Walter Hixson’s pithy narrative account of four sensational national murder cases—the Lizzie Borden, Lindbergh baby, Sam Sheppard, and O. J. Simpson trials offers interesting observations into the greater cultural and political forces that shaped their verdicts.
His step-by-step analysis of the details of each case provides not only insight by skillful synthesis of the existing literature but also a solid overview of the events surrounding these four cases, each of which became a national obsession as well as a miscarriage of justice.
Taking a fresh look at the criminal justice system and the role of the media in the larger American milieu, Hixson delves into sociocultural impacts of crime that are both thought-provoking and fascinating reading.
Murder, Culture, and Injustice is a fascinating book. Walter L. Hixson combines an engaging, fast-paced writing style with a thoughtful, well-informed analysis that debunks enduring myths about four of the most celebrated murder cases (and trials) in American history. At the same time, Hixson effectively uses these high-profile cases to explain how social and cultural tensions have sometimes distorted the operation of the legal system, resulting in grotesque miscarriages of justice. Simply put, Murder, Culture, and Injustice is a joy to read.
—Jeffrey S. Adler, University of Florida