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Monday, October 14, 2013

Lost Girls by Robert Kolker

I just finished reading Robert Kolker's Lost Girls, An Unsolved American Mystery about the Oak Beach murders.

In December 2010, four sets of human remains – neatly shrouded in burlap sacks – were discovered along remote Gilgo Beach in Long Island. Further searches found the remains of 10 people between Manorville and Oak Beach, one a toddler and one an Asian male in women's clothes. The other eight were women. The book had no photos which would have been appreciated. But here are photos of the principal places and people for your help.

The old Oak Beach Inn

The search

Maureen Brainard-Barnes

Melissa Barthelemy

Shannan Gilbert

Megan Waterman

Amber Overstreet Costello

Jessica Taylor

Joseph Joe Brewer

His house

Dr. Charles Peter Hackett

His house

Gus Coletti

Michael Pak, the driver

Kimberly "Kim" Overstreet Costello

Lorraine Ela and her mother, Muriel Benner

Mari Gilbert

This could have been a very confusing story with all the different people and situations involved but Kolker did a good job in bringing some order to it. Using a chapter for each woman we got to know a little about their lives before the murders. Each tale so tragic.

These women got themselves into a terrible lifestyle of prostitution, drugs, lies and theft. But no one deserves to be treated like so much trash to be used, abused, murdered and thrown away. I hope they find whoever did this.

Of course, the mystery has not been solved and so there is no end to the story, no conclusion, no closure. And the police cannot reveal all they may know or the evidence they may have so the story is one sided. They cannot make comments on an open case. I understand that but it made the book more rumor than facts.

I could have done without the conflict in the families that he describes. Such tragedy can bring out the best and the worst. It's their business and didn't need to be made public. That made the book too long. Maybe he didn't have enough material without it to make a book?

I can only pray for these families and for justice.

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