Trials of the Century: A Decade-by-Decade Look at Ten of America’s Most Sensational Crimes
Truth may be stranger than fiction but these real life crime stories would seem far-fetched if delivered in a mystery publication today. Compiled by law professor Mark Phillips and social scientist Aryn Phillips, these ten sensational murder trials, one for each decade are recapped by balancing the evidence with the social milieu that weighed the testimonies and influenced the verdicts.
Start in 1900 with the bizarre murder of renowned architect Stanford White by wealthy Henry Thaw, continue onto the prejudicial southern trial and lynching of Leo Frank. Then there is the comedian, Fatty Arbuckle, his career ruined following his trial for murder. More recently, reread the evidence elicited in the Sam Shepard case, or the grisly murder of eight student nurses by Richard Speck. The Manson massacres and the O.J. Simpson proceedings are skillfully dissected and court proceedings displayed. Examine how the newspapers and media fed on the scandals and influenced public opinion, and how the criminal justice system is evolving . Watch how the opposing attorneys parried the evidence, and then think how you would have acted then…and after reading these scenarios, what your verdict would be now. Better than Stephen King, this is a real chiller/thriller!
Mark J. Phillips • Aryn Z. Phillips