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Old 01-23-2009, 08:09 PM
Location: Oklahoma
218 posts, read 484,275 times
Reputation: 188


I was wondering if anyone remembers this case... It happened in Essex Junction, Vermont on May 15th 1981. Melissa Walbridge and Megan O'Rourke, 12-year-old sixth-graders were brutaly raped and tortured as they took a shortcut home through a wooded section of a park near their school. Remarkably, Meghan O'Rourke survived to assist police in putting her attackers Jamie Savage, 15, and Louie Hamlin, 16, behind bars. Savage served no more than 3 years because law demanded he be tried in juvenile court. Louie Hamlin is serving life.

I was wondering about this because I read a book about it and curious if anyone was living in the town at the time of hearing about this. Did you know the girls, did you know Jamie or Louie? How where you impacted in the town? And what has become of Megan?

Also I heard that there is a movie about the murder too, if so, then what is the name of the movie?

Old 01-28-2009, 01:43 PM
32 posts, read 117,862 times
Reputation: 21
Although I was not living in Vermont at the time, I had been friendly with Melissa's mother and aunts years before when we had all worked at the Lincoln Inn. The community was devastated. I remember thinking at the time that that was the end of the Vermont that I had known and loved. I did not read the book, but years later spoke to an acquaintance who was interviewed by the author. Ironically another friend had told me that the attackers were also employed as dishwashers at the same restaurant. She seemed to know a lot about the perpetrators own backgrounds which were pretty horrific in and of itself. The last thing I remember hearing was that Melissa's father was on suicide watch at Waterbury. I don't know what ever happend to the family.
Old 01-31-2009, 08:18 PM
Location: Colchester Vermont
50 posts, read 167,028 times
Reputation: 21
I remember this very well because they were the same age as me even though I grew up about a 1/2 hour away in Jeffersonville. My friends and I spent hours discussing this though and it was all over the news for a long time- It was the only brutal crime that I remember at all from my childhood.
My college roommate was from Essex and was friends with both girls. I have no idea what happened to Megan after high school though but I remember my roommate telling me that she had struggled all through high school.
Old 02-03-2009, 01:10 PM
32 posts, read 117,862 times
Reputation: 21
This post got me to thinking about the case again, and I googled to see if I could find additional information. There wasn't much, but I was shocked and saddened to find this 2007 article as part of the crime's legacy:

WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-Man Blames Alleged Crime on Sister's Murder
Old 02-05-2009, 06:02 AM
Location: somewhere I wanna be!
15 posts, read 45,744 times
Reputation: 14
yes, I remember it well. I ended up working with Megan's mother for a time. She was a very nice lady. They had moved out of Essex by then and I think they lived up in the islands.
On the other hand, I also knew Louie's sister Lisa as she was in one of my classes in high school. I always felt bad for her. She was nice (what I knew of her..she was a year younger) but she was very quiet.
A sad sad thing...the whole story...
Old 02-23-2009, 10:04 PM
Location: Oklahoma
218 posts, read 484,275 times
Reputation: 188
THank you for the post.
Old 02-24-2009, 10:41 AM
Location: over here
231 posts, read 753,844 times
Reputation: 149
I remember it, and have acquaintances that know both families. I sadly heard similar stories that Megan struggled with numerous problems after the incident.
Old 06-23-2009, 12:43 PM
1 posts, read 26,976 times
Reputation: 11
I will never forget it. I grew up down the street from where it happened. I used to goto that park everyday. Megan and Melissa were 2 years older than me, in my brothers class. Why is this being brought up again?
Old 06-23-2009, 02:30 PM
Location: Inman
119 posts, read 511,443 times
Reputation: 68
I agree. This was such a sad tragic story. We should let her rest in peace.
Old 06-28-2009, 12:07 PM
1 posts, read 26,853 times
Reputation: 17
I lived half a mile from the crime scene. I was 18, thinking about graduation - as was everyone else of my class - when this all happened.The night right after the murder and torture, my street was basically under martial law, from what I can remember. Cop cars were parked at both ends and occasionally they would blast spotlights into our backyard. Early the next morning, when I was delivering papers and walking between two apartment buildings, a cruiser flew around the corner and aimed a light on me. Then the cop saw who I was, waved and spun off.We all thought it was the work of 'drifters' just passing through. To find out it was a couple of depraved punks, from equally depraved families, who had been living in our midst all the time, was shocking and dismaying.Whenever I think about my final high school year, I have to temper those fairly good memories with that horrible event. It hit close to home and made me think that evil exists everywhere.I went to school in New York City that following fall and witnessed my share of crime and violence. But going back to visit family in Vermont did not necessarily give me a sense of safety and peace. Sometimes the most tranquil setting masks a rot within its core.
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