Death of Innocence: The True Story of an Unspeakable Teenage Crime by Peter Meyer (April 1985)

Publication Date:
April 1985
Version:
Berkley True Crime
Price:
As low as $0.62 to $203.60

Reviewed by:
Rating:
5
On November 13, 2013
Last modified:November 13, 2013

Summary:

Such a sad, sad story so very well told.

Death of Innocence by Peter Meyer
Buy It Not On Amazon

Thirteen year old Megan O’Rourke and 12-year-old Melissa Walbridge made the fateful decision to take the shortcut through the woods rather than the more visible route on their way home from Lawton Middle School in Essex Junction, Vermont.

In the middle of the woods’ well worn path, the girls would be abducted by 16-year-old Louis “Louie” Hamlin and 15-year-old Jamie Savage. Before it was over, the girls would be raped, sodomized, tortured, and stabbed. And one of them would die at the hands of her teenage assailants.

In Death of Innocence: The True Story of an Unspeakable Teenage Crime, Author Peter Meyer weaves a provocative tale of violent teens with too much time on their hands and the investigation details that would eventually bring them to justice. And the injustice of one killer going free because the law hadn’t yet acknowledged youthful violence.

Meyer has an unique ability to so vividly describe people, places, and actions that readers will feel as though they are witnessing things first hand; which at times can be pleasant but sadly, considering the subject at hand, most often not.

The details are many, the storystelling strong, and the updates (current as of the publication date in 1985) are very informative. My only complaint – if you could call it that – is that there are no photographs. I would really have liked to be able to put faces to the victims and killers, especially since there are not any I could located only (not surprising being that it is 30 years later).

Death of Innocence is out of print but if you can locate a copy, snatch it. The cover may be a little plain but the story inside is anything but.



Where Are They Now?

According to an unnamed source, Megan O’Rourke has changed her name and prefers to live in anonymity as she continues to put the past behind her.

After being exposed for the name change to John Barber and his rape crimes in Vermont by an Arizona newspaper, Jamie Savage‘s whereabouts have become unknown.

According to the Vermont Inmate Locator, Louis “Louie” Hamlin is held in an Interstate Compact Facility. However, the specific facility is unknown.

Louis “Butch” Hamlin II asked for a sentence reconsideration on the grounds that part of the sex offender program violated his religious beliefs. Anyone else rolling their eyes and thinking, “Give me a break!”? Registered under the name Francis Lewis Hamlin as a sex offender, he is currently on an unsupervised status.

Last updated by on .

Share This Post

Related Articles

19 Responses to “Death of Innocence: The True Story of an Unspeakable Teenage Crime by Peter Meyer (April 1985)”

  1. [...] Death of Innocence: A review Share this:Like this:LikeOne blogger likes this. [...]

    • dawn says:

      i was watching bravo the other night and i realized 20 years after i was told just what my stepfatherss cousins wife had told me. she was the hamlin daughter that the father was raping and videoing…she had it worse than me i hope she and megan are coping well. i think life is hell

  2. Sandy says:

    I went out with Rene Savage.. Jamies brother, I even lived for a short time with the whole family while Jamie was in prison.. the mother was always sad and depressed and the stepdad tried something on me, i was only 15 he thought i was 18 thats what we told them so i can live there to be with Rene, I ran away from home because my dad didnt like Rene he thought he was  trouble so he went to the police to get him for being with a minor i was 15 he was 17 almost 18, thats when he talked me into going with him to Vermont with his family.  all the kids were named starting with the letter J, I wont say all there names for the privacy of the family. Jamie had written me a letter when he was in prison, Rene always told me that his brother was forced by gunpoint by the other boy to commit the crime so being 15 i wanted to believe that because i loved Rene so much! i didn’t want to believe that his brother could do such a horrible thing! so i convinced myself that had to be true! I never met jamie, honestly i don’t remember a picture of him there not saying they didn’t have any but i didn’t notice one on the wall or tables of him so i never got to see what he looked like. they had a very nice home alot of kids i believe 6 all boys and one girl it was so many yrs ago i want to say there was an older sister also not quite sure so maybe 7 children one was already living on his own and as a firefighter.There is so much more i can tell but i think i will finish here

  3. Anonymous says:

    I am not from VT, but I have lived here since 1989. This horrific crime and some of the subject matter was presented in conversation from a classmate of these two victims.
    I read alot of blogs today since this crime is being re-visited and being presented by Detectives I believe on television this week.
    One blog mentioned that “Hamlin” was transferred throughout many prisons out West? One of the prisons listed was a Federal prison. This puzzled me because everyone knows that the Federal prisons are comfortable to say the least. Unless they were Maximum Security? This whole case sickens me.
    Everyone asks me how does my husband get up and investigate all of these heinous crimes for the State of VT? I usually reply, “If he didn’t, who would? Someone has to protect the Innocent or avenge their crimes”.
    God Bless Megan and Melissa.
    VT toughen your laws! Build prisons! Make examples that this crime will not be tolerated!

