In his new book LOST GIRLS: AN UNSOLVED AMERICAN MYSTERY author Robert Kolker offers the true crime store of five young women who while engaged in prostitution on Long Island , New York in were found brutally murdered on a lonely stretch of beach. These women were note affiliated with either pimps or escort services but rather were independent entrepreneurs who found their “clients” thru the internet. All the women came from working class backgrounds. None were either physically nor sexually abused. While not without their problems they were loved by their families. However they felt they lacked option for anything beyond low paying , minimum wage jobs. Some with children to support ,they wanted more . Regrettably they chose the “worlds oldest profession”. Author Kolker tells of the Police “investigation” and how lacking it was in effort . Law enforcement in this small jurisdiction did not seem to take this seriously. Kolker suggests there may be other bodies yet to be found for the serial killer of these five remains at large today.                            The story raises several important questions. Does Law Enforcement take violence against those in sex work seriously ? I wonder. Do we provide enough economic options for women ( both young and old ) who are not college educated ? I think not. Should sex work be brought out of the shadows and be made legal ? What do you think ? Tweet me your thoughts or respond here on the blog. Thank you.



                  From the repeal of “Don’t ask ; don’t tell” to members of Congress being “out” gays are more visible in our society than ever. This ever  changing attitude about the “other” suggests that rainbow acceptance is at hand. Yet with this new era gays are still subject to discrimination in housing, employment, child custody/adoption matters just to site a few examples. Gay jokes are still told. Gays are still subject to random violence. In her new book THE TOLERANCE TRAP: HOW GOD, GENES AND GOOD INTENTIONS ARE SABOTAGING GAY EQUALITY author Suzanna Danuta Walters argues that tolerance is not enough. Would the Woman’s Movement or African Americans have accepted merely being tolerated. No. Rather both have fought for equality in all aspects of life. Merely accepting what she calls “the low bar of tolerance” still allows the intolerant environments where things like hate crimes and LGBT teen suicide occur. Full equality, she argues, is what must be demanded. Nothing less than full “integration” is the only option which allows us to have a truly diverse society rather than one which expects one size to fit all. As my Grandmother might have said –from her lips to God’s ears.


          In our often frantic search for meaning in our day to day life we can easily become overwhelmed in the day to day tasks necessary for survival. In his new book THE BEER DRINKER’S GUIDE TO GOD -Episcopal priest and bar owner William B. Miller suggests that we should look for meaning in the small things.He does not advocate any particular faith but rather he suggests there many paths to follow as we search for the Spiritual in our lives. Whether it’s in beer, Scotch, football,baseball, cheerleaders or a trip to Sin City (Las Vegas ) he points out that there are lessons to be learned and meaning to be found in the ordinary.  He offers us stories of how he learned generosity, sacrifice, openness and internal transformation from everyday things and situations. If we only take the time to be still and to listen to the messages from the Universe maybe just maybe we will find spiritual contentment. While I have never been a fan of beer perhaps I need to reconsider my position.  


                    She was vulnerable . She was sweet . She was sex . She was talented . She became a legend .She was Marilyn Monroe . I recently interviewed author Jennifer Miller about he new book MARILYN MONROE AND JOE DIMAGGIO –LOVE IN JAPAN , KOREA & BEYOND . Now you may ask why do we need yet another book about Ms. Monroe . Ms. Miller responded that other books are full of rumor , falsehoods , and innuendo . No book focuses on Monroe’s marriage to DiMaggio . The author describes it as timeless tale of love and friendship . When ever Marilyn was in serious trouble she would turn to Joe for help . Despite their divorce at the time of her death Marilyn was planning to remarry Joe . The book highlights their time together as she toured the Far East entertaining our troops. This was a period she described as the happiest in her life . Why do remain so fascinated by Marilyn ? The income to her estate for the licensing of her likeness of her likeness remain remarkably high . I believe it was those qualities I began with that intrigue us . The promise of a life and career ended too soon is a foundation upon which our collective fascination is built .                                                                                                                        


          What happens when a literary icon dies  ? In the world of mysteries / suspense you find a skilled author to pick up the series . When Robert B. Parker creator of the SPENSER  books died his widow Joan choose author Ace Adkins to continue the world of this private  investigator . Recently I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Adkins . A SPENSER fan myself I was curious to see how Adkins continued the world of Spenser . When I asked him how you follow the creator of such a character he said you do the best you can . He feels an obligation to Mrs. Parker’s trust in him as well as to the reader to continue the world of Spenser and friends as Mr. Parker might have done . In the newest installment of the  series Spenser enters the world of pro-football as a Boston Patriots lineman’s son is kidnapped . Along the way with Hawk and Susan Silverman he encounters the usual assortment of mobsters , police , ethnic types and other Boston citizen which usually populate the books . Spenser continues to offer a sense of morality in what is a morally ambiguous world . In the Book , Mr. Adkins offers us both a good read as well as the possibility of finding justice along the way .


This past Sunday I had the pleasure of interviewing Adele Levine . Ms Levine is a Physical Therapist at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Bethesda , Maryland . She works with soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who have lost body parts devises while in the service of our Country . She writes about her experiences in her new book RUN, DON’T WALK : THE CURIOUS AND CHAOTIC LIFE OF A PHYSICAL THERAPIST INSIDE OF THE WALTER REED  ARMY MEDICAL CENTER . What ever your view of our involvement in these current wars she reminds us of the courage and sacrifice of the men and women in her Ward . Loosing an arm ,leg or other body parts when your in your twenties could easily destroy your hopes and dreams . Many who were hoping for a active career in the Service see that dream literally blown up . What do you do then ? Her patients lierally fight to regain their future . They do it with hope , grit and humor . A favorite tee shirt worn on the Ward states I HAD A BLAST IN AFGHANISTAN . She also reminds us of the fear , anxiety and hope of the families of those on the Ward . Employing state of the art equipment and techniques all of the work goes on with groups on tour of the facility . In the stories she recounts we are reminded that even in the face of great adversity life goes on and people can triumph over the greatest obstacles .