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Under the Trestle: The 1980 Disappearance of Gina Renee Hall & Virginia’s First “No Body” Murder Trial.

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Under The Trestle is the true story of the most compelling murder case in Virginia history. In 1980, beautiful Gina Renee Hall, a Radford University freshman, went to a Virginia Tech nightclub on a Saturday night. She was never seen again. Her abandoned car was found parked beneath a railroad trestle bridging the New River, with blood in the trunk. The investigation led po Under The Trestle is the true story of the most compelling murder case in Virginia history. In 1980, beautiful Gina Renee Hall, a Radford University freshman, went to a Virginia Tech nightclub on a Saturday night. She was never seen again. Her abandoned car was found parked beneath a railroad trestle bridging the New River, with blood in the trunk. The investigation led police to a secluded cabin on Claytor Lake, where there was evidence of a violent attack. Former Virginia Tech football player, Stephen Epperly, was charged with murder, despite the fact that Gina’s body was never found. In Virginia’s “trial of the century”, prosecutor Everett Shockley presented an entirely circumstantial case. Key witnesses against Epperly included his best friend, his mother, and a tracking dog handler later believed by many to be a fraud. Three former Virginia Tech football players testified, including a Hokies quarterback once featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Would Epperly become the first person in Virginia history convicted of murder without the victim’s body, an eyewitness, or a confession? And would authorities ever find the body of Gina Renee Hall?


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Under The Trestle is the true story of the most compelling murder case in Virginia history. In 1980, beautiful Gina Renee Hall, a Radford University freshman, went to a Virginia Tech nightclub on a Saturday night. She was never seen again. Her abandoned car was found parked beneath a railroad trestle bridging the New River, with blood in the trunk. The investigation led po Under The Trestle is the true story of the most compelling murder case in Virginia history. In 1980, beautiful Gina Renee Hall, a Radford University freshman, went to a Virginia Tech nightclub on a Saturday night. She was never seen again. Her abandoned car was found parked beneath a railroad trestle bridging the New River, with blood in the trunk. The investigation led police to a secluded cabin on Claytor Lake, where there was evidence of a violent attack. Former Virginia Tech football player, Stephen Epperly, was charged with murder, despite the fact that Gina’s body was never found. In Virginia’s “trial of the century”, prosecutor Everett Shockley presented an entirely circumstantial case. Key witnesses against Epperly included his best friend, his mother, and a tracking dog handler later believed by many to be a fraud. Three former Virginia Tech football players testified, including a Hokies quarterback once featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Would Epperly become the first person in Virginia history convicted of murder without the victim’s body, an eyewitness, or a confession? And would authorities ever find the body of Gina Renee Hall?

30 review for Under the Trestle: The 1980 Disappearance of Gina Renee Hall & Virginia’s First “No Body” Murder Trial.

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ron Jr.

    UNDER THE TRESTLE is a true story about a really fascinating 1980 murder case. The case is famous because it was the first time in Virginia a person was convicted of murder without the victim's body. The killer is still in prison (spoiler alert, he was a Virginia Tech football player) and the victim, Gina Hall's body has never been found. The author digs into the killer's background ... good-looking, clean-cut guy, but a real wolf in sheep's clothing. A haunting portrait is also painted of the v UNDER THE TRESTLE is a true story about a really fascinating 1980 murder case. The case is famous because it was the first time in Virginia a person was convicted of murder without the victim's body. The killer is still in prison (spoiler alert, he was a Virginia Tech football player) and the victim, Gina Hall's body has never been found. The author digs into the killer's background ... good-looking, clean-cut guy, but a real wolf in sheep's clothing. A haunting portrait is also painted of the victim, Gina Hall, who was a small-town girl voted "most popular" in high school known for her kindness and genorosity. At points it reads like a legal thriller as the sensational court trial unfolds. The star witness? A tracking dog who followed Epperly from Gina's abandoned car to his house. And it's true! The author also shared insight on the fascinating 39 year search for Gina's body, which was recently re-opened. After reading the book, I did an internet search and found a new article that tells me that current police are actually optimistic that new publicity from this book will generate a "lead" that might somehow help find Gina. A great book! Bravo!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    This book was very enlightening to a murder trial that gripped my community during 1980, when I was 7 years old, and in many ways, continues to keep the attention of everyone today. It was a story I knew bits and pieces of and I was fascinated to learn the details of the events that were occurring around me as a child. It was a crime of firsts: 1st conviction in Virginia without a body, use of a tracking dog in court. I had the pleasure and honor of meeting with the Commonwealth's Attorney in 19 This book was very enlightening to a murder trial that gripped my community during 1980, when I was 7 years old, and in many ways, continues to keep the attention of everyone today. It was a story I knew bits and pieces of and I was fascinated to learn the details of the events that were occurring around me as a child. It was a crime of firsts: 1st conviction in Virginia without a body, use of a tracking dog in court. I had the pleasure and honor of meeting with the Commonwealth's Attorney in 1991 when I was taking AP Government, I was able to shadow him for the day and he showed me some of the records on the case. I was engrossed in the story but also of how many of the key players I knew (this is a small, close knit community). I am pleased to hear they continue to actively search for her body and hope some day she will receive the proper burial her family wants for her.

