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John Grisham’s “sterling gift for storytelling” (Entertainment Weekly) is what makes this tale of murder and injustice as harrowing as his bestselling novels…and more chilling because it is true.
In 1971, Ron Williamson left Ada, Oklahoma, as a draft pick for a pro baseball team. It was a dream come true that shattered six years later, after his pursuit of drinking, drugs and women, compounded by a bad arm, landed him back home and going nowhere. It wasn’t hard for anyone who was looking to see that Williamson was in a bad way. But was he a killer?
When Debra Sue Carter was raped and murdered in 1982, the police were convinced Williamson and his friend Dennis Fritz were responsible, despite being told the 21-year-old cocktail waitress was last seen arguing with a male high school friend the night of the killing. Based on zero physical evidence and the word of disreputable snitches, the two were hounded for five years before being arrested and found guilty. But while Fritz was given a life sentence, Williamson was sent to Death Row, where he stayed for twelve long years…
As you would expect, John Grisham does a masterful job recreating the chain of events that led a troubled man down the path to destruction until just five days before his scheduled execution, when DNA evidence snatched him from the jaws of hell. If you believe that in America you are innocent until proven guilty, this book will surely open your eyes…. Explicit violence.
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