Three On (In)Justice

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was picked up for a murder that he not only didn't commit, but that he ridiculously couldn't have committed: he'd been locked into a warehouse working an overnight shift miles away when the robbery and shooting occurred. No problem for the prosecution, though - they just alleged he scaled a... Continue Reading →

The Man Who’s Forensic Science’s Best Kept Secret

Book review: American Sherlock, by Kate Winkler Dawson (Amazon / Book Depository) Innocent men were being hanged while criminals escaped justice. The complicated crimes of the 1920s demanded a special type of sleuth -- an expert with the instincts of a detective in the field, the analytical skills of a forensic scientist in the lab,... Continue Reading →

A Wrongful Conviction and an Innocence Commission

Book review: Ghost of the Innocent Man, by Benjamin Rachlin (Amazon / Book Depository) Wrongful conviction narratives are incomparably terrifying. They leave the reader with a lingering unease, that if this could happen to the person profiled, on flimsy or nonexistent evidence in a complex yet error-filled justice system, it could happen to anyone. It's... Continue Reading →

The Long Story of an LAPD Cold Case

Book review: The Lazarus Files, by Matthew McGough (Amazon / Book Depository) In 2009, a decades-old cold case, the 1986 murder of Sherri Rasmussen, a young newlywed nurse in Van Nuys, heated up when a suspect was finally arrested. As in many recent cases, new testing of old DNA evidence - here, an allegedly misplaced... Continue Reading →

Genesis of the “Mindhunter”

Book review: Mindhunter, by John Douglas and Mark Olshaker (Amazon / Book Depository) It isn’t always easy, and it’s never pleasant, putting yourself in these guys’ shoes —or inside their minds. But that’s what my people and I have to do. We have to try to feel what it was like for each one. When... Continue Reading →

Janet Malcolm Observes a Murder Trial

Book review: Iphigenia in Forest Hills, by Janet Malcolm (Amazon / Book Depository) Iphigenia in Forest Hills is a well reported account of a 2009 murder trial by renowned journalist Janet Malcolm. The victim at the center was dentist Daniel Malakov, who in 2007 was shot on a playground allegedly on the orders of his wife, Mazoltov... Continue Reading →

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