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Finding Amy
A True Story of Murder in Maine
Joseph K. Loughlin, Kate Clark Flora

Available only as an ebook.

2006 • 284 pp. 15 illus. 6 x 9"
True Crime

$17.99 Ebook, 978-1-61168-228-1

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“Loughlin’s recorded entries about the case—his thoughts, emotions and reactions to the investigation—amplify Flora’s straightforward but potent narrative as detectives search for the grave, find it (about halfway... [continued in Reviews below]”—Publishers Weekly

A fascinating, first-hand account of a murder investigation in a rural state

Combining the drama of a true crime story with the detail of a police procedural, Finding Amy chronicles the investigation into one of the most shocking murders in recent Maine history. Twenty-five-year-old Amy St. Laurent was attractive, intelligent, and responsible. One October evening, she went out to show a friend from Florida the exciting nightlife of Portland’s Old Port section. She played pool. She danced. And then she disappeared. The police investigation into her murder riveted the state of Maine for months.

This inside account of the investigation alternates between Kate Clark Flora’s objective tale of dedicated police work and the dramatic recollections of then-Lieutenant Joseph K. Loughlin, who oversaw the case. From the first call to a Portland detective about a missing woman to the police’s growing certainty that she had been murdered, from the heroic efforts to locate the body to the flight from Maine of their chief suspect, and from the painstaking work of collecting evidence and building a case to the struggles over jurisdictional questions to the twists and turns of the eventual trial, Finding Amy is a dramatic story of brutal murder and exemplary police work.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Loughlin’s recorded entries about the case—his thoughts, emotions and reactions to the investigation—amplify Flora’s straightforward but potent narrative as detectives search for the grave, find it (about halfway through the book) and build a case against a leading suspect. This is a feast for proceduralists, giving countless small details of the work-a-day slogging involved, an effort that leads the department to make good on the mystery, catching Amy’s murderer, and making the case stick.”—Publishers Weekly

“The tale is brimming with insights about police procedure, jurisdictional disputes, and politics. Over and over again, real life trumps fiction. For instance, after a five-hour standoff, the suspect surrenders one of his guns for a soda, the other for a cigarette. Put that in a novel and no one would believe it . . . The reader is never allowed to lose sight of the humanity of the victim, a young girl who accepted a ride from the wrong guy, then had the temerity to say no and mean it.”Boston Globe

“Readers of true crime will find this chronological tale of the search for Amy and her killer especially compelling because of the personal account of Loughlin, who was lieutenant of the Criminal Investigation Department when Amy disappeared. Loughlin’s journal, woven into Flora’s painstaking recreation of the work of the detectives, highlights the intense discussions that took place among the key players and gives readers a look at the slow, steady progress of real detectives on a real case. There are no ‘CSI solutions’ that wrap up the case in a conveniently short time. There are no magic findings of DNA. What takes place in this true story is the passionate belief that they will find Amy, bring her killer to justice, and give closure to her family and to the people of Maine.”Foreword

“This is one of the best true crime stories to be published in recent years...This book should reaffirm the public’s faith in the police, prosecutors, and Maine’s judicial system.”—Brunswick Times Record

“A remarkable chronicle of the search for a young woman that brought together multiple jurisdictions in an extraordinarily cooperative and focused effort. Loughlin and Flora give us a compelling and moving behind-the-scenes window on the investigation, trial, and—most of all—the impact of Amy’s story on the lives and hearts of the investigators.”Margaret Press, author of A Scream on the Water

“What distinguishes Finding Amy from other books of true-crime reporting are the two intertwined narratives. The captivating whodunit storyline of noted mystery author Kate Clark Flora is interspersed with the sobering and sometimes moving first-person behind-the-scenes log of Captain Joseph K. Loughlin who headed up the search for Amy and her killer. The result is a highly compelling read from the opening page to the bittersweet final lines. This is true-crime reporting at its best.”Gary Braver, author of Flashback

From the Book:

"Outside, in the 'normal' world, it was a Saturday night in the Christmas season. People were crowding into the malls to do their holiday shopping. Going to parties, to dinners, to concerts and carol sings. People were baking. Decorating. Wrapping presents. Writing Christmas cards. While under the eerie, searing brightness of a bank of artificial lights, detectives toiled in a woodland clearing, unearthing the dirt-encrusted form of a lovely young woman who had had the misfortune to cross paths with a predator.

Finally, late in the evening, the excavation had fully exposed the body and the surrounding earth had all been removed and screened. Around 11:00 p.m., the body presumed to be Amy St. Laurent was carefully removed from her grave and placed in a body bag for transport to the medical examiner's office. Before Amy was taken away, Det. Young asked the medical examiner to clean the dirt from her ankle. He was looking for the dolphin tattoo so he could give Dennis St. Laurent, still waiting out on the road, the real confirmation he'd been waiting for.

As the M.E.'s van drove away and the evidence techs were snapping their last pictures, it began to snow."


Nominated for the Edgar Award for Fact Crime (2006)
Maine Literary Awards for Nonfiction (2007) Commendation

Author Photo

CAPTAIN JOSEPH K. LOUGHLIN is a twenty-four-year veteran of the Portland (Maine) Police Department. KATE CLARK FLORA is a former assistant attorney general for the state of Maine and the author of seven mystery novels. She is a past international president of the mystery writer's organization, Sisters in Crime.

Mon, 18 Jun 2018 11:53:06 -0500