Un-Making a Murder

Un-Making a Murderer: The Framing of Steven Avery and Brendan Dassey, (First published by Gadfly Press, GB 2017) this e-book published, copyright and written by Shaun Attwood.

An introduction explains that the author’s story presents a follow-up to the widely viewed 2015 Documentary film production ‘Making a Murderer’. Specifically he states: “Watching the documentary made me want to help Steven and Brandan (the subjects of the Documentary). Being familiar with the Department of Corrections procedures, I posted some YouTube videos advising people how to send letters and money to them without violating the prison rules. The avalanche of positive responses was overwhelming. Some of the millions who watched ‘Making a Murderer’ went online to express their outrage at the blatant injustice.”

The prose that follows describes how Steven Avery was convicted of rape and attempted murder, exonerated after spending 18 years in prison and 2 years later on the verge of receiving $36 million in compensation was accused and convicted of another brutal murder. This time implicating his mentally challenged 16-year-old nephew as well. So, now within the body of this work, he describes what he terms as “The Art of Framing Innocent People” wherein he lists and provides lengthy descriptions of 9 strategies employed – Trigger Emotional Reactions; Conceal Other Suspects; Coerce False Confessions; Plant Evidence; Pay Expert Witnesses to Lie; Ensure Public Defenders work for the Prosecution; Neutralize Honest Witnesses; Procure Dishonest Witnesses; Hire Sociopathic Prosecutors; Rig the Jury. Also included are: a conjectural chapter on the identity of the killer of the second victim; What you can do for Steven and Brandan; Get a free book; Social-Media Links; Shaun Attwood’s True-Life Jail Experience; Other books by Shawn Attwood and a short author’s biography.

Discussion: Unfortunately this reviewer has not seen the Documentary so readers must be aware that my remarks with respect to the subject under discussion are made strictly from the written evidence provided on these pages. However, if the lengthy accounts presented here by the author contain even a modicum of truth, it would appear that there had been numerous inexcusable errors committed not only in jurisprudence procedures but additional misuse of power almost at inconceivable levels. Furthermore, when reading this account, one must be aware that the author himself is a former correctional institution inmate as “a former stock-market millionaire and Ecstasy supplier turned public speaker, author and activist who is banned from America for life.” Regardless, any reader who is aware of the seemingly duplicitous, dishonest, deceitful and even illegal activities indulged in by the DOJ, FBI, CIA and even by elected and formerly elected individuals to represent the citizens of the United States, the suggestions supplied by the author seem extremely reasonable indeed. Of course, this conclusion also depends heavily upon how much a reader can believe the material provided by a horribly divided and highly biased news media. As an aside, much of the repetitive material, although no doubt included to strengthen the author’s presentation, could be selectively edited to enhance readability.

3* 4* Interestingly informative exposé(?); -1 judicious editing would enhance enjoyment.

City of Angels

City of Angels ISBN: 9780692894286, an e-book written, Copyright and published by K. Patrick.

The author has provided a story set in California that primarily addresses a prominent problem apparently existent well beyond that state. The book is dedicated “to the nearly half a million children in the United States living in foster care, group homes and institutions. And to the thousands among them who age out of the system each year and are forced to find their way of life with little or no support.” To tell his story as completely as possible, and yet attempt to make it an enjoyable read, he has proceeded to set forth 740+ pages divided into 94 chapters. He also has included a sizeable number of characters in several differing situations. Further, to very clearly define the situation, he presented these individuals as distinctly characteristic of the best and worst types representing each side of the equation. Because of the diverse nature of the situations and the number of differing characters, a more usual description of the quite involved plot would be more extensive than really would seem feasible in a review. So, very briefly, a young boy enters the system, grows to just two months away from leaving when he is accused and found guilty of a murder that incarcerates him for life. Later, it is discovered that he had been falsely accused. He is released and in a most dramatic fashion is able to bring about quite drastic change.

This is a well-written book dealing with a monstrous social problem by an author who is most knowledgeable about the existing conditions, the unprincipled individuals in prominent positions within the system itself, the dishonest ambitious and uncaring politicians and how these situations develop, especially when aided and abetted by the divisive, unprincipled manner in which the judiciary from judges and district attorneys’ down to various levels of the police can use any means to subvert justice if pressure ‘dictates’. The author additionally has a fine grasp of both amateur and professional boxing and of the prison system and the inmates.

This is a long read and does suffer toward the latter part from some breakdown in proofing, probably for this exact reason. HOWEVER, the author has provided a story that moves so well that this offers only momentary annoyance and nothing more.

Conclusion: A book that begins as a rather simple ‘tear-jerker’ and develops into a serious look at several huge societal problems all interwoven in a story ranging from brutality to poignancy with well-developed characters and conducted at a pace which makes the book difficult to put down.

5* Interwoven societal problems presented in most enjoyably readable fashion.