Too Good a Girl: Remembering Olene Emberton and the Mystery of Her Death
Setting – Indiana
Life Sentences Publishing LLC (July 3, 2018)
Paperback: 206 pages
In the mid-sixties, the small, midwestern farm town of Tipton, Indiana, seemed like the safest, most serene place in the world. That changed October 16, 1965, when Olene Emberton, a quiet, 17-year-old Tipton High School senior disappeared after a Saturday night date. Two days later, her body was found alongside a remote country road, her clothes neatly folded and stacked beside her. Lacking any witnesses, clues, a confession, or even a cause of death, the case was never solved. More than 50 years later, with dogged determination, Olene’s classmate, Janis Thornton, explores the mystery. Presented as part true crime, part oral history, and part memoir, “Too Good a Girl” weaves together the strands of the tragedy that stunned a community and tore a family apart. The truth is there. It is only up to the reader to determine which truth is the right truth.
This story is personal for author Janis Thornton. For more than 50 years this case has gone unsolved and it has bothered her each and every day. She has researched and done interviews with as many people connected to the case as she could. She wanted to publish her book back in 2007 but she wasn’t going to print with Olean’s family approval. In 2016 she got approval from the family and worked hard to produce this book. She was Olean’s classmate, but now with adult eyes, she is able to look back at how Olean Emberton’s death rocked the small town of Tipton, Indiana. She clearly lays out her findings and the evidence but doesn’t go so far as to say she solved the case. She has a clear suspect, but she ends the book in a way that lets the reader decide for themselves if there is enough proof.
For residents of the small town of Tipton, this book will have great meaning. Ms. Thorton takes an eerie death and writes a compelling account in a very respectable way. I truly appreciated the perspective she brought to this case.
It is hard to say I enjoyed a story about such a heartwrenching death, Olean is not some fictional character in the mysteries I usually read. She was “Too Good Of Girl” to die this way and her story will stick with me for a long time. Well written and well researched, the author had a difficult task telling a story that needed to be told.
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”