“The Girls Are Gone” by Michael Brodkorb and Allison Mann
Michael Brodkorb and Allison Mann announced today the upcoming release of their book, “The Girls Are Gone” which provides new details about the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki and the adults who conspired to keep the missing sisters and the truth hidden.
On the evening of April 19, 2013, Samantha and Gianna Rucki disappeared. Two of five children born to David Rucki and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, the teenage sisters vanished in the midst of their parents divorce.
The girls father, David Rucki, worked tirelessly with law enforcement to search day and night for his two missing daughters, following every lead while raising three remaining children at home. Their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, used her newfound freedom to vacation around the world, abandoning her children. And as the investigation intensified, catching the attention of the media, Sandra also disappeared.
The Girls Are Gone is the true story of two sisters who went missing, the father who kept searching, and the adults who conspired to keep the truth hidden.
On November 18, 2015 –944 days after they disappeared – the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, headed by the Lakeville Police Department.
During the last two years, Brodkorb and Mann have analyzed court documents, reviewed investigative files, and conducted numerous interviews to provide a completed story about how and why two children vanished from their family and friends for 944 days. “The Girls Are Gone” includes interviews with members of the Rucki family, including exclusive interviews with Samantha and Gianna Rucki.
“Through the strength and courage of David, Tammy, and all five of the children we have been able to dissect and study what happened to provide a look into how and why it did,” said Mann.
Criminal charges were filed against four people, including the girls’ mother, for their role in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters. “The Girls Are Gone” chronicles key events during the criminal trials of the people who were later convicted or pleaded guilty for their involvement in this heinous crime. The book examines the other adults who aided in the conspiracy to hide the truth and the Rucki sisters.
The book also discusses the connection between Michelle MacDonald, who is currently a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court, and two people convicted for their roles in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and Dede Evavold. MacDonald was labeled a “person of interest” by the Lakeville Police Department in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki, but did not cooperate in the investigation.
About the Authors:
Michael Brodkorb’s reporting on the Samantha and Gianna Rucki case began with the Star Tribune in 2015. He is currently a columnist with MinnPost. A lifelong resident of Minnesota, Michael is also an experienced communication, public affairs, and research consultant. Allison Mann is a paralegal and has worked on the Samantha and Gianna Rucki case since 2012.