Met Her on the Mountain: A Forty-Year Quest to Solve the Appalachian Cold-Case Murder of Nancy Morgan
John F. Blair, Publisher
6 x 9
October 1, 2013
Madison County in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina is a place of ear-popping drives and breathtaking views.
It is also where federal antipoverty worker Nancy Dean Morgan was found naked, hogtied, and strangled in the backseat of her car in June 1970.
An inept investigation involving local, state, and federal law-enforcement agencies failed to find a clear explanation of the motive or events of her murder. The case was left unsolved. Years later, after most of the material evidence had been lost or mishandled, one of Nancy’s fellow VISTA workers—the last person known to have seen her alive—became the prime suspect, based on the testimony of one of the town’s most notorious resident criminals. Did he kill Nancy, or was he another victim of the corrupt local political machine and its adherence to “mountain justice”?
Met Her on the Mountain: A Forty-Year Quest to Solve the Appalachian Cold-Case Murder of Nancy Morgan is a tangled tale of rural noir. Author Mark Pinsky was profoundly struck by Nancy’s story as a college student in North Carolina in 1970. Here, Pinsky presents the evolution of his investigation and also delves into the brutal history of Madison County, the site of a Civil War massacre that earned it the sobriquet “Bloody Madison.” Met Her on the Mountain is a stirring mix of true crime, North Carolina political history, and one man’s devotion to finding the truth.
"This compulsively page-turning true crime narrative has it all: smart prose, a now-obscure unsolved murder that was notorious at the time, and an investigative journalist trying to pick up the trail. Many readers will be convinced that his dogged investigation has at last uncovered the truth."
—Publishers Weekly, "Pick of the Week"/starred review
"[Pinsky's] characterization of the people involved, from lawmen to the victim's neighbors to suspects, and his description of everyday life in Madison County, are vivid.... Inasmuch as this is a story of Pinsky's own investigation, it is likely to be unique in any collection and of interest to aficionados of cold cases and/or North Carolina political history."
—Ricardo Laskaris, Library Journal