Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Famous Crime Cases, Murder, Evidence and Who-Dunnits

I saw my last tax client of the season last night at 8 PM.  He owed.  Told him he was underwithheld.

I left the office shortly after 9 PM and went home, had a cigar and read some more from my latest book interest, one by John Douglas, a famous FBI profiler and expert on crime scene investigation and murder.  Last week I read his latest book, "Law and Disorder," where he analyzes several recent murder cases and gives his opinion on the guilt or innocence of  those convicted of the crimes:  the West Memphis Three:  completely innocent, though they spent 20 years in prison, one of them, the alleged ringleader, on death row. They were recently released.  Others for whom the evidence indicates innocence are Cameron Todd Willingham, executed in Texas for arson and the death of his three children, and Amanda Knox.

I am now reading his book on famous crimes and the evidence for and against the suspects, e.g., Jack the Ripper, Lizzie Borden, Bruno Richard Hauptmann, executed in 1936 for the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby.  The evidence against Lizzie Borden, accused of hacking her parents to death in 1892, is compelling.  Though she was acquitted of the murder, she is the only person who had motive and opportunity to do the crime.  The jury refused to convict in the absence of any direct evidence, and I cannot disagree with their decision.  Her guilt was not established beyond a reasonable doubt.

The evidence against Hauptmann appears overwhelming, but there are still those who argue for his innocence all these years later.  Personally, I believe he was guilty as sin and deserving of his fate.  There was much direct evidence against him.   Douglas believes that Hauptmann was guilty, but had to have been assisted in the planning and carrying out of the crime.  Douglas would not have applied the death penalty.  I disagree.

However, whether you agree or disagree, Douglas's analysis of the facts and evidence of famous cases gives the reader much greater insight into these cases, even though it is impossible to draw any conclusions with certainty so many years later.  Now I am going to get another cup of coffee and read Douglas's dissection of the Zodiac murders in San Francisco during the 1970's.

1 comment:

Stogie said...

John Douglas! I haven't read his books in quite a while. I have read some of his earlier material.

Thanks for the reminder. I'm going to catch up on my John Douglas reading!