Southern Scribe
       our culture of storytelling

 

Crime History Review    

 
The Empty Nursery: The Disappearance of Haley Hardwick
By Jaclyn Weldon White
Mercer University Press, 2001
ISBN: 0-86554-765-3

 

 
 

 

Jaclyn Weldon White's The Empty Nursery is the chilling story of every parent's worst nightmare. On July 3, 1992, Kathy Hardwick received a phone call from her (then) husband, Kenny Hardwick, telling her that their seven-month-old daughter, Haley, had been kidnapped. Kathy Hardwick had left her child in the care of her husband while she worked her evening shift as a manager of the local Pizza Hut. Kenny Hardwick told the local police he had stopped to help two men with car trouble and when he returned to his truck, Haley was missing. 

Haley's disappearance became an instant media sensation. People in the Atlanta metropolitan wanted to help Kathy find her child as well as her child's kidnappers. Local printers gave the yound mother thousands of free flyers which friends and neighbors distributed. The police estimate that hundreds of people helped search the area searching for Haley and following up all possible leads. When no trace of the baby was found, the police started to suspect Kenny's story and alibis were a cover-up. 

Kathy, pregnant with the couple's second child, was distraught with grief and hesitant to believe the husband she loved could have anything to do with Haley's disappearance. 

White was able to interview Kathy, as well as the lead investigators on numerous occasions, resulting in a memorable, emotional account of the case from several perspectives. 

Jacyln Weldon White, author of Whisper to the Black Candle: Voodoo, Murder, and the Case of Anjette Lyles is a retired juvenile court administrator.

 

Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

 

2001 Southern Scribe Reviews, All Rights Reserved