Nancy Rommelmann

I was born in New York City (RIP, St. Vincent's Hospital), raised in Brooklyn, and did an 18-year stint in Los Angeles, where I became a journalist. This, after the movie star thing did not work out. I am currently based in Portland.

I write about people and how they do and do not fit themselves into the culture, their dreams, delusions, and sometimes criminal behavior.

My work has appeared in the LA Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Reason, Byliner and LA Observed.  

Destination Gacy, about my cross-country journey to interview serial killer John Wayne Gacy just before his execution, will be released as an ebook in May 2014.

Recent work includes the novel The Bad Mother (2011). The Queens of Montague Street (2012), a memoir of growing up in 1970s Brooklyn Heights, was excerpted in the New York Times Magazine. The story collection, Transportation was published in 2013. 

I am working on To the Bridge, a nonfiction book about Amanda Stott-Smith, who threw her two young children from a Portland bridge in 2009. 

Contact me at nancyromm (at) gmail (dot) com


"Transportation" review: On the black edge of fear, desire and despair (The Sunday Oregonian)

The Queens of Montague Street

"Dazed and Confused," Lives essay (New York Times Magazine) Interview

Book Trailer


No Exit Plan: The Lies and Follies of Laura Albert, aka, JT Leroy. (LA Weekly - Winner Best Arts Feature 2009, AAN)

Jena at 15: A Childhood in Hollywood. (LA Weekly - Winner Best Feature Story 2001, AAN)

40 Bucks and a Dream: The lives of a Hollywood Motel (LA Weekly)



Anatomy of a Child Pornographer: What happens when adults catch teenagers "sexting" photos of each other? The death of common sense (Reason Magazine)

Sanctuary: Days and Nights at the King Edward Saloon (LA Weekly)

Is Portland the New Neverland? Or do Portland's 20-somethings measure success by a new clock? Yes. (The Oregonian)

Us and Them: The code of the cop bar, RAMPART division. (LA Weekly)

The Great Alaskan Morel Rush of '05: Guns, bears, cash in the woods. (Los Angeles Times Magazine)



Grief's Gravity:  When Jessica Santillan died of a botched heart-lung transplant, Nancy Rommelmann was nearly swallowed by the story. (LA Weekly)

Who She Took With Her: ... the husband, the son, the boyfriend... a drunk's tale. (LA Weekly)


The Monstrousness of Empathy: When private tragedy becomes public property

Sacrificing Rebecca: Laurie Recht loved her 14-year-old daughter to death. Literally. (Willamette Week)


Langdon Cook and "The Mushroom Hunters"

Katherine Boo on "Behind the Beautiful Forevers"

Debra Gwartney on "Live Through This"

William Langewiesche on "The Atomic Bazaar"

Win McCormack on "The Rajneesh Chronicles"

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