The Unforgiven: Two local journalists look into deaths of three children 16 years ago


Pantagraph courts reporter Edith Brady-Lunny and Ex-WJBC News Director Steve Vogel teamed together to capture 16-years worth of court cases from the deaths of three young children at Clinton Lake. (Photo courtesy: Blake Haas/WJBC)


By Blake Haas

CLINTON – More than 16 years after three young children drowned in Clinton Lake, two local journalists are retelling the story of that night in a new book.

Pantagraph courts reporter Edith Brady-Lunny and former WJBC News Director Steve Vogel teamed together to release a book titled “The Unforgiven: The Untold Story of One Woman’s Search for Love and Justice.”

Through the eyes of Brady-Lunny and Vogel, the goal of the book was to capture the days after the deaths that sent Maurice LaGrone Jr. to life in prison and Amanda Hamm to 14 months behind bars.

Listen to the podcast interview about the book here.

Speaking with WJBC’s Marc Strauss, Brady-Lunny said she had a first-hand look into the trials of LaGrone Jr. and Hamm.

“I had written hundreds of news stories about the Amanda Hamm and Maurice LaGrone (Jr.) cases,” added Brady-Lunny. “I followed them starting with the night of the drowning, which as Sept. 2, 2003. I followed all the way through two murder trials and went on to follow them all the way up to last year in a Chicago court room.”

Already a writer of a New Your Times best-seller, Vogel added this book is unlike any other.

“With Edith (Brady-Lunny) covering the case in real-time, beginning the night of the drowning, we had a lot of detail to work with,” added Vogel. “It’s in the book. Not only is it rich in detail, but also puts some context (to) a lot of the stuff that was going on.”

The Unforgiven is available for purchase on Amazon.

Blake Haas can be reached at


WJBC Voices: New name, new mascot

Several years ago, after the Politically Correct Athletic Association extorted the University of Illinois not to use any Native American symbols for its teams, I declared the name Fighting Illini meaningless…

WJBC Voices: Plus ca change…

No Neck and his Democratic buddies patted themselves on the back and told us how happy we should all be now that we have a “balanced” budget for the first time in years.

WJBC Voices: Bipartisan fixing the pothole

Now that the spring legislative session is over, it’s amazing to reflect all that was completed: a balanced budget, legalized cannabis and a long-overdue infrastructure bill to fix our roads and bridges.