The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia

Hachette. Jan. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9780316449236. $27. CRIME
In June 1980, 26-year-old Vicki Durian and 19-year-old Nancy Santomero were murdered while hitchhiking to the Rainbow Gathering festival in rural West Virginia. The investigation focused on locals, but it took more than a decade to get the case to trial due to a lack of evidence. After a guilty verdict was achieved and a local man was put behind bars, notorious serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin took credit for the murders, casting doubt on the entire investigation. Suspicion was once again cast over the local community, causing locals to turn away from outsiders, and impacting future generations. In a stunning work of true crime reporting, Copley Eisenberg delivers the gripping tale of the murders, trial, and subsequent reverberations through the community. The author transcends genre and offers a unique work that is part memoir, part sociological analysis, providing a compassionate commentary that has come from years of living in the community.
VERDICT Copley Eisenberg’s celebrated debut is not to be missed and will appeal to a wide variety of readers.
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