  3. 4 out of 5

    ♥ Marlene♥

    It seems when I finish a book that I bought on amazon it automatically changes it status into being read here on goodreads even if I do not set it so. This is not good because it makes me forget I still have to review the book. That being said I bought this book and glad I did. It was very well written. A very good book nonetheless. First of all it is well written and because of that it makes you care which is nice when you read true crime. It is not a 5 star book because to be fair it is also ea It seems when I finish a book that I bought on amazon it automatically changes it status into being read here on goodreads even if I do not set it so. This is not good because it makes me forget I still have to review the book. That being said I bought this book and glad I did. It was very well written. A very good book nonetheless. First of all it is well written and because of that it makes you care which is nice when you read true crime. It is not a 5 star book because to be fair it is also easily forgettable book (not Gina) :-) but it is a good read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ronnie Cramer

    A solid true-crime book. I respect the author's ability to make the story interesting despite the rather open-and-shut nature of the case. A solid true-crime book. I respect the author's ability to make the story interesting despite the rather open-and-shut nature of the case.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Tena

    Painful I met Dlana after the murder of Gina. We were both first year teachers at Coeburn Primary School and began our team teaching in the fall of 1980. We shared a small trailer behind the school and became extremely close. Dlana served as matron of honor at my wedding. She talked very little about Gina. So, while reading this book, I realized what a strong, intelligent woman Dlana Hall was and still is. Dlana was a phenomenal teacher and a devoted friend. Imagine if she was that way with a vir Painful I met Dlana after the murder of Gina. We were both first year teachers at Coeburn Primary School and began our team teaching in the fall of 1980. We shared a small trailer behind the school and became extremely close. Dlana served as matron of honor at my wedding. She talked very little about Gina. So, while reading this book, I realized what a strong, intelligent woman Dlana Hall was and still is. Dlana was a phenomenal teacher and a devoted friend. Imagine if she was that way with a virtual stranger what her relationship with her sister was. I lived in a neighboring county and surprisingly was not aware of the murder. Remember this was before internet and smart phones and 24 hours news channels. As I read this story I still feel such anger and sorrow that Gina's body has not been brought home. It is unfathomable that Epperly has kept this horrible secret all these years. I appreciate how Peterson mixed emotions and facts in the book. The anguish experienced by the Hall family and the frustration from the law enforcement was felt in every page. This book gives the reader an inside view from the night Gina disappeared to every investigative and legal step taken in the search for Gina's body and the conviction of her murderer. If I have a complaint about the book it would be the poor editing. Dlana's brother's name is Garland, not Garnett. Several other grammatical and timeline errors were distracting. I am looking forward to reading Dlana Hall Bodmer's book "The Miraculous Journey: A Day Made In Heaven".

