AUTHOR: Emma Copley Eisenberg
PUBLISHER: Hachette Books
AWARDS: Edgar Award Nominee for Best Fact Crime (2021)
The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia
by Emma Copley Eisenberg
In the early evening of June 25, 1980 in Pocahontas County, West Virginia, two middle-class outsiders named Vicki Durian, 26, and Nancy Santomero, 19, were murdered in an isolated clearing. They were hitchhiking to a festival known as the Rainbow Gathering but never arrived. For thirteen years, no one was prosecuted for the “Rainbow Murders” though deep suspicion was cast on a succession of local residents in the community, depicted as poor, dangerous, and backward. In 1993, a local farmer was convicted, only to be released when a known serial killer and diagnosed schizophrenic named Joseph Paul Franklin claimed responsibility. As time passed, the truth seemed to slip away, and the investigation itself inflicted its own traumas—-turning neighbor against neighbor and confirming the fears of violence outsiders have done to this region for centuries.
In The Third Rainbow Girl, Emma Copley Eisenberg uses the Rainbow Murders case as a starting point for a thought-provoking tale of an Appalachian community bound by the false stories that have been told about.
Weaving in experiences from her own years spent living in Pocahontas County, she follows the threads of this crime through the complex history of Appalachia, revealing how this mysterious murder has loomed over all those affected for generations, shaping their fears, fates, and desires.
Author Emma Copley Eisenberg identifies as bisexual and wrote about her sexuality throughout The Third Rainbow Girl.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Introduction and Acknowledgements
- Chapter 1: Am I Bi?
- Chapter 2: What If I Have a Preference?
- Chapter 3: Does Bisexuality Reinforce the Gender Binary?
- Chapter 4: When Should I Come Out?
- Chapter 5: What’s Dating Like for Bi People?
- Chapter 6: How Long Has Bisexuality Been Around?
- Chapter 7: What is Biphobia?
- Chapter 8: What is Bi Erasure?
- Chapter 9: What Issues Do Bi People Face?
- Chapter 10: What’s the Bi Community Like and How Do I Find It?
- Resources That Informed the Text