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Really so mysterious?

Captive of the LabyrinthMary Jo Ignoffo '78 reads an excerpt from Captive of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester, Heiress to the Rifle Fortune (University of Missouri Press). Since her death in 1922, Sarah Winchester has been perceived as a mysterious, haunted figure. But was she really as guilt-ridden and superstitious as history remembers her? Ignoffo unearths the truth about this notorious eccentric.

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Mary Jo Ignoffo '78
Photo courtesy of Mary Jo Ignoffo.
Ignoffo is a historian committed to reaching beyond academia to present history to the public through exhibits, books, articles, lectures, and forums.

The Chicago-born, Los Angeles–raised, longtime resident of the San Francisco Bay area has spent much of the last 20 years researching and writing about California and community history. Her work with museums includes the permanent outdoor Orchard Heritage Park Interpretive Exhibit in Sunnyvale, and permanent and changing exhibits at Heritage Park Museum, also in Sunnyvale. She has been curator for more than 10 installations at the California History Center at De Anza College in Cupertino and historian and author for the 2010 exhibit on Sarah Winchester at the Los Altos History Museum in Los Altos.

Ignoffo teaches U.S. history and topics in California history at De Anza College in Cupertino. She resides in Santa Clara with her husband and two children.

Summer 2011

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