The Real Lolita: The Kidnapping of Sally Horner and the Novel That Scandalized the World – Sarah Weinman
Sally Horner, kidnapping, United States, Case Studies, Child Abuse, captivity, Nonfiction.
In this examination case study of Sally Horner, this is a timeline of her life from beginning to her untimely end. Sally Horner was a young schoolgirl trying to impress her friends and was caught by a person. That person told her she should meet his requests, so she doesn’t end up in jail. Horner was given instructions and asked her mother for permission to leave to do some business in another neighboring city. The man had kidnapped Sally Horner and took her far away from home. From eyewitness accounts, one had said that the little girl claimed the man to be her father. This man went by the name of Mr. Warner, but he was Frank La Salle by the FBI. Frank Le Salle is a child molester and he was sent to prison for a while but was released. During the time of Sally Horner’s disappearance, her mother didn’t expect nothing much of the disappearance at all and was merely indifferent about it. Eventually it was six weeks before any serious actions were taken place and even then, Sally Horner was long gone from that city. During this time, Sally Horner’s family was devastated, and investigators were doing research as well as using whatever they had to try to find Sally Horner. Frank Le Salle had made lies, acclaiming that Sally Horner was his daughter but the truth was kept from the light for so long. It wasn’t until a woman by the name of Ruth to help Sally Horner in the dire time. Frank Le Salle was imprisoned, and Sally Horner was saved. After all the trauma, it is seen that Sally Horner had a passion to live and thrive. Not long after, Sally Horner was killed in a car accident. This is not a fiction story. This was a story of a girl who faced horrors beyond the imagination. When Vladimir Nabokov learned about this case, he was already currently writing the novel Lolita which is eerily like this case. When he published Lolita, the case of Sally Horner was pushed from the minds lest was forgotten.
I typically do not read nonfiction literature, but I had to make an exception with this one because of how the title captured my attention. I had vaguely known about Lolita, but I had no clue that there was an actual case study that did happen at the same time. My heart broke when I read the synopsis and the introduction. As I had continued to read this case study, I had found myself wanting to know more about what happened to Sally Horner and I wished that she didn’t die prematurely the way she did. The details that the author goes in depth left me astonished and amazed. The way Weinman constructed and wrote this felt like a fictional novel, except it really wasn’t all fiction. This was all facts with evidence and eyewitnesses. I hate pedophiles and honestly the way this guy was sent to prison for a long time satisfied that part of the case. However, the lesson remains is that always be safe and stay safe. I enjoyed learning about this case and made me want to read more nonfictional literature.