764 users online (130 members and 634 guests)  


Websleuths News


Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 20
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    31,655

    NC - Nancy Morgan, 23, Madison County, 15 June 1970

    Review - Writer pursues 40-year quest in search of truth

    Ben Steelman News Star Online
    Published: Sunday, March 9, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. - Last Modified: Friday, March 7, 2014 at 12:41 p.m.

    In mid-June 1970, Nancy Dean Morgan, a 24-year-old federal VISTA volunteer working in the Shelton Laurel community of mountainous Madison County was found dead – nude, hogtied and strangled in the back seat of her government car, pushed to the end of an old logging road in the Pisgah National Forest.

    Her murder was never solved. In 1985, local authorities put Ed Walker, a fellow VISTA worker (the Volunteers in Service to America program was created by JFK), on trial for the killing, but he was acquitted after the prosecution's one eyewitness was revealed on cross-examination to be a pathological liar.

    The case fascinated Mark Pinsky, then a Duke University student working for the campus paper, The Chronicle...

    Then he set out to research it thoroughly.

    much more at the link
    PODCAST ROW

    WEBSLEUTHS ON FACEBOOK
    __________________________________
    Always give generously of yourself to support your beliefs. And when you're knocked down, give more.




  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    31,655
    Do you know this woman?
    By Matt Kasper Fri., Dec. 5 2008 at 3:46 PM

    [...]
    After 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.
    An unsolved murder, a closed mountain community, and a reporter
    by Mark Pinsky
    The Charlotte Observer, March 1, 2014

    [...]
    I learned from the Sun that the murder victim was Nancy Dean Morgan, 24, a recent graduate of Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. She was a community organizer for the Volunteers in Service to America, or VISTA, a domestic Peace Corps, and she worked in rural Madison County with children and helped set up a thrift shop that sold used clothing. Her service was to have lasted only a few more weeks; she planned to attend nursing school in New York in the fall.

    After a disappearance in Madison County, a grisly discovery
    by Mark Pinsky
    The Charlotte Observer, March 2, 2014

    [...]
    In Madison County, VISTA workers like Nancy, described by colleague Ed Walker as “a liberated woman of the 60s,” found a sexual culture of which they had little understanding. Unattached single women – especially those who smoked and drank in public, used rough language in mixed company and lived alone – were considered vulnerable and available.

    On Sunday, June 14, 1970, Nancy went to visit Walker. They had dinner at Walker’s cabin and talked long into the night about their work in Madison County that would soon be ending and about what they planned to do afterward. Nancy finally left about 3:30 a.m. for the one-hour drive back across the county to Shelton Laurel.

    By Tuesday, the realization spread among the VISTA workers and Nancy’s friends in Shelton Laurel that she was missing. Guessing that she had run off one of the twisting mountain roads, they divided into teams and began searching areas where they thought she might have wrecked.

    On Wednesday morning, Jimmy Lewis was driving to Hot Springs from his home near Shelton Laurel. About halfway down the mountain, he had to pee. He pulled onto an unpaved logging road in an area known as Tanyard Gap.
    Lewis noticed something in a glade of towering poplars and oaks – a gray car parked in dappled sunlight. The wheels were sunk to the hubcaps. Peering through the closed windows, he saw Nancy Morgan on the back seat – naked, hogtied from behind in a kneeling position, and obviously dead.


    Links to the rest of the series

    During murder trial, a weak case unravels
    by Mark Pinsky
    The Charlotte Observer, March 3, 2014

    From a convicted murderer, a confession
    by Mark Pinsky
    The Charlotte Observer, March 4, 2014

    From the SBI, a reluctance to look back
    by Mark Pinsky
    The Charlotte Observer, March 5, 2014
    PODCAST ROW

    WEBSLEUTHS ON FACEBOOK
    __________________________________
    Always give generously of yourself to support your beliefs. And when you're knocked down, give more.




  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    NORTH CAROLINA
    Posts
    359
    Thank you so much Bessie!! I am saddened and amazed at how little info is out there. I am local but this happened 8 years before I was born. Nancy Morgan's story should be told!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    31,655
    PODCAST ROW

    WEBSLEUTHS ON FACEBOOK
    __________________________________
    Always give generously of yourself to support your beliefs. And when you're knocked down, give more.




  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    4,066
    wow, an hour drive at 3:30 am......why not stay?.....anyway....I thought she may have picked up a person walking/hitchhiking.....but at that time of morning it would be a scary thing to do.

    Any other things like this happen in the area?

