Once upon a Time: A True Story of Memory, Murder and the Law

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9780060165437: Once upon a Time: A True Story of Memory, Murder and the Law

The author of In Broad Daylight offers an in-depth account of how a woman's alleged recall of the murder of her childhood best friend resulted in the conviction of her own father for the crime. 40,000 first printing. $60,000 ad/promo.

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About the Author:

HARRY N. MACLEAN is a lawyer and writer based in Denver, Colorado. He is the author of In Broad Daylight, which won an Edgar Award for Best True Crime and was a New York Times bestseller for twelve weeks; his second book, Once Upon A Time: A True Story of Memory, Murder, and the Law, was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; his third book, The Past Is Never Dead: The Trial of James Ford Seale and Mississippi’s Search for Redemption, was shortlisted for the William Saroyan Award, given by Stanford University. His debut novel, The Joy of Killing, published in July 1015, has been described as a “combination love story, mystery, psychological suspense and meditation on the nature and origin of violence.”

From Kirkus Reviews:

MacLean won an Edgar for In Broad Daylight (1988), which covered the case of a small-town bully shot dead in front of a crowd of locals who ``saw nothing.'' Here, he takes on the equally controversial case of George Franklin, a Californian found guilty of murder 20 years after the fact, the conviction resting almost entirely on his daughter's belated memory (which surfaced in 1989) of having witnessed the killing of her then- best friend, eight-year-old Susan Nason. There's little doubt that, at the time of the murder, Franklin was a disastrous husband and parent: The ``uncharged conduct'' alleged against him (and not contested in court by his attorney) included physical and sexual abuse of his family, most notably his holding down daughter Eileen while a drug dealer raped her. MacLean documents Franklin's virulent racism, heavy drug use, alcoholism, and large collection of pornography (including pedophilic and bestial material) found in his apartment when he was arrested. Yet the accused was on trial for none of these offenses, but only for the murder of eight-year-old Susan--after she'd been raped. No physical evidence connected Franklin to the crime: It was only Eileen's inconsistent testimony, supported by a few expert witnesses on childhood trauma and the repression of memory, that finally convicted him. And the jury's deliberations, MacLean emphasizes, took place without benefit of evidence (contemporary newspaper accounts of the crime) that cast doubt on whether Eileen recalled her own eyewitness details of the killing--or whether she read about these details, then ``remembered'' them. MacLean builds the story of the murder, arrest, and trial in convincing detail, taking care not to intrude with his own judgment of Franklin's guilt or innocence until after he reports the verdict. A riveting, thought-provoking look at a disturbing case. (Photographs--not seen) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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