Lost Girls

Lost Girls

An Unsolved American Mystery

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
9
Rate this:

A Globe & Mail 100 Selection

Award-winning investigative reporter Robert Kolker delivers a haunting and humanizing account of the true-life search for a serial killer still at large on Long Island, in a compelling tale of unsolved murder and Internet prostitution.

One late spring evening in 2010, Shannan Gilbert, after running through the oceanfront community of Oak Beach screaming for her life, went missing. No one who had heard of her disappearance thought much about what had happened to the twenty-four-year-old: she was a Craigslist prostitute who had been fleeing a scene--of what, no one could be sure. The Suffolk County Police, too, seemed to have paid little attention--until seven months later, when an unexpected discovery in a bramble alongside a nearby highway turned up four bodies, all evenly spaced, all wrapped in burlap. But none of them Shannan's.

There was Maureen Brainard-Barnes, last seen at Penn Station in Manhattan three years earlier, and Melissa Barthelemy, last seen in the Bronx in 2009. There was Megan Waterman, last seen leaving a hotel in Hauppage, Long Island, just a month after Shannan's disappearance in 2010, and Amber Lynn Costello, last seen leaving a house in West Babylon a few months later that same year. Like Shannan, all four women were petite and in their twenties, they all came from out of town to work as escorts, and they all advertised on Craigslist and its competitor, Backpage.

In a triumph of reporting--and in a riveting narrative--Robert Kolker presents the first detailed look at the shadow world of escorts in the Internet age, where making a living is easier than ever and the dangers remain all too real. He has talked exhaustively with the friends and family of each woman to reveal the three-dimensional truths about their lives, the struggling towns they came from, and the dreams they chased. And he has gained unique access to the Oak Beach neighborhood that has found itself the focus of national media scrutiny--where the police have flailed, the body count has risen, and the neighbors have begun pointing fingers at one another. There, in a remote community, out of sight of the beaches and marinas scattered along the South Shore barrier islands, the women's stories come together in death and dark mystery. Lost Girls is a portrait not just of five women, but of unsolved murder in an idyllic part of America, of the underside of the Internet, and of the secrets we keep without admitting to ourselves that we keep them.

Publisher: New York : Harper Collins, c2013
ISBN: 9780062183637
Branch Call Number: 364 .1523 KOL
Characteristics: xiv, 399 p. :,maps ;,24 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

AL_KATI Jun 13, 2017

The author spends a lot of time on the victims' backstories but not nearly as much time on the crime, evidence, and suspects. To me, since this was hailed as one of the best books of 2013, "Lost Girls" fell flat for me.

s
snakie_chick
Aug 25, 2016

I didn't finish this book. The stories of the different girls with all their different names were hard to keep straight and I feel like the narrative moved forward too slowly.

d
DeltaQueen50
May 26, 2016

What Robert Kolker does in Lost Girls is to humanize these women and their stories. The killer of these women has not been identified, and as the years pass by, the feeling is that he or they will never be found. Although the families did recover their loved ones bodies, true closure is impossible as long as no one is to be held accountable. This book stands as a monument for these women who suffered abuse and neglect as children and then paid the ultimate penalty for the bad choices they made as they became adults.

s
StevenBaklund
Nov 18, 2015

Protect and serve. Protect and serve my *ss.

a
atlast465
Jul 30, 2015

A very good true crime book. It is the story of the deaths of multiple escorts on Long Island. The author details the women's lives in a way which is compassionate and thought provoking regarding which murder cases police and media pay the most attention to.

c
cochristian
Apr 26, 2014

I liked the details in this story. I like the grit. I am lucky to be alive!

carolynv Mar 07, 2014

A gripping, true-crime story of the disappearance of several prostitutes whose bodies were discovered on a remote beach on Long Island. The author brings the young women to life and the circumstances that led to the choices that ultimately resulted in their tragic deaths.

j
jimg2000
Aug 11, 2013

Readers were introduced to five young lives working as escorts who solicited Johns on the Craigslist and how their bodies were discovered along a short stretch of a Long Island shore. An eye opener on how the trade is conducted and its dangers. After bungled its initial response to a missing woman, the police spent enormous energy to pursue the case, ref. search photos from (A total of 10 sets of human remains found in the vicinity --- 150 photos from http://www.newsday.com/long-island/serial-killer/the-long-island-serial-killer-case-1.2539601#149 )

d2013 Jul 28, 2013

Chilling but well written. The internet is a wonderful tool but for some it proved to be deadly.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number Get NoveList Reading Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at PMPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top