  6. 5 out of 5

    Chelsa Yoder

    I give this 5 stars because I couldn’t put it down. Any minute I had to read I had this open. I do think the writing could have a bit more finesse and the editing could have been better-typos were more common than most books I have read. But. Again. I couldn’t stop reading. Possibly because this was a local crime, but also because I enjoy reading true crime and this was an interesting case. It was a gripping tale but interestingly to me, you really come to care for this girl. A must read for loc I give this 5 stars because I couldn’t put it down. Any minute I had to read I had this open. I do think the writing could have a bit more finesse and the editing could have been better-typos were more common than most books I have read. But. Again. I couldn’t stop reading. Possibly because this was a local crime, but also because I enjoy reading true crime and this was an interesting case. It was a gripping tale but interestingly to me, you really come to care for this girl. A must read for locals, especially ones like me who were to young to know about the case.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Liz Ritchie

    Having completed graduate school at Radford, I was compelled to read this book involving a local story that had such an impact on the community. Friends and local bookstore owners all recommended this story as impressive. And they were right. I had a hard time putting this book down! It was so interesting and so hard to believe all of the layers that are involved in this case; some of them just ironic and strange. Ron Peterson did an outstanding job of collecting all of the information, data, an Having completed graduate school at Radford, I was compelled to read this book involving a local story that had such an impact on the community. Friends and local bookstore owners all recommended this story as impressive. And they were right. I had a hard time putting this book down! It was so interesting and so hard to believe all of the layers that are involved in this case; some of them just ironic and strange. Ron Peterson did an outstanding job of collecting all of the information, data, and perspectives from everyone involved. Well done. I recommend this book to any true crime fans!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Fishface

    Good read about a very sad story This one is genuinely tragic in the classical sense of the term: a man born with a fatal flaw brings about his own downfall, taking more than a few other people down with him in the process. I came away with many questions, but despite all the unresolved issues here I thought the author did a good job of setting my mind at ease. This book did need a final copy edit; st times I thought I was watching one car loaded with apostrophes crash into another one full of hy Good read about a very sad story This one is genuinely tragic in the classical sense of the term: a man born with a fatal flaw brings about his own downfall, taking more than a few other people down with him in the process. I came away with many questions, but despite all the unresolved issues here I thought the author did a good job of setting my mind at ease. This book did need a final copy edit; st times I thought I was watching one car loaded with apostrophes crash into another one full of hyphens and seeing the punctuation fly everywhere.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katee

    If you want to learn about the death of Gina Renee Hall and the subsequent trial of her murderer, save yourself some time and listen to a podcast about it instead of reading this book. I'd recommend Southern Fried True Crime episode 77. In the summer of 1980, Gina Renee Hall left her house in Radford, VA to go dancing in Blacksburg, VA. Not long after her disappearance, law enforcement officers in Radford set their sights on Stephen Epperly, the last known person who saw and had contact with Gina If you want to learn about the death of Gina Renee Hall and the subsequent trial of her murderer, save yourself some time and listen to a podcast about it instead of reading this book. I'd recommend Southern Fried True Crime episode 77. In the summer of 1980, Gina Renee Hall left her house in Radford, VA to go dancing in Blacksburg, VA. Not long after her disappearance, law enforcement officers in Radford set their sights on Stephen Epperly, the last known person who saw and had contact with Gina. Her body was never located but the Commonwealth of Virginia brought a circumstantial case against Mr. Epperly and he was found guilty. This is the first "no body" case in Virginia and it resulted in a guilty verdict setting legal precedents in Virginia. Now onto the book itself. The writing for this book is not good. The author used the wrong terminology in parts. He spoke a lot about a whos-who in Virginia Tech Hokie football history that had little to do with the story but he spent pages on it. My biggest complaint is who is Gina Renee Hall? The author only spent 6 pages talking about who the victim was but it wasn't very well researched for those 6 pages. He spent a lot of time repeating the same facts about her over and over in those 6 pages. It was an opportunity for the author to let the readers know who Gina was prior to her death but he didn't seem as interested in that compared to the case against Epperly. One bright note on this case itself is it shows how cases were handled prior to the inclusion of DNA evidence. A lot of cases were solved before DNA evidence but to bring forth a "no body" case before the admission of DNA evidence is astounding given the circumstantial evidence presented in this case.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Judith Babarsky

