Jul 7, 2010 6:40 PM by Kate Mundy

Novel Takes on Serial Killer in Jeff Davis Parish

 From 2005 to 2009, eight women from Jennings are killed and dumped. The unsolved cases spark fear in the quiet town. "When is it gonna be over with," asks resident Tina Dartez.

A new novel bears striking similarities to the grim reality in Jennings. Fictional detective Dave Robicheaux takes on a serial killer case in the new book "The Glass Rainbow." It's the 18th book in the Robicheaux series.

"Everything in a work of art, in this case a novel, has some correlation in the real world, but the story that was suggested to me by the terrible events in Jefferson Davis Parish seemed emblematic of an ongoing problem and that's what the book is about," said Burke.

Burke's victims are powerless and voiceless with lives of prostitution and drugs. In the novel, all the victims lived south of the tracks, which mirrors reality in Jennings.

In "The Glass Rainbow," the seventh victim is a high school student last seen at a dollar store. In real life, seventh victim Brittney Gary was last seen on surveillance video, buying minutes for her cell phone at the Family Dollar in Jennings.

"These were people, young women whose lives were marginalized and whose deaths very few people seem to have taken an active interest in, I hope they do find justice, the real victims," said Burke.

Southside residents are hopeful the fictional piece of work will spark new interest in the real case. "These are just fictional characters in the book, but this really actually happened to girls and maybe someone could somehow give them information to solve the crimes," said resident Minna Edwards.

Some residents are happy that their parish is getting national attention, even if it is a fictional story. "I'm surprised for a little bitty old town like this to be nationwide," said Jeff Davis Parish resident MikeTyler.

Edwards plans to buy the book out of curiosity. "I'd like to see how he solved the crimes, maybe they could get some ideas from him," she said.

"The Glass Rainbow" will be released July 13th.


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