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Gone [Kindle Edition]

Jerry Mitchell
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $0.99

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Book Description

Two young women disappear. Another drowns. All linked to one man — Felix Vail. The Mississippi native was the last known person seen with three women — his wife, Mary Horton Vail, who drowned Oct. 28, 1962, his girlfriend, Sharon Hensley, who disappeared in 1973, and his wife, Annette Craver Vail, who disappeared in October 1984.

Initially arrested for questioning in his wife’s drowning in Lake Charles, La., he has never been prosecuted in any of the cases. The two women that disappeared were last known to be alive in Sulphur, La., where they were with Felix Vail at the time he was visiting his late sister.

Award-winning investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell went on the trail of Felix Vail, asking the important question: What are the odds of a man having a wife drown, another wife disappear and a common-law wife disappear?

“Smaller than the threshold of chance,” said James Alan Fox of Northeastern University, one of the nation’s leading criminologists. “Either he tends to select partners that lead higher risk lives or something else is going on that’s more nefarious.”

“Jerry Mitchell is the most distinguished reporter in the entire country, an ornament to the profession and a model for any young person who ponders whether or not to enter our business, a reflection of what one reporter with a conscience can do. I simply marvel at him and what he has done.”
— The late David Halberstam in 2005

Author Jerry Mitchell has been called "a loose cannon," "a pain in the ass" and a “white traitor." Whatever he’s been called, Jerry Mitchell — a MacArthur genius grant winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist — has never given up in his quest to bring unpunished killers to justice.

In his latest work, Mitchell has tracked the acts of suspected serial killer Felix Vail across the country and found evidence of foul play in the drowning of his first wife, Mary, in Lake Charles, La.

So far, the stories of the 53-year-old investigative reporter, who has worked for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., since 1986, has helped put four killers behind bars, including the imperial wizard of Mississippi’s most violent KKK group, the assassin of NAACP leader Medgar Evers and the Klan leader who orchestrated the 1964 killings of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Schwerner (popularized by the fictional film about that case, Mississippi Burning).

For his work, Mitchell has received more than 30 national awards, including the prestigious George Polk Award twice. In 2006, the Pulitzer Board named him a Pulitzer Prize finalist, praising him “for his relentless and masterly stories on the successful prosecution of a man accused of orchestrating the killing of three civil rights workers in 1964.”

In 2009, the MacArthur Foundation named Mitchell a MacArthur fellow for his work, becoming only the second investigative reporter to ever receive the $500,000 award.

Mitchell has been interviewed on all the major network and cable television programs, most recently appearing on The Colbert Report.

Others have noticed his work. In 1996, the film, Ghosts of Mississippi, depicted him and his work, leading to the reopening of the Medgar Evers case. Two years later, he was honored along with three other journalists at the Kennedy Center in Washington.

He is currently writing a book for Simon & Schuster titled Race Against Time on his pursuit of these unpunished killings.


Product Details

  • File Size: 166 KB
  • Print Length: 39 pages
  • Publisher: The Clarion-Ledger (November 8, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A447BIQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,701 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good work December 19, 2012
I enjoyed this story. It originally ran as a newspaper story, so it's not in traditional book format (but I'm glad it's more widely available as an e-book). It's a story worth telling and a good piece of journalism. I hope they find this guy and prosecute him for at least the first murder. Don't know if there's enough evidence to convict on the two women who are missing.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Award-winning investigative reporter, Jerry Mitchell, who has helped solve numerous decades-old murders is hot on the trail of a suspected serial killer. This is real-life; the story is unfolding; local authorities are quite possibly covering up corruption or incompetence; and the suspected killer of three women is still free. Jerry puts key pieces of the puzzle together in this spell-binding article.

I can't improve upon what's in the product description. This is an investigation in progress; so there's no third-act sort of resolution as yet and maybe never will be. Some murderers die unpunished by the legal system. That's as unsettling as the lack of resolution and it should be remembered this is not a book, per se, but an extended article published in the newspaper where the writer works. I read it there as it was delivered to my doorstep. The paper's archive is behind a pay wall so reading it on Kindle is probably easier and cheaper than going to the Clarion-Ledger site. I found it riveting because it brings to light a collection of facts strongly indicating a serial killer is on the loose in no small part due to inept, if not corrupt, local law enforcement at the time of the first murder, compounded by multiple jurisdictions where other key events occurred with two other women and time itself.

Since this was published, Felix Vail has sold his land in Mississippi after repeated requests by Jerry for an interview. Calcasieu Parish authorities have gone from stonewalling to investigating and have found Felix in Texas living on land he recently purchased from an old friend whose wife also died under mysterious circumstances. Her case had been closed but has now been reopened. Calcaseiu Parish authorities are reported to have visited Felix at least once and the FBI is now involved.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I read this book in one hour December 31, 2012
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Trust me,this was not because I was interested in this book, but because I have to finish what I start. Not what I thought it would be like. I have read many true crime stories over the years. and this by far was one of the worst.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gone ~ too soon January 13, 2013
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This is what I like to read ~ true crime stories ~ I wish it were longer and really get inside the characters, but I do understand it was written for a newspaper. This was a good read and would recommend it. I hope that justice can be served for the victims and their families.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick read January 6, 2013
A good afternoon or evening read. Well written. Interesting characters. If you like reading about what may or may not drive a person... You will love this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Rotten December 27, 2012
By Jezze
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This book was horrible. It jumped all over the place with no rhyme or reason. Not worth the time even for free.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Short and poorly written April 24, 2014
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This was very short and poorly written. Not worth the time it took to read it. Don't waste your time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars What??? March 5, 2014
Verified Purchase
not good. have so many unanswered questions. what happened? was he ever caught? did the authorities even try to find him? And many other questions.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
This book was "ok"
Published 14 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I SAY LOVE IT BECAUSE IT WAS A GREAT BOOK
I SAY LOVE IT BECAUSE IT WAS A GREAT BOOK. BUT LOVE IT IS NOT A DESCRIPTION I WOULD GIVE IT. SCARED ME TO DEATH BEING A GRANDMOTHER OF 3 GIRLS AND MOTHER OF 2
Published 28 days ago by KATHERINE
4.0 out of 5 stars Upsetting story
A quick read that left me wondering how many other people he helped to their permanent disappearance and how often we might meet a person like this.
Published 3 months ago by Francis Maloney
2.0 out of 5 stars GONE
I thought this book was gonna be a long book to read, but it fell very short,the story is good but it would of been nice to have more of a story!!!.
Published 5 months ago by Sunset
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful.
I have graded better high school essays.

This book contains no facts and is very weak in the story department.
Published 6 months ago by Ginger Vidrine
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
It was a good book but just didn't understand how this guy could get away with what he did for so long.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Three more innocent, lovely women, GONE
The legal system - how can any thinking person deny it is grossly unable to deal with murder. Absolutely horrifying, that this sociopathic, psychopathic repeat offender/killer... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Xen
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay but not great
This isn't really a book, it's a long chapter. The story was good but an ending with more answers would have been nice. Entertaining though.
Published 7 months ago by Carol A Lenser
5.0 out of 5 stars sad
This was an excellent book. Sad because of the subject. It really makes you wonder what happened. Worth the 99 cents.
Published 7 months ago by jeff h
1.0 out of 5 stars Follow up?
what happened with this case? Has Felix Vail gotten off Scott free? Do not like the way the author left everything so unfinished. Will avoid this author in the future.
Published 8 months ago by Sharon McGuire
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