is to protect and David Rothenberg’s father attacked David in a way that left his disfigured for life,” Noe observes.
Some of the stories in Justice Gone Haywire are of political and social importance, Noe points out. “I cover the infamous case of the Scottsboro Boys in that book,” she continues. “Prejudice is often a factor in distorting justice and the Scottsboro Boys case is remembered for the way racism against Americans of African ancestry led to those young men being convicted of rapes that never occurred. Those youths grew up in prison because of racist stereotypes and the way those stereotypes warped justice.” That book also includes an article about the lynching of Leo Frank, an event that led to the revival of the Ku Klux Klan.
Cases covered in the I Spy, You Spy, They Spy include the legendary Mata Hari, World War II spy boss Vera Atkins, 1950s accused spy and convicted perjurer Alger Hiss, Christopher “The Falcon” Boyce, and Jonathan Pollard. Noe believes readers may find some surprises in the book. “Mata Hari is almost synonymous with spying in the public imagination but she really wasn’t much of a spy at all,” Noe comments.
A new Noe book that should be published soon is a biography of actress Marie Windsor who was sometimes called “the Queen of the Bs.” Entitled A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing: The Life of Marie Windsor, it gets its cheeky title from the way this actress lived a life of kindness and high ethical standards even as she played femme fatales, outlaws, and other nefarious characters.
As a true crime writer, Noe has corresponded with many prominent criminals, among them Charles Manson, Columbus Stocking Strangler Carlton Michael Gary, British Moors Murderer Ian Brady, Eric “The Centennial Park Bomber” Rudolph, and Pam “To Die For” Smart. She put together a book about her correspondences that included reproductions of letters by the inmates. However, she could not find a publisher for it so she self-published it as an ebook entitled Voices from the Inside: Letters from Famous Prisoners that can be found on amazon.
“I am still hopeful that a publishing house will bring out a hard copy version of Voices from the Inside,” Noe relates.