Lost Girls

Lost Girls

An Unsolved American Mystery

eBook - 2013
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Soon to be a Netflix film

A literary account of the lives and presumed serial killings of five "Craigslist" prostitutes, whose bodies were found on the same Long Island beach in 2010. Based on the New York Magazine cover story.

Shannan wanted acceptance. Maureen wanted a solution. Megan wanted love. Melissa wanted adventure. Amber wanted to be saved.

Over the course of three years, each of these young women vanished without a trace: Maureen in 2007, Melissa and Megan in 2009, and Amber and Shannan in 2010. All but one of their bodies was discovered on Gilgo Beach, Long Island, an unsettled, overgrown seven-mile stretch of shoreline on the string of barrier islands along South Oyster Bay.

Sharing the same profile—all were in their twenties, all but one was under five feet tall, and all were prostitutes who advertised on Craigslist—the police concluded they were all the victims of one murderer, the Long Island serial killer—the most skillful and accomplished serial killer in New York since the "Son of Sam," David Berkowitz. But as intrepid young reporter Robert Kolker discovered, the truth about these women went far deeper than common assumptions. The victims weren't outcasts; they weren't kidnapped or enslaved. All came from a slice of America ignored by politicians and the media: the poor, often rural and white parts of the country hit hard by economics, where limited opportunities force people to make hard choices—choices that lead them to places like Gilgo Beach.

Working closely with the women's families, Lost Girls tells the stories of their deaths and their lives, offering a searing portrait of crime and circumstance that goes to the heart of modern America itself.

Publisher: HarperCollins

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legalsec2504
Jul 28, 2019

“In mid-December 2010, the Suffolk County police discovered the bodies of four women, each wrapped in burlap, on a desolate, bramble-covered stretch of sand called Gilgo Beach. It was a gothic whodunit for the internet age, replete with prostitutes, drugs, family dysfunction, investigative incompetence, not to mention a strange, insular beach community and, of course, the websites of Craigslist and Backpage, where the women had advertised for customers.”

j
jdodds4
Nov 05, 2018

Slow burn, interesting chilling crime. Could have had less drama, felt it bloated and bogged down the story.

a
abelcoure
Nov 16, 2017

This book was okay, an interesting read. But not a page turner.

ArapahoeKati 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.

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