This is the story of a Tulsa debutante who, as a result of a series of unlikely and often very bad life choices she made in the ‘90s, found herself in the midst of one of the most terrible crimes ever to take place in America.
Thirty years ago, award-winning journalist Jon Ronson stumbled on the mystery of Carol Howe—a charismatic, wealthy former debutante turned white supremacist spokeswoman turned undercover informant. In 1995, Carol was spying on Oklahoma’s neo-Nazis for the government just when Timothy McVeigh blew up a federal building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.
Ever since then, Carol has haunted the imaginations of survivors and investigators because of a rumor that had begun to swirl: If her information had only been listened to, she could have prevented the worst domestic terrorist attack in US history.
The question mystified Ronson. In The Debutante, he embarks on an investigative journey to seek the truth about the woman who grew up in a world of privilege and opportunity and whose teenage rebellion spiraled out of control, leading her to extreme radicalization.
The Debutante takes a closer look at Carol’s world, where truth is shrouded and seldom guaranteed. Rare court tapes, diary entries, undercover ATF surveillance audio, and interviews with those who crossed paths with Carol depict a complex woman whose motivations have been hypothesized about for decades. With curiosity and insight at the forefront of his work, Ronson delivers a new perspective on the extraordinary story of Carol Howe.
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