1955. California, a postwar dream. Stephanie Bryan, a pretty fourteen-year-old from Berkeley, vanishes while walking home from school one day. Her parents search frantically; her disappearance makes the news; but nothing turns up...for three months.
Then, one summer night a few miles away in the town of Alameda, a young housewife discovers a burial ground of Stephanie Bryan's belongings in her basement, including bobby pins, schoolbooks, eyeglasses, and a wallet. The woman's husband, Burton Abbot, soon becomes the enigmatic center of the nine-month nightmare that follows. Abbot claims innocence, but Stephanie's body is soon found in a makeshift grave not far from Abbot's mountain cabin, hundreds of miles away. Despite the evidence, Abbot stubbornly maintains his innocence throughout the trial, provoking questions that linger four decades later. Through extensive interviews, original research, and an eye-opening review of long-forgotten police files, Harry Farrell has crafted a chilling re-creation of an unforgettable crime--and a dark parable of evil amid the suburban bliss of 1950s America.