    OK.....reading Bessie's link it looks like a confession is there.
    ~ shine on you crAzy diamond ~ Pink Floyd, Wish You Were Here

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    central Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,658
    Thanks, bessie, for posting about this. It sounds like a fascinating case. I just headed over to the online book-swap I belong to and wishlisted the book (Met Her on the Mountain) ...there are 6 wishers ahead of me, maybe it won't take TOO long, though!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    NORTH CAROLINA
    Posts
    359
    Quote Originally Posted by Really? View Post
    wow, an hour drive at 3:30 am......why not stay?.....anyway....I thought she may have picked up a person walking/hitchhiking.....but at that time of morning it would be a scary thing to do.

    Any other things like this happen in the area?

    OK.....reading Bessie's link it looks like a confession is there.
    It is entirely possible that these things happened all the time and went completely unnoticed until it happened to an "outsider." I don't want to equate this area or people to Nell but it is entirely possible that families and communities lived in isolation from the "outside" world at this time with much of the county's terrain being rugged, heavily forested, and sparsely populated.I hate to rely on wiki for information but https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madi...North_Carolina
    It should give some insight. Madison county technically does not have an interstate that runs through it-so it has been shut off from modern sprawl. Technically it has or eventually will have an interstate that clips it (referred to now as future I-26). Future I-26 is currently used as a corridor but not interstate.

    The people are proud and untrusting and generally want to be left alone to enjoy their beauty and the life they created and know. But because of its isolation and utter natural undisturbed beauty it has increased in population over the years from "outsiders" wanting to either 1. Build their ginormous vacation home/retirement home, and 2. Hippies who want to organic farm/or live, work, and play on the French Broad River so they can live in harmony with nature. Both groups truly underestimate the rugged terrain and instinctual perseverance needed to sustain an existence. Some are successful and assets to the area. Madison county will welcome you to live amongst us but they believe if it ain't broke don't fix it. Meaning we are happy with life as we live it and while to you your "world" may seem evolved and better to you-Madison is happy with being Madison. We don't want to be Asheville, San Fransisco, Austin, or insert whatever hip worldly town you know.

    Ok sorry for that tangent I went off on, but truly learning about this county is very insightful when learning about Nancy's murder and the circumstances around it.
    In the modern world we live in it is easy to think that everyone is evolved to modern living or desires it. But the truth is though a minority Madison County is happy with family, their land, and their work.
    The other area that is important to research is the political climate of 1970 and now. If you move here expect the first question always asked to be "are you a democrat or a republican?" Politics completely rule the land and depending which you are expect an easier lot in life. Or at least perhaps a look the other way mentality. Along with politics comes FAMILIES...and this county has last names that will get you far in Madison County life. Second
    Question asked "who are your people, who are you kin to?" Families still gather every Sunday for extended family dinners. Dinner is lunch btw and supper is dinner round these parts. So this case will examine politics and families as well.

    Ok sorry for second tangent I just went off on.

    Anyway, if evidence still exists I would be much happier with the said confession if there was a match. But sadly, because of lack of proper care of evidence or the lack of actual collection of evidence this case won't see judicial justice. But man is it fascinating!

    Everything stated here is JMO and my experiences and may differ from other residents of Madco. I have a lot to learn about this case and that is why I asked Bessie to post about it because I need help from my experienced sleuthing friends. Let me know what visual or contextual information you might need. I will try to work on a map later.
    Thanks y'all!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    NORTH CAROLINA
    Posts
    359

    NC - Nancy Dean Morgan, 23, Madison County, June 1970

    Quote Originally Posted by Backwoods View Post
    Thanks, bessie, for posting about this. It sounds like a fascinating case. I just headed over to the online book-swap I belong to and wishlisted the book (Met Her on the Mountain) ...there are 6 wishers ahead of me, maybe it won't take TOO long, though!
    While waiting on the book...you should research "Bloody Madison". Again sorry with a wiki link https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shelton_Laurel_massacre but a good place to start.

    P.S Charles Frazier used Shelton Laurel Massacre as a basis for scenes in Cold Mountain. But it did not happen the way he portrayed it in the book. Cold Mountain is based in Neighboring Haywood County and the massacre happened in Madison County not even close to Cold Mountain. And I'll say JMO but it is the opinion of everyone born and bred in Haywood and madison counties. And is another heated debate you could find yourself in at a mom and pop store.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    NORTH CAROLINA
    Posts
    359

    NC - Nancy Dean Morgan, 23, Madison County, June 1970

    I'm going to refresh myself on addresses of important places in this story and I will post a map today. Perhaps even some photos of locations if possible. I noted today that there is a local reading group currently reading the book "I met her on the mountain"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    NORTH CAROLINA
    Posts
    359
    Working on a map for y'all, but wanted to pop in to say I stopped by he madison county library in Marshall today to check out "met her on the mountain," but was told I could not because all copies were reserved for a book club that will begin reading it soon. I found that odd timing, with my new discovery of this case and bringing it to webslueths attention.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    4,883
    This is such a terrible, tragic story. I can't believe local law enforcement is so corrupt that they not only refuse to resolve this case, they also blame the victim for her own death.

