In conversation with Sarah Marshall, journalist, writer, and co-host of the podcast You’re Wrong About.
In June 1980, two young middle-class women who had been hitchhiking to a nature festival called the Rainbow Gathering were found murdered in a remote clearing in Pocahontas County, West Virginia. Though no one was prosecuted for these crimes, suspicions turned on one local family, then on a convicted serial killer, and then seemed to melt away into time. Emma Copley Eisenberg moved to Pocahontas County for two years, combing through the hills for clues to the murders, discovering along the way how this violent act traumatized those affected and helped shape a complex narrative about the self-perceptions of Appalachians. Eisenberg’s writing has appeared in such publications as Granta, McSweeney’s, Tin House, Salon, and Slate.