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The Darkest Night: Two Sisters, a Brutal…

The Darkest Night: Two Sisters, a Brutal Murder, and the Loss of Innocence…

by Ron Franscell

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September 24, 1973 started like any other day in Casper, Wyoming, the events that transpired that evening into the next day changed life for everyone. Eleven-year old Amy Burridge and her half-sister Becky Thomson had been abducted from a local store, Amy was thrown off the Freemont Canyon Bridge, afterwards Becky was raped by the two men that had abducted them and was also thrown off the bridge. Becky survived, Amy did not.

Ron Franscell lived next door to Amy and Becky. Because of that we get a uniquely personal view of the account. Besides learning biographical details of the people involved we also learn how the town was affected by this horrifically violent crime. This book is about more than the murderers, the victims, the crime and trial. It is about a town and how one act can have widespread consequences.

Becky struggled with PTSD, with survivor guilt, she self-medicated with alcohol and drugs. She was quite possible the victim of another sexual assault. She lived in fear of the men who raped and tried to kill her. In 1992 they were seeking a new trail, as unlikely as it was they would be successful, she feared they would one day be free. In July she returned to the bridge where it all started and as the back cover of the book states: “she met her fate . . . at the same bridge where she’d lost her sister.”

This is an extremely detailed account of this tragic event. Some have said it was too long, and took too many side trips into the history of the town and other people, I found it rich in detail and well rounded, never boring and recommend it. ( )
  BellaFoxx | Aug 5, 2015 |
loved this book about two sisters that were abducted when their car broke down and the guys that offered to help them....
  patty1323 | Feb 21, 2015 |
This book is horrible. While the story of Amy Burridge and Becky Thompson is sad (and horrific), their nightmare could have been written in a two-page article instead of a 300-page book. The author rambles, over dramatizes, and inserts a lot of Wyoming history that doesn't have much bearing on the story. ( )
  lesmel | May 15, 2013 |
completed: June 5. Very sad story. 8.5
( )
  Marlene-NL | Apr 12, 2013 |
A good read, but I felt it might have dragged on a bit too long, especially at the very end. Maybe a little too much philosophizing that didn't really strike home, at least for me. A compelling and very sad story of a crime committed at random against two sisters. A touching connection between the two. Also some good local color describing Caspar, Wyoming and the people who lived there. I very much liked the idea of including one killer's "autobiography" and then deconstructing it and explaining what it showed about his character. Sad book, better-than-average true crime investigation, with no stone left unturned. ( )
  kishields | Sep 10, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312948468, Mass Market Paperback)

Casper, Wyoming:1973. Eleven-year-old Amy Burridge rides with her eighteen-year-old sister, Becky, to the grocery store. When they finish their shopping, Becky’s car gets a flat tire. Two men politely offer them a ride home. But they were anything but Good Samaritans. The girls would suffer unspeakable crimes at the hands of these men before being thrown from a bridge into the North Platte River. One miraculously survived. The other did not.

Years later, author and journalist Ron Franscell—who lived in Casper at the time of the crime, and was a friend to Amy and Becky—can’t forget Wyoming’s most shocking story of abduction, rape, and murder. Neither could Becky, the surviving sister. The two men who violated her and Amy were sentenced to life in prison, but the demons of her past kept haunting Becky…until she met her fate years later at the same bridge where she’d lost her sister.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:13 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Traces the events of the night in 1973 when two men kidnapped eleven-year-old Amy Burridge and her eighteen-year-old sister Becky, raped Becky, and threw both sisters over a bridge into a river near Casper, Wyoming, and discusses the trials of the men and the aftermath of the case.… (more)

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