Cover image for Met her on the mountain : a forty-year quest to solve the Appalachian cold-case murder of Nancy Morgan
Met her on the mountain : a forty-year quest to solve the Appalachian cold-case murder of Nancy Morgan
Publication Information:
Winston-Salem, NC : John F. Blair, Publisher, 2013.
Physical Description:
280 pages : illustrations, map, portraits ; 24 cm
Prologue -- The murder -- The trial -- Reinvestigation -- Epilogue.
Madison County in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is a place of ear-popping drives and breathtaking views. It is also where federal antipoverty worker Nancy Dean Morgan was found naked, hogtied, and strangled in the backseat of her car in June 1970. An inept investigation involving local, state, and federal law-enforcement agencies failed to find a clear explanation of the motive or events of her murder. The case was left unsolved. Years later, after most of the material evidence had been lost or mishandled, one of Nancy's fellow VISTA workers--the last person known to have seen her alive--became the prime suspect, based on the testimony of one of the town's most notorious resident criminals. Did he kill Nancy, or was he another victim of the corrupt local political machine and its adherence to "mountain justice"? Met Her on the Mountain: A Forty-Year Quest to Solve the Appalachian Cold-Case Murder of Nancy Morgan is a tangled tale of rural noir. Author Mark Pinsky was profoundly struck by Nancy's story as a college student in North Carolina in 1970. Here, Pinsky presents the evolution of his investigation and also delves into the brutal history of Madison County, the site of a Civil War massacre that earned it the sobriquet "Bloody Madison." Met Her on the Mountain is a stirring mix of true crime, North Carolina political history, and one man's devotion to finding the truth. --
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Material Type
Shelf Number
Item Notes
Book 364.1523 PINSKY 1 .SOURCE. BT 11/13/13

On Order

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

This compulsively page-turning true crime narrative has it all: smart prose, a now-obscure unsolved murder that was notorious at the time, and an investigative journalist trying to pick up the trail. In 1970, the nude and hog-tied body of Nancy Morgan was found in a car in a Madison County, N.C., forest after she'd gone missing. Morgan had been working for Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) in the area for under a year, in an idealistic attempt to help people in the impoverished area. The initial police investigation was "a study in confusion and barely controlled jurisdictional chaos," and local corruption (the county's Democratic boss was said to have made Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley look like Bambi) only made matters worse. Fourteen years passed before an arrest was made, but the prime evidence came from a career criminal and notorious liar. Regarding the victim as a kindred spirit, former Los Angeles Times staff writer Pinsky followed the story from the start (he was a college student in the area at the time of the murder), and many readers will be convinced that his dogged investigation has at last uncovered the truth. Agent: Gail Hochman, Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Journalist and religion writer Pinsky (The Gospel According to the Simpsons) recounts the long history of his investigation into the unsolved 1970 murder of antipoverty worker Nancy Morgan in rural Madison County, NC, and his theory regarding who was responsible. Given that he faced a society, culture, and local government operating under "mountain justice" and a state government unwilling to risk challenging its own stated theory, it's not surprising that the author's "quest" spanned 40 years. That said, the reader cannot help wondering if he could have concluded it sooner by investigating at a less casual pace-Pinsky limited himself to two weeks of investigation per year, later one week per year. His characterization of the people involved, from lawmen to the victim's neighbors to suspects, and his description of everyday life in Madison County, are vivid-even unpleasantly so, as the reader is exposed to the county's less savory denizens. Pinsky refers interested readers to many fiction and nonfiction works about Madison County and North Carolina and cites press coverage of the Morgan case and related trials. VERDICT Inasmuch as this is a story of Pinsky's own investigation, it is likely to be unique in any collection and of interest to aficionados of cold cases and/or North Carolina political history.-Ricardo Laskaris, York Univ. Lib., Toronto (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prologuep. 3
Part 1 The Murderp. 9
Part 2 The Trialp. 97
Part 3 Reinvestigationp. 159
Epiloguep. 265
Acknowledgmentsp. 269
Note on Sources and Methodologyp. 273
Indexp. 276