Showing posts from November, 2009

A Death in Harlan County, Kentucky

In 1969 there was a girl’s decomposing body discovered on Pine Mountain in Harlan County, Kentucky. A man picking wildflowers for his wife stumbled upon her. She was young, possibly late teens, 5 foot 3 inches tall, very petite, with strawberry blond hair. She had been beaten and stabbed. The body was so decomposed they couldn’t tell if she’d been raped but she was nude, and had been punched hard enough that some of her teeth rested in her throat.. It was believed she’d been murdered elsewhere and dumped about fifty feet off the Little Shepherd’s Trail. A receipt from a restaurant in Cincinatti, Ohio, a blouse, and a man’s sweater rested near her. I was thirteen at the time of her death. At that time domestic violence was a thing swept under the rug by family members, endured by the parties involved, and certainly not put in the paper or discussed in the neighborhood. And discussions of rape were taboo. But this young girl’s death brought all those thoughts to the forefront of every