    Gripping story on so many levels This is a book I couldn't put down. Although I was living in Radford at the time of the events in the book, I only vaguely remember it being on my radar. The author does a great job of weaving details of the person and character of Gina Hall, the places, sights and sounds of New River Valley, Radford and Claytor Lake. But even more than the incredibly sad and distressing story of a young life brought to a premature end, this is the story of the historic trial - fi Gripping story on so many levels This is a book I couldn't put down. Although I was living in Radford at the time of the events in the book, I only vaguely remember it being on my radar. The author does a great job of weaving details of the person and character of Gina Hall, the places, sights and sounds of New River Valley, Radford and Claytor Lake. But even more than the incredibly sad and distressing story of a young life brought to a premature end, this is the story of the historic trial - first ever in Virginia for a murder trial to proceed without a body. To this day the body remains undiscovered. A mystery in itself.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    Fascinating read about Virginia’s first murder conviction without a body. A Radford University freshman was murdered by a former Virginia Tech football player in June 1980. My then future husband and I were both rising seniors at the two schools at the time. The book may not be as interesting if you don’t have southwest Virginia ties, although the true crime story may grab you anyway. Written by a newspaper reporter and Radford grad, the details and recall of the events are well researched. I re Fascinating read about Virginia’s first murder conviction without a body. A Radford University freshman was murdered by a former Virginia Tech football player in June 1980. My then future husband and I were both rising seniors at the two schools at the time. The book may not be as interesting if you don’t have southwest Virginia ties, although the true crime story may grab you anyway. Written by a newspaper reporter and Radford grad, the details and recall of the events are well researched. I recommend overall, but be warned the writing style itself sometimes reads like a bad high school English paper and a couple of glaring errors should not have made it past the editing process.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    ^^5+ stars for content - 2 for style and editing = 4 overall.^^

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jayne Lilley

    Very interesting...

  14. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Gina Hall disappearnce lot's of detail that most of us didn't know. Lots of information about the case. Kept me reading and interested. Gina Hall disappearnce lot's of detail that most of us didn't know. Lots of information about the case. Kept me reading and interested.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bettye McKee

    True crime with its own mystery On June 29, 1980, Gina Hall went to nightclub. She loved to dance. When she failed to return to the apartment she shared with her sister, it was clear that something was wrong. Police investigating the missing person case learned that she had left the club with a young man, they knew from the description who they were looking for. This is an intriguing case told in an easy-to-understand style. I felt as though I was part of the investigating team. There are many aspe True crime with its own mystery On June 29, 1980, Gina Hall went to nightclub. She loved to dance. When she failed to return to the apartment she shared with her sister, it was clear that something was wrong. Police investigating the missing person case learned that she had left the club with a young man, they knew from the description who they were looking for. This is an intriguing case told in an easy-to-understand style. I felt as though I was part of the investigating team. There are many aspects to this case, some of them setting precedents in the legal world years before the advent of DNA. 156

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lida

    Interesting read of local events Sometimes the technical jargon and in depth explanations came off a bit clunky. This occurred mostly in the beginning. I live in the area and had an interest so I kept on and then could not put it down. This is a very thorough account of the case of Gina Hall.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia

    A must read for anyone that lives or has lived in the NRV, especially if you have any connection to Radford University during the early 1980's. Once I started this book, I couldn't put it down. A must read for anyone that lives or has lived in the NRV, especially if you have any connection to Radford University during the early 1980's. Once I started this book, I couldn't put it down.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Nawrot

    I'll just lay this out here. A smart 12 year old could write a true crime story, narrated by a robot, and I'd like the book because I have a nearly unquenchable thirst for true crime. Some true crime novels rise above because the project is spearheaded by superb talent, and that will always be a home run for me. This was NOT a home run. The writing was mediocre at best and the narration was horrible. I'll get into that in a minute. The facts of the case are memorable though, and nothing could le I'll just lay this out here. A smart 12 year old could write a true crime story, narrated by a robot, and I'd like the book because I have a nearly unquenchable thirst for true crime. Some true crime novels rise above because the project is spearheaded by superb talent, and that will always be a home run for me. This was NOT a home run. The writing was mediocre at best and the narration was horrible. I'll get into that in a minute. The facts of the case are memorable though, and nothing could lessen that for me. 18 year-old Gina Renee Hall was a college freshman, a good girl beloved by her friends and family. One night she went out to a local bar in her small home town in Virginia to dance, something she loved to do. She made the fateful error of meeting Steve Epperly there, and under the guise of joining a group of friends at an upscale lake house, left with him, never to be seen again. The facts of the case accumulated into a mountain of evidence against Epperly. He was a repeat rapist with a history of violence, who asked many of his friends whether he could be convicted of murder if there were no body. There was blood all over the lake house. Her discarded clothes and abandoned car were found in various areas around the lake house. The list goes on and on. Exhaustive efforts were made to find her body though, with no luck, and Epperly wasn't talking. This became a landmark case because no one had ever been convicted without a body to prove murder, but prosecutors were successful in getting Epperly a life sentence. While the case was well-researched by the author, his prose was dry and uninspired. With any other topic, it would be unreadable. This is his only book. He is a newspaper reporter and works on ad campaigns, and the book reads like a newspaper story. He could have benefited from a partner or editor with a skill in bringing stories to life. Just because you CAN write a book doesn't mean you should. On Amazon, the ratings average close to five stars. As I often see, many reviews have not been able to separate the story from the mechanics behind it. Equally as dismal was the narration. Kyle Tait is a sportscaster, and should not have been cast as a narrator. His voice sounded like a lounge lizard, drawing out the end of every sentence with a kind of phony drama. He was reading the words without emotion or inflection, and it took all my willpower to get past it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Connie Phillips

