The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town

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The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town by John Grisham

In small town Ada, Oklahoma; Ron Williamson was destined to become the next Micky Mantle. His only interests were baseball, beer, and girls. It was all he focused on as he barely graduated high school; decided to forgo college scholarships, and head off to the big leagues.

He ended up not making it to the big leagues, being sent to the minors to train; but Ron had no ambition enjoying his drink and women more.

Eventually he was cut and out of options returned home to Ada.

Ron started acting strange, suffering from mental illness, this not recognized at the time causing him to become a social pariah.

In 1982, a young cocktail waitress, Debra Sue Carter, was brutally murdered. Ron and his friend Dennis Fritz were arrested on lackluster testimony, more of a focus of people wanting to be rid of them as they disliked them.

Fritz was given life without parole and Williamson was given the death penalty. But when DNA testing that was developed and perfected in 1992, they later tested the hairs they found on the crime scene and where able to release the two on April 15, 1999.

What?!

Grisham follows the story from Ron’s childhood to his exoneration, but continual pariah in small town Ada.

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Thoughts After Reading:

I thought it was very well written and interesting, but also sad that these people stopped being objective and focused on having the evidence fit the suspect.

For more non-fiction, go to Ghost of the Hardy Boys

For more true crime stories, go to Cape May Court House: A Death in the Night

For more reviews, go to Death by Marriage

Binky Brothers, Detectives

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Binky Brothers, Detectives by James Lawrence

Norbert “Dinky” Binky and his older brother, Albert “Pinky” Binky have started their own detective agency.

On the case!

Dinky thinks that as partners they should be equal, but big brother Pinky decides that being older means he gets more benefits and more of the money gained from their detecting.

While in between cases, the two brothers are selling cups of lemonade for 2¢. While selling, Chub Doolin, catcher, comes along. He hires the brothers as his mitt was stolen, and the team will be unable to beat the Wildcats without it.

Chub hands over the ransom note he was given:

Ha Ha! I have your mitt. Now the wildcats will beat you. Guess who? [Skull & crossbones]

Soon Wildcat players, Spike Brown and Joe Parker stop by. They have information they shouldn’t about the missing glove.

When Spike gets his money to pay, a pink note comes falling out. It is the same type as the one that Chub was given. It has a different message.

Tell the team we can win easy now. I hid you-know-what in the house. Those dopes will never look high enough to find it unless one of them is a monkey. Mel. [Skull & Crossbones]

Pinky figures out that Mel must be Melvin Krantz, the wildcat shortstop. Pinky thinks on the note and decides that the house in the note must be the team treehouse.

When he gets to the house it is too easy. And good reason to be, as it was all a trap to get rid of the Cubs best pitcher, Pinky. Pinky doesn’t know what to do.

Dinky comes along as he has found the glove, having figured out that the second note was a trap. He blackmails his brother into letting him be in the game and get equal share in the detective agency.

Thoughts After Readig:

This was not a good mystery.

I mean it didn’t even explain how Dinky figured everything out, he just did.

For more children’s books, go to The Chocolate Chip Mystery

For more mysteries with private investigators, go to C is for Corpse

For more mystery reviews, go to Emilie & the Hollow World