In 2009, Amanda Stott-Smith dropped her children off a bridge in Portland, Oregon. Her 7-year-old daughter lived, screaming until a good Samaritan fished her out of the freezing river. Her 4-year-old son drowned. Writer (and occasional Reason contributor) Nancy Rommelmann read about the story the next morning over a cup of coffee, then spent the next seven years chasing down every detail. The result is To The Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder, a reported work of non-fiction that is compelling and hard to read in equal measure.
Rommelmann and I sat down in a sweltering New York apartment in August to talk about true crime reporting, parenting, death, and the publishing industry. The conversation turned out to be one part interview, one part story assignment meeting for Rommelmann’s next feature. So tune in to hear about the who, what, when, where, and why of reporting on child murder at book length, and stay for a sneak peek at a Reason editorial meeting.
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