    Very interesting compilation The writer compiled the historical facts of this tragedy - a young college student who is apparently brutally killed and disposed of - her body is never found. But the suspect is prosecuted without a body. The first "no body" murder trial in the Commonwealth and it goes all the up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Being a teenager in Radford during the time of this case, I remember the case very well. The author's writing kept me interested through to end even though I knew Very interesting compilation The writer compiled the historical facts of this tragedy - a young college student who is apparently brutally killed and disposed of - her body is never found. But the suspect is prosecuted without a body. The first "no body" murder trial in the Commonwealth and it goes all the up to the U.S. Supreme Court. Being a teenager in Radford during the time of this case, I remember the case very well. The author's writing kept me interested through to end even though I knew the result. He brought things to light that the average person may not have known. The editing on the Kindle could have been improved. But the story and details were enlightening. This story should be told to remind people of the dangers of going with someone alone that you just meet and have no information about them. It's better to be with a group of friends. There have been various thoughts about what the killer may have done with her body. I hope the truth one day will be revealed. The book mentioned a couple of other crimes that I wasn't aware of in the New River Valley that happened around that time. So the book is a fascinating read. I am now interested in reading the other book(s) written about this crime.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. ONLY MILD SPOILERS-Very interesting read. Other comments below have criticized the book for grammar and spelling errors or being hard to read - which I think is unfair. The book contains a lot of information, most of which was pieced together from many documents (perhaps painfully written in chicken scrawl), to create a very well documented point by point presentation with a bit of creative flair (e.g. painting a scene with a descriptive story) to draw a reader in. I could have done without some ONLY MILD SPOILERS-Very interesting read. Other comments below have criticized the book for grammar and spelling errors or being hard to read - which I think is unfair. The book contains a lot of information, most of which was pieced together from many documents (perhaps painfully written in chicken scrawl), to create a very well documented point by point presentation with a bit of creative flair (e.g. painting a scene with a descriptive story) to draw a reader in. I could have done without some of the speculation in one the final chapters, "Where is Gina" but I understand that this will get readers talking, promote the book more, and therefore promote the case more. Moreover, I just didn't like the eeststing of possible tips/locations thay were mentioned in earlier in the book and then subsequently debunked my Officer Hall. All in all a good read about a very interesting case, take it as that and you will walk away pleased.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Laymon

    Best true crime book EVER I have read hundreds of true crime books over the last 30 or so years and I have never read one any better than this!!! It is as detailed as they come without one minute of boredom or filler. It is an unbelievable story about love, dedication, intrigue, and pure evil. And Mr Epperly, if you are still alive, you need to TELL THESE PEOPLE where to find this forever young, beautiful woman. I am now 66 years old and I had my first child in 1980, just a month before this youn Best true crime book EVER I have read hundreds of true crime books over the last 30 or so years and I have never read one any better than this!!! It is as detailed as they come without one minute of boredom or filler. It is an unbelievable story about love, dedication, intrigue, and pure evil. And Mr Epperly, if you are still alive, you need to TELL THESE PEOPLE where to find this forever young, beautiful woman. I am now 66 years old and I had my first child in 1980, just a month before this young woman was murdered. My son will be 40 this May. I can't imagine the suffering her family and friends have gone through! 40 years! Please tell them where she is! This is an absolute MUST READ for everyone... Not just true crime buffs, but everyone! You won't be sorry you read it! To Mr. Ron Peterson, please write another one! Please look for just the right case and write another true crime book! This one is EXCELLENT!!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Robin Howell

