A literary account of the lives and presumed serial killings of five “Craigslist” prostitutes, whose bodies were found on the same Long Island beach in 2010. Based on the New York Magazine cover story.
Shannan wanted acceptance. Maureen wanted a solution. Megan wanted love. Melissa wanted adventure. Amber wanted to be saved.
Over the course of three years, each of these young women vanished without a trace: Maureen in 2007, Melissa and Megan in 2009, and Amber and Shannan in 2010. All but one of their bodies was discovered on Gilgo Beach, Long Island, an unsettled, overgrown seven-mile stretch of shoreline on the string of barrier islands along South Oyster Bay.
Sharing the same profile—all were in their twenties, all but one was under five feet tall, and all were prostitutes who advertised on Craigslist—the police concluded they were all the victims of one murderer, the Long Island serial killer—the most skillful and accomplished serial killer in New York since the “Son of Sam,” David Berkowitz. But as intrepid young reporter Robert Kolker discovered, the truth about these women went far deeper than common assumptions. The victims weren’t outcasts; they weren’t kidnapped or enslaved. All came from a slice of America ignored by politicians and the media: the poor, often rural and white parts of the country hit hard by economics, where limited opportunities force people to make hard choices—choices that lead them to places like Gilgo Beach.
Working closely with the women’s families, Lost Girls tells the stories of their deaths and their lives, offering a searing portrait of crime and circumstance that goes to the heart of modern America itself.
The boys were part of an organised child sexual exploitation gang targeting innocent young girls, grooming them for prostitution. Captivated by the ring leader, and the alcohol and drugs he freely handed round, Emma didn't see the first brutal rape coming. From that moment, her life was never her own.
Emma found herself drawn into a trap of degradation and violence, frightened for her life and not knowing where to turn. But Exploited is also the story of how she found the courage and inner strength to risk everything, and escape.
Exploited is an updated edition of Emma's book The End of My World - brought bang up to date with a brand new chapter.