I have very vague memories of the rec.arts.tv.soaps groups on USENET in those days, but I only read, I didn't engage as a poster til the 2000s. I do remember James DePaiva (Max Holden on OLTL) taking to either USENET or AOL to trash the writing on OLTL somewhere around 1995 or 1996, or maybe a bit later. A few actors did that in that period, back before the shows could ever understand the Internet and how to find them.
That is fascinating.
As I said last year, a lot of the key elements of the story, like the locket and its signature clicking, bear so much resemblance to the classic tenets of the Italian murder mystery "giallo" genre, where the stories are always puzzles with strange little audiovisual talismans.
Yep, that's the girl --- Ariana Munker a/k/a Ariana Chase. Her bio shows that she was born in 1960, so she was only about 17 or 18 when she joined World Turns as Melinda Gray. She didn't have any "bad" soap habits then; she was just young, extremely cute, and a natural little actress. What I remember about her is that Beau Spencer (of Spencer Hotel fame) was married to Annie Stewart, who studied all the time (med school). Beau was bored. Annie was dull. That cute little Ariana Munker was tempting Beau to cheat on Annie. Whenever he'd start thinking about possibly porking Melinda Gray, Chuck Mangione's tune "Feels So Good" would start playing in the background. He finally did bang Melinda Gray, and then I believe he actually divorced Annie Stewart and married Melinda Gray. My main recollection is Ariana Munker looked like she'd be a lot more FUN than Annie. That's probably NOT what the writers were going for (viewer allegiance to Melinda Gray), but that's what they got from little boys in the audience lol.
The bulletin boards were in force at that time and there was a lot of discussion about soaps on those boards. I remember stumbling across the boards in 1993 and seeing the heated discussions about who should replace Beverlee McKinsey as Alex and fans’ disgust about a possible Austin/Jennifer pairing on DOOL. And there was discussion about the Loving Murders. It was a wonderful precursor to what we have today.
Before Angie and Charles' wedding, Gwyneth and Stacey have a heart to heart and Gwyneth tries to give the locket to Stacey, almost as though she's trying to replace Trisha with Trisha's best friend. Stacey declines to take it and later, during the reception, we see the "killer p.o.v." for the first time. It's like Stacey's rejection caused Gwyneth to relive Trisha's rejection, making Stacey's status as the first victim all the more poignant.