Little Girl Lost: The True Story of The Vandling Murder by Tammy Mal (December 2012)

Publication Date:
December 2012
$12.02 paperback or $3.03 Kindle

Reviewed by:
On April 24, 2013
Last modified:May 17, 2013


The best piece of historical true crime you will read. Hands down!

On January 2, 1945, nine year-old Mae Ruth Barrett was walking home with sugary treats for her sister and younger cousin when she was viciously attacked.

Little Girl Lost by Tammy Mal
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Little Mae would never make it home and a town would live in fear until a killer was caught.

But when that day finally came, the towns people would never be the same; their lives forever changed. There would be no comfort in justice.

Not when the child killer was just a child himself.

Vandling, Pennsylvania, was never the same after 13 year-old Myron Semunchick confessed to murdering Mae. The shock that reverberated through the town then continues to do so today.

Tammy Mal, author of Little Girl Lost: The True Story of The Vandling Murder grew up in the area, heard frequent stories about teenaged child killer Myron Semunchick and was fascinated by the tales but the one thing she always hated was that few people remembered the victim’s name. Mal decided it was up to her to memorialize Mae Barrett in written form.

Even if Mal didn’t make mention of such, it’s obvious a great deal of research went into writing this book and the results are that this is one of the best historical true crime books you will ever read.

Mal creates a vivid picture of a brave young girl who loved Christmas time and her family dearly; a little girl who had suffered too much for such a short life but who overcame the heartbreak to see the goodness life offers. Alternatively, readers are drawn into the world of a young boy growing up under the direction of an over-protective mother and too often absent father; the result: a socially, inept man-child with psychopathic tendencies.

Little Girl Lost is an absolute must read! Even if you’re typically not a fan of historical crimes, you will still enjoy this one. So eloquently told, so thoroughly detailed, you’ll savor every minute of it.

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