Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Story pick: 'Case of the Vanishing Blonde'

By J. Freedom du Lac

"From the start, it was a bad case," Mark Bowden writes in the opening of a powerhouse piece in the new issue of Vanity Fair. "A battered 21-year-old woman with long blond curls was discovered face down in the weeds, naked, at the western edge of Miami, where the neat grid of outer suburbia butts up against the high grass and black mud of the Everglades. It was early on a winter morning in 2005. A local power-company worker was driving by the empty lots of an unbuilt cul-de-sac when he saw her.

"And much to his surprise, she was alive."

The journalist and bestselling author ("Black Hawk Down," "Killing Pablo") writes that the woman "had been raped, badly beaten, and left for dead. There was severe head trauma; she had suffered brain-rattling blows." Shortly thereafter, the woman filed a lawsuit against the hotel where she'd been staying when the attack occurred. She alleged negligence. Detectives smelled something funny. "This was not your typical rape victim," Bowden writes. "What if she was part of some sophisticated con?"

The police investigation went cold, but a private dick hired by the hotel made it his mission to crack the code on the case -- and, in doing so, became the star of Bowden's story. It's a fairly epic investigative yarn.

By J. Freedom du Lac  | November 12, 2010; 8:20 AM ET
Categories:  Story Picks, The inside story  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Story pick: Ticketmaster, the company people love to hate
Next: Story pick: On the trail of terrorists

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.

characters remaining

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company