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Gwinnett is Great

Staff Pick

On the water tower that hovers over I-85 is the declaration: GWINNETT IS GREAT. What’s Gwinnett great at? For one thing, producing otherwise unremarkable young women whose lapses in judgment — combined with their wholesome suburban-ness and vaguely attractive whiteness — accidentally propel them into the national news spotlight. In ’05, it was Jennifer “Runaway Bride” Wilbanks. This year, it’s Ashley Miller and Heather Johnston, aka the Barbie Bandits, who briefly captured the country’s imagination by looking a lot prettier on Bank of America security-camera footage than they do in real life. After they were arrested and news producers figured out they weren’t actually hot, they largely vanished. Before her guilty plea, Johnston worked as a telemarketer. Miller is, of all things, working as a babysitter as she awaits trial.

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