Thread: Amy Billig
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Old 01-07-2012, 05:31 PM   #111
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I just finished reading Susan's book, co-authored with Greg Aunapu. I had tears in my eyes after finishing the last paragraph, a poem written by Amy. It was an amazing read and even though I know full well Amy has never been found, my hopes would rise every time Sue got a lead.

I love Unsolved Mysteries, so no bashing intended. But the segment left out so many things that should have been mentioned; not to mention, the bar fight and England thing weren't even mentioned in the book. Far more interesting leads were.

Henry Blair is a sick, sick individual and it was a bummer to read about how he only received a low sentence as well as very nice prison accommodations; I had to smile when I heard that another prisoner hit him. I don't know if he was necessarily involved, though that line in Amy's diary is puzzling. But speaking of Amy's diary, her poetry does not in the slightest suggest a girl who would run away, particularly on her way for a lunch date. Yes, I understand the book was co-authored by her mother, but Amy running off when about to pick up money for lunch when she always called no matter where she was off to seems unreal. Amy's poetry and words were jarring to me; it reminded me of myself, introspective and imaginative. She was two weeks from graduating high school and going to New York to see a friend, visit art galleries and try for drama school. I don't believe she ran off. Hitchhiking gone wrong could very well have been the culprit since almost everyone in Coconut Grove apparently did so.

I think the bikers may have been involved, simply because they knew things that had never been released to the public; certain scars on Amy's body, certain habits. But I believe, unfortunately, that someone got scared and probably did her in for fear of prosecution. The overdose at a party theory with the alligators and all that I do not believe; that theory was thrown out by another money-grubbing woman.

This book pulled at my heart; like the back cover says, we see the worst of humanity in it. Murderers, rapists, and the unspeakable cruelty of those who would taunt and extort a grieving mother with false leads and time-wasting red herrings. Yet, through it all Susan Billig herself remains a beacon for humanity; so altruistic, so beautiful, so kind, so brave- when offered chances to pursue some of these extortionists she wouldn't. She even kindly approached Blair's family and said she meant no malice by the trial, after nearly twenty years of harassment and sexually explicit phone calls. She saved a girl's life by pushing the ex-boyfriend who was attacking her away and advised a young woman not to hitchhike again, wanting to spare others from a fate such as Amy's. It was so sad to read about her heart attack, bypass surgery and how she and her husband were both diagnosed with lung cancer around the same time. Susan beat the odds and survived until she was 80, but lost her husband over a decade before. If this lady was still alive, I would pen her a long, heartfelt letter simply wanting to tell her what a wonderful person she was and how I hoped she would one day find answers. Tears welled up in my eyes when she finally marked Amy's name on a headstone and received some sense of closure after over twenty years. She was finally able to go on to some degree, though not completely, of course.

I highly recommend the book. It's fascinating, but very sad to read about the detriment on Billig family as well the intermittent poetry and optimism of Amy. Susan Billig and her husband were wonderful people who deserved to know the truth and have some peace in their lives. So the book ends with you feeling down that the mystery was never solved, yet I also felt some sense of uplifting in that there are such beautiful, courageous, and selfless people as the Billigs in the world. I hope that one day, some answers will come.
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