In the murder of a teenage beauty queen, many suspects vie for the crown.
Who would want to kill a 13-year-old girl like Jenny Kennedy? The most likely suspect is Benjy Lincoln, a developmentally disabled man who had an inappropriate crush on Jenny and followed her from pageant to pageant. But Jenny’s half sister, Virginia, doesn’t believe he’s guilty. So she teams up with Detective Brandon Colsen to interview Benjy and other people Jenny knew. As Virginia digs up her sister’s sordid history, the last days of Jenny’s life unfold in alternating chapters. It’s unclear who’s guilty, but no one in town is innocent. By the time Jenny was found dead, she had already quit her beauty pageants and was planning to run away with JP, a boy from school. Jenny’s guidance counselor, Hunter Willoughby, ignored the warning signs. So did her father, who keeps a separate residence in New York. Her mother coped with the news by drinking herself into a stupor. At school, Jenny faced backlash from Christine Castleton and Mallory Murphy, the popular girls she rejected. And Benjy, of course, was heartbroken when she quit. But Virginia has a secret too. When she was in high school, she had an affair with a teacher, Mark Renkin, and has never recovered. Every week, she drinks until she blacks out, making her wonder where she was and what she was doing on the night Jenny was murdered.
This disturbing tour behind the scenes of a stolen childhood exposes cringe-inducing truths—and leads to a shocking conclusion.