A. James Manchin

June 25, 1980: Two Women Murdered Traveling to Rainbow Gathering

Jun 25, 2019
Joseph Paul Franklin, a white supremacist and serial killer, confessed to the murders.
E-WV / WV Humanities Council

On June 25, 1980, Nancy Santomero and Vicki Durian, who were apparently hitchhiking to the Rainbow Family reunion in Webster County, were murdered on Droop Mountain, in southern Pocahontas County.

The Rainbow Family is a loosely organized group, variously characterized as hippies and drifters, or as peaceful nature lovers and ecologists.

The annual gatherings, first held in Aspen, Colorado, grew from popular social, political, and cultural movements of the 1960s and early 1970s. The name “rainbow” signifies the diversity of people involved.

e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia

A. James Manchin was born in Farmington on April 7, 1927. He’d become perhaps the most colorful politician in West Virginia history.

During his one term in the House of Delegates in the late ’40s, he fought for civil rights issues, which possibly led to his re-election defeat. After stepping away from government for a decade, he returned as state director of the Farm Home Administration in the ’60s.

Joe Manchin, Senator, Governor
e-WV / WV Humanitites Council

U.S. Senator and former governor Joe Manchin was born in Fairmont on August 24, 1947. Growing up in the Marion County town of Farmington, he worked in his family’s grocery and furniture stores. He later returned to Farmington to run Manchin’s Carpet Center and eventually his own energy-brokering firm.

In the 1980s, the lifelong Democrat served a term in the House of Delegates and began a 14-year stint in the state Senate, where he promoted welfare, health care, and Medicaid reforms. A staunch Catholic, he opposed abortion rights, putting him at odds with many Democrats.