My Ghost Has a Name: Mem­oir of a Mur­der

Ros­alyn Ros­sig­nol

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Adult Nonfiction - ROBIN FAR­RELL EDMUNDS

Univer­sity of South Carolina Press (NOVEM­BER) Soft­cover $21.99 (288pp) 978-1-61117-826-5

My Ghost Has a Name is a true-crime work that digs deeper, ex­plor­ing the hu­man psy­che with ap­peal­ing, res­o­nant re­sults.

Haunted by the tragic and hor­rific 1999 mur­der of her one-time school friend, Nell, Ros­alyn Ros­sig­nol sets out to de­ter­mine if Nell’s teenage daugh­ter was re­ally one of the cul­prits. The re­sult is a well-re­searched and highly per­sonal nonfiction work, My Ghost Has a Name: Mem­oir of a Mur­der.

Ros­sig­nol first met Nell Davis when they were in ju­nior high school in Ge­or­gia; Nell was later Ros­sig­nol’s maid of honor. They hadn’t seen each other for more than six­teen years, though, when Ros­sig­nol learned that Nell had been mur­dered and her six­teen-year-old daugh­ter, Sarah, was one of three teenagers ac­cused of the bru­tal crime. On the fifth anniversary of Nell’s death, Ros­sig­nol de­cided to write a book ex­plor­ing the events to learn for her­self what hap­pened.

Her in­ves­tiga­tive process un­folds with in­ter­views with po­lice de­tec­tives, wit­nesses, lawyers, Sarah’s re­luc­tant fam­ily mem­bers, and even be­hind bars with the three who were even­tu­ally con­victed for the crime—sarah, John Ridg­way, and Kevin Ber­gin. Her ul­ti­mate con­ver­sa­tions with the two young men are chill­ing.

Ros­sig­nol’s earnest and dili­gent re­search un­cov­ers the fact that all three teens were deeply trou­bled and alien­ated, each hav­ing sev­eral brushes with drug abuse and the law well be­fore the death of Nell Davis. Her de­scrip­tions of lo­ca­tions are al­most his­toric, and pic­turesque in their de­tail.

The author ma­neu­vers through the South Carolina prison sys­tem, cor­re­spond­ing with, meet­ing, and vis­it­ing Sarah. In­ter­spersed be­tween trial tran­scripts are ital­i­cized mem­o­ries, adding a per­sonal layer to the an­guish. Ros­sig­nol is open about the par­al­lels be­tween her own re­bel­lious

teen years and dif­fi­cult re­la­tion­ship with her mother, and sim­i­lar­i­ties be­tween Sarah and Nell.

My Ghost Has a Name is a true-crime work that digs deeper, ex­plor­ing the hu­man psy­che with ap­peal­ing, res­o­nant re­sults.

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