    • Martina says:

      VT did toughen the law!! After Jamie got off so easy they changed the law to allow younger offenders to be tried as adults. Because of this the age was changed to 10 years old.
      This type of crime does not occur in VT. It happened when I was 2 and it’s a story that many parents pass on to their children so as to keep them safe. Of course there are freaks wherever you go, but it just doesn’t happen in VT. Louis is in Federal prison and will not be released unless he goes back to VT to complete sex offender classes. He does not want to do the classes so he’s going to stay behind bars. Louis pedophile father is still living unfortunately. His wife “found Jesus” and took him back. Her sisters and brothers want nothing to do with her or her children.

    • dawn says:

      the hamlin father was also raping and videoing his little girl lisa she is/was my stepfathers cousins wife. vt has never really protected their children my life was no picnic with tons of bad memories as well.

  4. Anonymous says:

    First and foremost, God bless you Megan and prayers for both you and Melissa. I don’t know where to start….I worked in the facility as a counselor/aide the night James Savage was brought in.  I was trying to find another copy of Peter Meyer’s book is how I reached this site.  The book is now out of print.  In the book I am referred to as the “turnkey”, as so was the others who worked there.  Mr. Meyer interviewed us in preperation for his book.  So much could not be told.  I will only speak for myself.  I had ten hour days interacting with James Savage.  We all read all documents and saw the photogaphs. The photos were not printed in order to protect all  who read the book from seeing the most horrorific darkness of evil that is even unthinkable. Be thankful you didn’t see any photos.  The reason I would like to have another copy is because I lost all my possessions due to a disasterous hurricane.  I don’t need the book to read as I was there.  I am trying to rebuild my library.

    • Sandee says:

      u can find the book on EBAY or Amazon….i had lost my original copy, and just order another. that book is a ‘must keep’…heartbreaking story!

  5. Anonymous says:

    First and foremost, God bless you Megan and prayers for both you and Melissa. I don’t know where to start….I worked in the facility as a counselor/aide the night James Savage was brought in.  I was trying to find another copy of Peter Meyer’s book is how I reached this site.  The book is now out of print.  In the book I am referred to as the “turnkey”, as so was the others who worked there.  Mr. Meyer interviewed us in preperation for his book.  So much could not be told.  I will only speak for myself.  I had ten hour days interacting with James Savage.  We all read all documents and saw the photogaphs. The photos were not printed in order to protect all  who read the book from seeing the most horrorific darkness of evil that is even unthinkable. Be thankful you didn’t see any photos.  The reason I would like to have another copy is because I lost all my possessions due to a disasterous hurricane.  I don’t need the book to read as I was there.  I am trying to rebuild my library.

  6. […] happened in Essex Junction, Vermont on May 15th 1981. Melissa Walbridge and Megan O’Rourke, 12-year-old sixth-graders were brutally raped and […]

  7. tia says:

    The first time I read the book I found a copy in my grandmother house years ago. Thanks to a program called Killer Kids they aired the story. Melissa in Megan god bless the two of you.

  8. Hi my family fellow member! I wish to declare that benefits and drawbacks incredible, great published are available along with most vital infos. I want to view added posts this way .

  9. JT says:

    This story is also appearing on episodes of “Killer Kids” on LMN. The title is Sexual Killers.

  10. fiend hunter says:

    Hey! This is kind of off topic but I need some help from
    an established blog. Is it tough to set up your own blog?

    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.
    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to start.
    Do you have any tips or suggestions? With thanks

  11. Amazing blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it
    from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog
    jump out. Please let me know where you got your design. Thanks

  12. Sarah says:

    Meghan O’Rourke hasnt changed her name even though she’s married with two children. She does seem to choose to not bring up the past though but she’s not in “hiding” or changed her identity.

  13. Debbie says:

    At one time I utilized an Internet bookstore called Abebooks. I was able to locate several out of print books. Two were locally published and very obscure. Hope this helps.

Leave a Reply

© 2014 True Crime Zine. All rights reserved. Site Admin · Entries RSS · Comments RSS
Powered by WordPress · Designed by Theme Junkie