    OMG what a wonderful book!! I was like 10 years old when this happened, so I barely Remer it. As I was reading the book things jogged my memory of the news reports. This book was very hard to put down, it was gripping from the get go. I have re-read some sentences in some chapters, even re-read some chapters. I'm still not understanding some things and I too have a theory on what Epperly did with Gina's body. I don't understand why Mr. Peterson mentioned the aunt that lived with the Epperly's when OMG what a wonderful book!! I was like 10 years old when this happened, so I barely Remer it. As I was reading the book things jogged my memory of the news reports. This book was very hard to put down, it was gripping from the get go. I have re-read some sentences in some chapters, even re-read some chapters. I'm still not understanding some things and I too have a theory on what Epperly did with Gina's body. I don't understand why Mr. Peterson mentioned the aunt that lived with the Epperly's when the kids were younger?? I keep going back to that and wondering what her impact was on Stephen?? Was she the one, with her abuse, who made him the monster he turned out to be?? As far as a theory, maybe instead of dumping the whole body, maybe he dumped parts??? As sickening as that sounds, it could explain why no body has been found???

  23. 5 out of 5

    Marcy Guenette

    This is the story of a successful murder conviction without a body, the first case of its kind in the state of Virginia. In 1980, 18-year-old Gina Hall decided to go to a local nightclub alone. She phoned her sister several hours later and said she'd be home shortly. She never made it back home. Admittedly we "read" (listened) to this book because of local interest, having moved to Blacksburg, VA, some eighteen years ago, home to Virginia Tech, with Radford University the next town over. Althoug This is the story of a successful murder conviction without a body, the first case of its kind in the state of Virginia. In 1980, 18-year-old Gina Hall decided to go to a local nightclub alone. She phoned her sister several hours later and said she'd be home shortly. She never made it back home. Admittedly we "read" (listened) to this book because of local interest, having moved to Blacksburg, VA, some eighteen years ago, home to Virginia Tech, with Radford University the next town over. Although events in the book predate our time in the New River Valley, the locations are very familiar, as are some of the names, especially of the lawyers (they're still around). I found the story really interesting and real, and the audio version is really well read. In fact, since publication there has been renewed interest in searching for Gina, using new technology.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I would have given five stars but for one big error to me. He never addressed how they identified the purses being stolen and finding them in the bushes down the road. I can really see how investigations have improved in later years and how it would have helped more back then. Depressing that the family has still not gotten closure from this and Epperly refuses to tell what he did with her body. Remember this case well as not far from where i lived. Hope the book does what Mr Peterson wants and I would have given five stars but for one big error to me. He never addressed how they identified the purses being stolen and finding them in the bushes down the road. I can really see how investigations have improved in later years and how it would have helped more back then. Depressing that the family has still not gotten closure from this and Epperly refuses to tell what he did with her body. Remember this case well as not far from where i lived. Hope the book does what Mr Peterson wants and brings someone forward with some tip to find her body. Only other thing i didnt enjoy was the statistics in football players in beginning. Guess he felt important to establish kindred spirits of hokie land though but did nothing for me except bore me.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I'm torn on what to rate this. Positives, this is an absolutely exhaustive account, with seemingly no detail overlooked. I picked this up at a bookstore in the Roanoke, VA area, and from what I can tell, there is a suitable local feel. I was really put off, though, by the colorless tone of the whole things. This was self-published, so I expected more passion in what I presumed to be a passion project. I also would have liked a bit more structural analysis, contextualizing the events a bit more b I'm torn on what to rate this. Positives, this is an absolutely exhaustive account, with seemingly no detail overlooked. I picked this up at a bookstore in the Roanoke, VA area, and from what I can tell, there is a suitable local feel. I was really put off, though, by the colorless tone of the whole things. This was self-published, so I expected more passion in what I presumed to be a passion project. I also would have liked a bit more structural analysis, contextualizing the events a bit more broadly - then again, this seems to be written very narrowly in terms of scope, so I can give that a pass. I don't regret reading it, but if I hadn't heard about it in the area in which the events took place I likely would not have read it.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    This book was expertly written, paced and researched, it was acutely informative without becoming dull or tedious. Whether you're an NRV resident who has heard about the events of 1980 or a totally uninformed outside observer there's no denying that the disappearance of Gina Hall is and continues to be a uniquely tragic and perplexing case. Peterson writes in a compelling style, taking you through all the events in roughly chronological order while stopping from time to time to impart valuable b This book was expertly written, paced and researched, it was acutely informative without becoming dull or tedious. Whether you're an NRV resident who has heard about the events of 1980 or a totally uninformed outside observer there's no denying that the disappearance of Gina Hall is and continues to be a uniquely tragic and perplexing case. Peterson writes in a compelling style, taking you through all the events in roughly chronological order while stopping from time to time to impart valuable background information about people and places. While reading, one gets the sense that the author writes from a place of genuine interest in the events of the disappearance and, more importantly, an abiding concern in seeing all the mysteries surrounding it solved so that at long last some small measure of closure might be given to Gina's family and all those so changed by the case.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I bought this book because the subject matter hits close to home to me as all this stuff happened in the county right next to where I grew up and being a local who lived so close to it I've always heard the rumors and the stories about what happened. But even with those I hadn't heard everything there was to hear and that's what I loved about this book. It gave way more details than what I had ever known and it was enough to keep me interested and hanging on for all this new bits of information. I I bought this book because the subject matter hits close to home to me as all this stuff happened in the county right next to where I grew up and being a local who lived so close to it I've always heard the rumors and the stories about what happened. But even with those I hadn't heard everything there was to hear and that's what I loved about this book. It gave way more details than what I had ever known and it was enough to keep me interested and hanging on for all this new bits of information. I can only hope that one day Gina's remains are found so her family can finally bury her properly.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Being an alum of Radford University, and having lived in Radford for nine years in the late 90's early 2000's, this story was especially compelling for me. The events of this case happened in 1980 when I was less than a year old, and it was almost two decades before I moved to the area, but as they discuss various landmarks and important places in the case, I got a few chills remembering having been there too. It was interesting to hear how the investigators and prosecuters were able to build a Being an alum of Radford University, and having lived in Radford for nine years in the late 90's early 2000's, this story was especially compelling for me. The events of this case happened in 1980 when I was less than a year old, and it was almost two decades before I moved to the area, but as they discuss various landmarks and important places in the case, I got a few chills remembering having been there too. It was interesting to hear how the investigators and prosecuters were able to build a compelling case with "no body" and WIN was impressive. It's a good read if you are into true crime.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Millett

