Murder on a Lonely Road: A Beauty Queen, a Privileged Killer, and a Twenty-Five Year Search for Justice

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Penguin, Sep 4, 2012 - True Crime - 320 pages
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A brutal murder that shocked residents of Missouri—and a killer it took 25 years to bring to justice...

On June 17, 1985, twenty-year-old beauty pageant winner Jackie Johns's car was found abandoned, the interior drenched in blood. Four days later, her bludgeoned, nude body was found floating in a nearby lake. Sheriff Dwight McNiel vowed to catch Jackie's killer, however long it took. His prime suspect: local rich kid Gerald Carnahan. But despite suspicions, the evidence never managed to add up, and Carnahan slipped away again and again.

Throughout the next two decades, multiple other women went missing, some murdered, some never found. Fearful residents believed that a murderous bogeyman was connected to all these crimes. Carnahan's conviction on the attempted kidnapping charge of another young woman brought his name into the mix over and over again--but all of the cases remained unsolved for decades, until a highway patrol sergeant sent DNA from the Jackie Johns's murder for testing and came up with a quadrillions-to-one match to Carnahan.

This is the true account of a murderer who thought he was beyond punishment, and the lawmen who would not relent until justice was finally done.

From the Paperback edition.

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I read this book over the weekend. I live in the Ozarks and had seen news coverage of Gerry Carnahan over the years. I found this non fiction extremely interesting. We have some excellent law enforcement officers in our area. I'm thankful for their tremendous efforts over 25 years. I weep for the families of murdered women that came in contact with this serial killer. This is a quick read and easy to follow. 


Just Jackie
A Foggy Night
Bloody Monday
Wheres Jackie?
A Funeral
The Lion and the Lamb
A Suspect
In the Headlights
The Bogeyman
The Intruder
Heavy Load
The Chameleon
Cold Case

Psychic Assistance
Pull Em Down
Liar Liar
My Brothers Keeper
The Target
Christmas Tree
The Nail
Three Missing Women
Fifteen Zeros
A Tear in His EyeAgain
The Prayer
Trial Day
Reasonable Doubt
Sara Takes the Stand
Last Words

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About the author (2012)

George Pawlaczyk and Beth Hundsdorfer are investigative reporters for the Belleville (Ill.) News-Democrat in Southern Illinois near St. Louis. They have worked as a team for more than a decade during which they uncovered shoddy investigations by a state agency that led to the death of more than 50 children and exposed the practice of holding mentally ill prisoners in solitary confinement continuously for more than a decade in the state’s supermax Tamms Correctional Center. They won the Robert F. Kennedy Award in 2007 for their series “Lethal Lapses” about the faulty child protection system and in 2009 won a prestigious George Polk Award for their series on solitary confinement entitled “Trapped In Tamms.”

From the Paperback edition.

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