by D. Lance Lunsford

The true stories of the Baby Jessica
Rescue and the Tragedies that followed

True Story/Investigative Reporting
Tragedies of "Baby Jessica's Rescue"
5.25 inches x 8.25 inches
220 pages; Paperback
30 Illustrations (black & white)
ISBN 0975566784

Regular Price $14.95    


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            Jessica, the toddler plucked from a Midland, Texas water well 18 years ago, became for a
    time “Everybody’s Baby.”  Her rescue was broadcast live and in prime time.
           Clean-cut firemen and no-name, shaggy oil field roughnecks, who dropped what they were
    doing to lend a hand to save a life, carried out the “made for television” moment.  It was also an
    event that, sadly, led to the eventual destruction of lives and careers. And it tore at least one
    segment of Midland—the “Tall City”—into fragments.
           Jessica dropped into an uncovered well shaft in October 1987.  For 58 hours, firemen,
    police and drilling crews labored through nearly 35 feet of solid rock to bring her to safety.  
    Cheers erupted around the world as the bandage-swathed toddler popped to the surface.
           But, over time, the cheering stopped and the rescuer’s grip on the spotlight slowly slipped
    away.  For some, despair and tragedy followed.
           A new book, The Rainbow’s Shadow, examines the life-changing experience the
    rescuers suffered through.  He follows up on all the major players:  From the all-American
    fireman hero, Robert O’Donnell, who lathered Jessica in surgical jelly and plucked her from her
    entombment “like a squashed plum” to Andy Glasscock, the career-track police detective
    sergeant, who sang children’s songs to Jessica from the rim of the well.  O’Donnell fell into
    depression and prescription medication-induced madness, later taking his own life.  Glasscock
    was a good cop, gone bad, who is serving long stretches in prison for rape, child pornography
    and holding a garage full of bombs and hand grenades.
           The story is “one for the ages,” says Clayton Williams, a Texas oilman who authored the
    foreword to the book.  

           D. Lance Lunsford, a Midland native and former Midland newspaper reporter, spent two
    years gathering facts, interviews and researching the story.  Lance Lunsford knows more than
    just a little about The Tall City he writes about.  He rode a training-wheeled bike a stones’ throw
    from Jessica’s well and later toiled in the Reporter-Telegram newsroom of Crimmins, Ramona
    Nye and Rick Brown—the same newsroom that so closely followed the Jessica McClure story.
           Lunsford is a lot of things American—husband, father, Texas Aggie and Eagle Scout.  He
    spent years ferreting out information on the cast of characters that made up The Rainbow’s
    Shadow.  He currently covers regional news stories for the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
           Pew Research, a media research organization, would agree.  The “Baby Jessica” story still
    ranks among the most followed stories in Pew Research polling.  More people, in fact, closely
    followed Jessica’s rescue than did the death of Princess Diana, several years later, Pew says.