    According to Mark Pinsky, a local man has confessed numerous times in great detail, yet local law enforcement still refuses to bring charges against him. They waited until the 1980s later to bring charges against the innocent Vista worker Nancy had befriended, destroying his life in the process. He and his wife both lost their jobs, their home, their cars, everything.

    Nancy was a bright, good person who was tortured and murdered by a group of violent rednecks. She certainly deserves justice. When I graduated college in the 70's, I was heavily recruited to join Vista for a couple of years work. The pay was terrible, barely enough to cover food and gas. I'm certainly glad I passed on the opportunity. I would have been miserable stuck in a backwoods place like that area in rural NC.

    I wonder if there's any way to get the FBI to intervene and bring Nancy's killer to justice. Something needs to be done. Most of the criminals involved, including local law enforcement are still alive.

    ETA: The relevant locations are 1- Hwy 212 south of Hickeys Fork Rd. (cabin where Nancy was living) 2- Bluff, NC - where the other Vista worker was living 3- Hot Springs, NC - where the perp, son of the local police chief spotted Nancy driving by to and from visiting Bluff 4 - Tanyard Gap - on the road outside of Hot Springs, where Nancy's body was found in her car.

    Sorry to sound so harsh about the locals, but good grief, they've known who killed her since shortly after it happened and yet today, still blame the victim for causing her own death. SMH
    Last edited by Betty P; 08-06-2015 at 10:21 PM.
    All statements are my opinion only.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    NORTH CAROLINA
    Posts
    359
    Ok I still have yet to get a map organized but I do have some photos to share...
    Here is Cutshall's store. The Cutshall's rented Nancy a house up the road. The store is no longer called Cutshall's but is still in business.

    And from what I read the Cutshall's lived near the store. I am unsure if this is their old house but this would be the road Nancy lived up...

    And the 25/70 traveled now is not the same 25/70 traveled by Nancy. This is as close to Tanyard gap I can tell...
    This is what 25/70 would have looked like in her day ...
    Off from the side of old 25/70

    Ok more photos to come...the old hot springs bridge, I am going to get the exact location of where her body was found and I will run by the vista worker's home she had last visited.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    4,883


    Just wanted to bump this up in case Jenves had more photos to post. Hope this case is resolved some day.

    Another good article about the case, with photos of the area and of Nancy's car as it was found. The article also talks of the problems with local culture and "mountain justice" and how people may have perceived Nancy as someone who didn't deserve respect or protection. Backwards folks.

    http://www.allthingscrimeblog.com/20...-appalachia-2/
    Last edited by Betty P; 11-19-2016 at 10:00 PM.
    All statements are my opinion only.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    NORTH CAROLINA
    Posts
    359

    NC - Nancy Dean Morgan, 23, Madison County, June 1970

    Thank you Betty for the bump! And the reminder. Here is a map of some points of interest. It also shows why I should not have said I will "swing" by the male Vista workers cabin. In this county you can't swing by anywhere-it takes too long. lol I think I have the cabins fairly close to the correct spots.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    4,883
    Quote Originally Posted by jenves View Post
    Thank you Betty for the bump! And the reminder. Here is a map of some points of interest. It also shows why I should not have said I will "swing" by the male Vista workers cabin. In this county you can't swing by anywhere-it takes too long. lol I think I have the cabins fairly close to the correct spots.
    Thanks, jenves! Don't worry about getting up there for more photos now. Weather is turning cold and it looks like a difficult place to drive.

    I'm in the middle of reading Mark I Pinsky's book "Met Her On the Mountain". It's really good. It appears local law enforcement has always known who killed Nancy, but never bothered to arrest them. Many of the locals resented the VISTA workers that came that summer and wanted to somehow blame Nancy for her own predicament. Really sad. I'll post more info on the case when I finish the book.
    All statements are my opinion only.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast


Similar Threads

  1. OK OK - E.C. Mullendore, 32, Osage County, 26 Sept 1970
    By wfgodot in forum Cold Cases
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-08-2017, 06:25 AM
  2. KY KY - Nancy Lockard, 33, Pike County, 24 June 2009
    By nerosleuth in forum 2000's Missing
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 03-27-2016, 01:03 PM
  3. DE DE - Marian Brown, 46, Sussex County, 1970
    By anthrobones in forum 1970's Missing
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 10-14-2015, 02:11 AM
  4. MI Cynthia Coon (13) - Washtenaw County MI, 1970
    By sweetpea657 in forum Missing Children in America - A Profile
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 04-04-2010, 11:49 PM

Tags for this Thread