Met the End: An investigation of the past, a daughter's duty to herself. (Hardcover)
Met the End, a true-crime survival memoir, explores the life and death of John Powell, first known victim of American serial killer Donald Harvey, through the eyes of Powell's daughter, Holly Brians Ragusa. When a motorcycle accident in 1986 left Powell in a coma, the nightmare for Brians Ragusa and her family had scarcely begun: Harvey, a nurse's aid, was poisoning him with cyanide, and when Powell died, an investigation revealed dozens of similar crimes. For Brians Ragusa, fifteen years old at the time, the incident had profound mental and emotional consequences. She struggled for decades to reconcile childhood memories of her Dad against the sensational publicity surrounding his murder. Then, in 2017, the national spotlight returned to Harvey's case when a fellow prison inmate beat him to death. Rekindled trauma from the news coverage drove Brians Ragusa to finally tell her father's story. Through research, interviews, and introspection, Brians Ragusa faces the tragedy of her family's past, and finds reclamation.
About the Author
Holly Brians Ragusa (she/her/hers) is an interdisciplinary writer, speaker and community activist based in Cincinnati. Author of Met the End (Nov 2022), poet and Opinion contributor to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Brians Ragusa's other publications Dying to Know Myself in Time, Inverse and Tilt A World. She serves nonprofits and lives in historic Over-the-Rhine, sharing space with her husband, mother, three cats, one dog, and (sometimes) two grown children. Her passions also include moon-gazing, seeking meaning, and mustard. hollybriansragusa.com
“MET THE END succeeds resoundingly in defying assumption, even as to its literary genre. It is an unflinchingly honest autobiography and also a true-crime novel; it is both memoir and medical thriller, journalism and self-help. Alternately soulful and hard-driving, poetic and witty, acerbic and poignant, in MET THE END, you never see the end till you get there.” — Lissa Levin, playwright, screenwriter and television producer (MAD ABOUT YOU, CHEERS)
“This is a story of family, love, loss, tragedy, murder, resilience, and ultimately a story of survival. You may have heard of the notorious ‘Angel of Death,’ but this is not a tale about him; it is an intimate introduction to the family of the man whose death unveiled a serial killer. You meet the family before tragedy strikes and stay with them through a roller coaster ride to recovery. MET THE END is heartbreaking, and at the same time, hopeful.” — Dustin O’Regan, editor-in-chief, Sheridan Road magazine
“To say MET THE END surprised me is an understatement. I had no idea where this roaming tale of family, forgiveness, loss and resolution would wind. It was shocking. This writer has turned my expectations sideways.” — D. Lynn Meyers, CEO, Producing Artistic Director, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati
“Author Brians Ragusa illustrates how tragedy and trauma plague people, families and communities, and how we rise from the ashes. A horrific tragedy that is both unique, yet all too familiar, this memoir exposes the truth of trauma and what happens when institutions and systems that are designed to protect people and bring justice fail.”
—Yvette R. Simpson, Esq., former Cincinnati City Councilmember; Author; CEO, Democracy for America; ABC Commentator
"This type of healing is exactly what our organization is about and we hope this book will encourage others to seek our support."