For almost 50 years, the community of Marple Township, Pennsylvania was haunted by the horrific murder of a young local girl. In 1975, 8-year-old Gretchen Harrington disappeared and was later found murdered in a nearby state park. Gretchen’s case went cold, and for decades, her family went without answers. However, on July 24th, 2023, retired pastor David Zandstra was arrested for her murder.

Editor-in-Chief of the Baltimore Business Journal Joanna Sullivan grew up in Marple Township and was only 9 years old when Gretchen was killed. With her childhood friend, Mike Mathis, she co-authored a book about the case, titled, Marple’s Gretchen Harrington Tragedy: Kidnapping, Murder and Innocence Lost in Suburban Philadelphia. She provides her reaction to this tragic case and reflects on the investigative work she conducted when writing the book.

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