Bristol Publishing

Bristol Publishing Company

4719 37th Street
Lubbock, TX 79414






The Jessica McClure Rescue Leaves Legacy Of Tragedy


            Type the name “Jessica McClure” into about any Internet search engine, and you’ll be rewarded with a quarter million or so “hits.”  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.  Bristol Publishing Company of Lubbock is releasing the book written by D. Lance Lunsford.

            Lunsford, a Midland native and former Midland newspaper reporter, spent two years gathering facts, interviews and researching the story.

            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 forward to the book.  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.

            The Rainbow’s Shadow will soon be available nationwide or through the publisher’s website,



The Rainbow's Shadow Cover

NOTE: Review copies are available by emailing

KMID TV Ch 2 News Coverage (7mb in MPG Format)
KOSA TV Ch 7 News Coverage (7mb in MPG Format)
KWES TV Ch 9 News Coverage (21mb in MPG Format)

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