Lost Girls by Caitlin Rother
Published By: Pinnacle Books
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Format: Paperback - 420 pages / Kindle - 1930 KB / Nook - 3 MB
Genre: True Crime / Nonfiction
About The Author:
New York Times bestselling author Caitlin Rother has written or co-authored eight books, including Poisoned Love (Kensington, December 2011), Dead Reckoning (Kensington, February 2011), Twisted Triangle (Wiley, 2009), Body Parts (Kensington, 2008), Deadly Devotion (Simon & Schuster / Pocket, July 2011), NYT bestseller My Life, Deleted (HarperOne, October 2011), and Naked Addiction (Dorchester, 2007). Her latest true crime project, Lost Girls (Kensington, July 2012), chronicles the rape and murder of two innocents, teenagers Chelsea King and Amber Dubois, by sexual predator John Gardner. Rother, a Pulitzer-nominated investigative journalist with more than 310,000 copies of her books in print, has also been published in Cosmopolitan, the Los Angeles Times, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, and The Daily Beast. She has done dozens of TV and radio appearances as a crime expert on Nancy Grace, the Jay Thomas Show, E!, the Oxygen Network, Greta Van Susteren's On the Record, Investigative Discovery, America at Night, American Radio Network, XM and numerous NPR/PBS affiliates. Rother also works as a book doctor/editorial consultant and teaches journalism and creative writing at University of California, San Diego Extension.
BUY THE BOOK: Lost Girls
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours.
Virtual Book Tour Event: On Tuesday, July 24, 2012, in association with Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Publicity Tours, author Caitlin Rother participated in a virtual book tour event with an Author Guest Post on Jersey Girl Book Reviews.
The desperate search for two lost innocents, Chelsea King and Amber Dubois, led authorities to a brutal predator hiding in plain sight: John Albert Gardner, a convicted sex offender who could have been returned to prison several times over. Pultizer-nominated writer Caitlin Rother delivers an incisive, heartbreaking true-life thriller about a case that galvanized its community, first by grief and goodwill, then by anger and injustice, as it came to grips with a flawed system that failed ... and adopted a law that will forever change how we keep our children safe.
My Book Review:
Two innocent teenage girls ... one psychotic sexual predator ... two heinous, senseless murders that took the girls' lives one year apart and rocked the San Diego suburb communities of Poway and Escondido ...
Seventeen year old Chelsea King was a beautiful, popular, intelligent senior at Poway High School who had a promising future ahead of her. On February 25, 2010, Chelsea went jogging on the trails of Rancho Bernardo Community Park (Lake Hodges) after school let out. When she failed to come home, her parents immediately called the Poway Sheriff's office and reported her missing. Her father found her car in the park's parking lot with her purse and school clothes left inside the car. The police immediately launched a search for Chelsea with the help of the community volunteers and media. Sadly, Chelsea's body was found five days later on March 2, 2010 at the lake in a shallow grave.
Thirty year old John Albert Gardner, Jr., a bipolar sexual predator who was staying in the area at his mother's condominium was arrested on February 28, 2010 at a bar and restaurant in Escondido in connection to the disappearance and murder of Chelsea King. DNA evidence found on Chelsea's clothing along with witness accounts of seeing Gardner on the park's trails were enough to match Gardner to the crime.
To escape the death penalty, Gardner made a deal with the prosecutors and gave them information on the whereabouts of his first victim, fourteen year old Amber Dubois, who he abducted a year earlier on February 13, 2009 in Escondido. Amber Dubois' remains were found on March 6, 2010 on the grounds of the Pala Indian Reservation.
On April 16, 2010, John Albert Gardner, Jr. plead guilty to the rape and murder of both Amber Dubois and Chelsea King. In addition, he plead guilty to the attempted rape of Candice Moncayo in December 2009. On May 14, 2010, Gardner was sentenced to two terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Lost Girls is a chilling detailed account of the heinous and senseless rape and murder of two young girls by a psychotic sexual predator. Author Caitlin Rother provides the reader with an insightful look that shed light into the background of this psychotic murderer in an unbiased, thoughtful and well-researched descriptive way. The author has stated that her intention in writing this book was to provide an informative cautionary tale that would shed light into the broken criminal justice system's way of handling sexual predators that failed to protect the girls, and the inadequate services provided to people with mental health issues.
I believe that the author provided a very thorough and detailed chronological account into the background of Gardner, the murders of Chelsea King and Amber Dubois, and the legal process in a respectful and thoughtful way. I think the author wrote this book in an unbiased and professional way, even though the King and Dubois families did not authorize or participate in the preparing of this book. I do not believe that the author should be vilified for giving a true account into the horrifying, senseless and profoundly sad murders of these two innocent young girls. Even though the pain and grief must be beyond anything that anyone can imagine, perhaps if the families had contributed to the book, it would have become a more rounded and complete documented account, instead of erupting into a vicious uproar and causing an unfortunate controversy that does not solve anything in a constructive or positive way, nor does it help lessen the grief, pain and loss felt by the families. If you could consider this book and the enactment of Chelsea's Law as a positive step towards educating the public and safeguarding the safety of children from sexual predators, then Chelsea's legacy will forever be a shining beacon of light.
My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the families of Amber Dubois and Chelsea King.
RATING: 5 STARS *****