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Do you know this woman?

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After fourteen years of research on a cold case murder, an Orlando writer is looking for St. Louisans who might have known the victim.

The catch? The woman was killed 38 years ago.  

Mark A. Pinsky, author of The Gospel According to The Simpsons, among other books, says he has tried without success to find people in the area familiar with Nancy Dean Morgan, a 1968 graduate of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville.

Read about where the case stands now after the jump.

   nancy dean morgan.jpgAfter college, Morgan moved to the Appalachian section of North Carolina to work for Volunteers in Service to America, a division of AmeriCorps designed to fight poverty.

In 1970 Morgan was killed in Madison County, North Carolina. Her body was found hogtied and nude in the back seat of a government owned car, according to an article in the Asheville Citizen-Times

She had been strangled with a nylon chord used for tying tomatoes.

In 1985 a VISTA volunteer was tried for her murder, but Pinsky regards the case as a "show trial." He says none of the evidence held up in court and it took a jury less than an hour to acquit the man.

Before the move, Morgan lived with her parents on Scott Air Force Base near O'Fallon, Illinois.

In the meantime, Pinsky says he is busy working on a first draft of the book which he plans to finish in the next six weeks.  

He says he was most recently in St. Louis for Morgan's 30-year college reunion in 1968, but yielded no leads.

Coming back here, he says, "depends on whether I can find any of her friends who would make it worth my while."

Pinsky learned about the murder when he was the managing editor of the Duke Chronicle, the student newspaper at Duke University.

His interest was piqued years later when he discovered that the sheriff of Madison County, along with his brother, were big political players who tightly controlled the county. The evidence had to exist somewhere, Pinsky figured.

"I opened a file titled 'Zeno Ponder' and learned that the 17,000 residents of Madison County had been under the control of political boss Zeno and his brother, E. Y. Ponder, the sheriff," Pinsky told the The Alestle, a student newspaper at SIUE. "I realized that if these brothers were in such complete control of this small county, then they must know who was responsible for Nancy Morgan's death."


Pinsky can be reached on his website at www.markpinsky.com or email at mark@markpinsky.com

- Matt Kasper


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