Longreads

Michelle Dean Topic | April 2017 | 13 minutes (3,100 words)

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Candace Newmaker was 10 years old when she died in 2000. There are only a few pictures of her, and even fewer biographical details. Here is what we do know: she had dark brown hair and eyes, she liked dogs and horses, and she enjoyed arts and crafts. Candace had been a ward of the state of North Carolina since she was about 5 the daughter of a very young mother who hadn’t been able to hold her own life together, and who had lost her very young children to the Department of Children and Family Services. Jeane Newmaker, a kindly nurse-practitioner who was single and in her early…

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