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A chilling cold case

Published on September 11, 2018 9:41AM

The case was closed, but for journalist Nancy Rommelmann the mystery remained — what made a mother want to murder her own children? Rommelmann will visit Manzanita this Saturday, Sept. 15, to read from “To the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder,” her book about the case that has fascinated and disturbed Oregonians for almost a decade.

On May 23, 2009, Amanda Stott-Smith drove to Portland’s Sellwood Bridge and dropped her two children into the Willamette River. One child died, one lived. Stott-Smith was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Embarking on a seven-year quest for the truth, Rommelmann traced the roots of Stott-Smith’s fury and desperation via thousands of pages of records, meetings with lawyers and convicts, and interviews with friends and family who felt shocked, confused and emotionally swindled by a woman whose life was now defined by an unspeakable crime.

Rommelmann is also the author of the novel “The Bad Mother” and the story collection “Transportation and Destination Gacy,” about a cross-country journey to interview serial killer John Wayne Gacy shortly before his execution.

Following Rommelmann’s reading and Q&A will be an open mic where up to nine writers will read five minutes of their original work. The suggested theme for the evening is “I Don’t Understand You.“

Admission is $7. Doors open at 6:30 pm with the reading starting at 7pm at the Hoffman Center for the Arts, 594 Laneda Avenue.

For more information, go to hoffmanblog.org or email vwildauer@gmail.com.

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