Book Review: From Crime Scene to Courtroom: Examining the Mysteries …

From Crime Scene to Courtroom: Examining the Mysteries behind the Famous Cases, by Cyril Wecht and Dawna Kaufmann. Foreword by Geraldo Rivera. Prometheus Books, 2011

Call Number:  HV80073 .W383 2011

If you are looking for a recreational read that is not too far away from the study and practice of law, then this may be your book. From Crime Scene to Courtroom reads like a cross between Newsweek and People Magazine. It has just enough informational content to keep you interested and just enough celeb gossip to keep you from looking away.  What it lacks in legal analysis it makes up for in the examination of the lives and deaths of the (in)famous.

The chapter on the death of the original Rolling Stone, Brian Jones, provides over 20 pages of the history of the Stones and about 5 pages of “forensic analysis”.  You will find out where Mick and Keith learned their moves (yep, from Brian) and how the fall of Brian led to the rise of the Glimmer Twins. You will also learn that Brian was evidently such a mean, drunken, misogynistic druggie that he almost certainly got what he deserved despite his huge talent and bank account.

The chapter on Michael Jackson also provides a long and mostly irrelevant history which while fun to read has little or nothing to do with his death. The Jackson 5, the super hits, the child abuse charges, Lisa Marie, Neverland, Michael’s alleged anti-Semitism (that one was new to me), it’s all there. Insofar as forensic analysis is the same as rehashing details from an autopsy report, you get a lot more forensic analysis in the Michael Jackson chapter than the Brian Jones chapter.

Seven chapters and seven famous cases.  Starting with Casey Anthony and ending with Michael Jackson in no particular order.    Not everything you read has to be intellectually challenging. This is a fun, quick read and I recommend it.

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About Phil Cousineau

Librarian
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