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Monday, October 7, 2013

Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery

I read a blurb on this book a few weeks back and hurried to get my name in the queue for Robert Kolker's Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery. It was chilling and so sad.

In the fall of 2010, several bodies were found in the marshes of Oak Beach. Four of these remains were identified as Maureen, Melissa, Megan, and Amber--all women who had families who loved them, lives of their own, and who were working as escorts at the time of their disappearance. Their bodies were found due to the disappearance of another escort, Shannan, who was being sought several months after she was seen running for her life through the Long Island community. This story gives these women a voice even as their murders remain unsolved--they were people with hopes and dreams, regardless of how lost they seemed.

You can figure out that these murders have yet to be solved from the subtitle of the book; the second half of Kolker's piece gives us some possibilities of who the culprits might be while never pointing a distinguishing finger. I have my suspicions, but I was left with as much confusion as I started. That makes me a happy reader although it does make me so sad for the families. The not knowing is so awful.

I thoroughly enjoyed this piece of non-fiction, and I have to say that it was really great to dive into something like this before my grad school semester started. It was a fascinating read; Kolker is an excellent storyteller with so much pathos for the women who stories he was responsible for honoring. Regardless of their chosen profession, Kolker really gave these women respect as human beings and honestly gave us their stories with no sugarcoating but with a sense that they are people regardless of their choices. This heightened the sadness of how these women lost their lives, in what was clearly a brutal and heart-stopping way. This was a beautifully crafted investigation piece that captured my attention and provided me with detailed insight into a case I followed in the news but never heard the down and dirty facts that reach beyond the sensationalism of the case.
Kindle version on left, hard copy on right.

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