In The News – Through the Years

News articles through the years …


Chicago Tribune

`58 Miss America Tells Horror Of Incestuous Father

May 10, 1991 By James Coates, Chicago Tribune.
DENVER — Miss America of 1958, Marilyn Van Derbur, who parlayed her moments in the spotlight into a career on the motivational speakers` circuit, told stunned hometown friends this week that behind all the glitter and glory is the nightmare of incest.

People Magazine article

Marilyn Van DerburThe Darkest Secret

Ex-Miss America’s tale of incest has led others to come forward

March 30, 1992  /  By Susanne Althoff, Staff Writer

When Marilyn Van Derbur Atler shares her tale of incest, people respond with confidences of their own.

The 1958 Miss America received a letter from a 73-year-old woman who, after reading about Ms. Van Derbur, told a friend that she was a victim of incest.

It was the first time the woman had shared her trauma with anyone, Ms. Van Derbur said.

“It’s going on in every community in America,” she said in a telephone interview from her home in Denver. “[Incest] survivors are beginning to understand now it is safer to come forward.”


Westword 2004 article

Crowning Achievement
June 24, 2004 / David Holthouse

The footfalls of a stranger in a distant hallway cause Marilyn Van Derbur, Miss America 1958, to spring from a cozy chair in her living room like a cat shot with a rubber band.



Los Angeles Times

Did Daddy Really Do It?   

Feb 5, 2005 / By Katy Butler
A debate rages over incest-recovery therapies that can create false memories of sexual abuse


San Luis Valley HEALTH

Surviving Incest: Marilyn Van Derbur Shares Her Story


Shreveport Times article

Former Miss America, incest survivor, shares her story

CDT October 7, 2015  /  Maggie Martin

“Scuff, scuff, scuff.”

The sounds of expensive felt soles making their way down the hall of a Denver mansion in the middle of a night.

The slow turn of the door handle on the private bedroom door of a 5-year-old girl.