College Girl Missing


The True Story of How a Young Woman Disappeared in Plain Sight

By: Shawn Cohen

Published: May 28, 2024

Publisher: Sourcebooks

Non-Fiction/True Crime

Lauren Spierer, a college student at Indiana University, went missing on June 3, 2011, never to be seen again. Shawn Cohen reported on this case for the NY Post because Lauren and her family were from New York. Cohen always felt like the case wasn’t properly investigated and the right questions were never asked. Years later, he completed his own investigation into what really happened the night Lauren went missing. This book contains information never before made public in relation to this case.

As a mom of a college-aged daughter, I admit I was apprehensive about reading this book. I don’t need any more reason to worry and I tend to take these types of books to heart, even losing sleep over them. Yet, I also wanted to know what happened, what I could learn from Lauren’s situation to share with our daughter, and what might have happened to her.

It isn’t a spoiler that you will not find out what happened to Lauren. This cold case had many leads that all resulted in no further charges. Were the college boys she was with the night that she disappeared to blame? What about her boyfriend (she wasn’t with him during the evening of partying)? Or was it a local sex offender who had committed other crimes in the area? You will have to draw your own conclusions, but I have my own suspicions and opinions.

Cohen doesn’t hold back by painting a not-so-pleasant picture of the night Lauren went missing. The evening was full of drugs and alcohol, partying with boys Lauren didn’t know very well, and not staying with people she trusted and who would have taken care of her. Lauren had a history of drugs and alcohol and partying so hard that she often needed help getting home. This night was similar except this time, she never made it home.

Many mistakes were made in the investigation, but most of all the search was hampered by her own friends and roommates not calling the authorities right away…assuming she was sleeping it off somewhere. Dumpsters that lined her walk home had already been taken to the landfill early that morning. A building site with a big empty dirt hole was filled with concrete right away that morning. Two easy places to hide a body, never to be found again.

Carlene Spierer used the following quote from a German American Rabbi who confronted Nazism to issue a plea for information…

“The most urgent, the most disgraceful, the most tragic problem is silence.”

Cohen interviews (or tries to interview) everyone who was with Lauren that night, her closest friends, her roommates, and her parents. He then retells what happened that night by gathering the most accurate information he can from those interviews. Even though his book doesn’t lead investigators to the killer, it still brings her case back to the forefront and hopefully someone might feel compelled to come forward. Someone knows something and they aren’t saying anything.

Next week will be thirteen years since Lauren went missing. Laurens’s parents don’t believe in miracles. Technically, she is still alive because they have never filed the paperwork to declare her officially dead. But, they also know in their hearts that she is gone. The not knowing is the hardest part. But, they eventually hope someday, someone will come forward so they can bring her remains home.

“‘The only way it’s going to happen’, she sighs, ‘is if somebody comes forward with information.'”

The investigation into Lauren’s disappearance is still open with the Bloomington police department. If you have any information about the night Lauren went missing, please come forward.

Shawn Cohen is an investigative journalist specializing in crime and law enforcement reporting. He is currently working for the Daily Mail as a senior reporter on its exclusives team, breaking news on national stories. He has twenty-eight years of front-line experience covering everything from small-town murders and police corruption to Hurricane Katrina and mass shootings. Shawn lives in Brooklyn, NY with his family. On the weekends, he enjoys exploring the city, taking ferries out to Governors Island, escaping to the mountains and ocean, and playing tennis when he can.

To purchase a copy of COLLEGE GIRL, MISSING, click HERE.

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Thanks to the publisher for sending a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. This review is my honest opinion. If you choose to make a purchase through the above links, I may receive a small commission without you having to pay a cent more for your purchase.

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