    Sad, compelling story that is well written Ron Peterson is a new true crime author for me and I was not disappointed. This is a heartbreaking, true story of a young woman in her prime who was murdered by a vicious, sick psychopath. The author does an excellent job of telling the whole story with exceptional details along with a true humanization of the victim and her family. The saddest part of this book is the fact that her family never received closure as her body was never found. Well written, Sad, compelling story that is well written Ron Peterson is a new true crime author for me and I was not disappointed. This is a heartbreaking, true story of a young woman in her prime who was murdered by a vicious, sick psychopath. The author does an excellent job of telling the whole story with exceptional details along with a true humanization of the victim and her family. The saddest part of this book is the fact that her family never received closure as her body was never found. Well written, detailed story about the horror of one family's loss and at the same time the dedication of the police, prosecuter and various others to bring her death to justice.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Cassie

    A book about the murder of a college freshman by a local resident in the town I grew up in. I was 12 at the time and remember bits and pieces but didn’t know all the details. How different it was back then vs the onslaught of information kids have now. I really enjoyed learning more about the victim and her family and am stunned that almost 40 years later they still have never found her body. I don’t know if the book would be as enjoyable if you didn’t grow up in the area but I couldn’t put it d A book about the murder of a college freshman by a local resident in the town I grew up in. I was 12 at the time and remember bits and pieces but didn’t know all the details. How different it was back then vs the onslaught of information kids have now. I really enjoyed learning more about the victim and her family and am stunned that almost 40 years later they still have never found her body. I don’t know if the book would be as enjoyable if you didn’t grow up in the area but I couldn’t put it down.

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