Double Jeopardy: Obsession, Murder, and Justice Denied

Overview

It had been more than three years since Brenda Schaefer had disappeared, her car found abandoned along an interstate highway in Louisville, Kentucky. From that rainy night forward, attention had focused on one man, Mel Ignatow, Brenda's ex-fiance, an import-export salesman whose arrogance and piety infuriated both the police and the Schaefer family. Sixteen months after she disappeared, Brenda's body was found in a shallow grave in the woods behind the house of Mary Ann Shore, a former girlfriend of Ignatow. ...
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New York 1995 Hard cover First edition. Illustrated. New in new dust jacket. First edition first printing of this true crime novel about the out come of the Brenda Schaefer ... murder. In fine / fine unread condition. Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 321 p. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Overview

It had been more than three years since Brenda Schaefer had disappeared, her car found abandoned along an interstate highway in Louisville, Kentucky. From that rainy night forward, attention had focused on one man, Mel Ignatow, Brenda's ex-fiance, an import-export salesman whose arrogance and piety infuriated both the police and the Schaefer family. Sixteen months after she disappeared, Brenda's body was found in a shallow grave in the woods behind the house of Mary Ann Shore, a former girlfriend of Ignatow. Finally, the jury had to decide who was lying: had Ignatow murdered Brenda Schaefer or had Shore done it in a fit of jealous rage? If the jury made the wrong decision, Mel Ignatow would be getting away with murder. In our society, once acquitted, a person can never again be tried for the same crime no matter what new evidence or testimony may arise - that's our constitutional protection from "double jeopardy." Louisville Courier-Journal reporter Bob Hill brilliantly covers the case in its long journey through the legal system. To tell the complete story, he conducted hundreds of interviews with the FBI, local police, the Schaefer family, and the jurors themselves. The book's legal twists and sudden turns lead to a surprise ending: the murderer - and the gruesome photographs of Brenda's last night alive - discovered by blind luck.

In 1988, Brenda Sue Schaefer disappeared, and months later her badly decomposed body was found. Her boyfriend, Mel Ignatow, was arrested after his ex-girlfriend admitted to helping him kill Brenda. Despite the evidence, the jury found Mel not guilty. A year later, photos of Mel murdering Brenda were uncovered--leaving the prosecutors attempting to overturn the double jeopardy clause. Photo insert.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Louisville divorce Brenda Schaefer disappeared in 1988, last seen with her ex-fianc, Mel Ignatow. A year and a half later, Ignatow's sometime mistress, Mary Ann Shore, revealed that he had tortured, raped and murdered Schaefer, and she led police to where the body was buried. She was certain of Ignatow's guilt, because he had had her photograph the entire five-hour spree of sadism. Ignatow was brought to trial, but a combination of sloppy police work, an excellent defense attorney, the bad impression created by Shore on the stand and the lack of direct forensic evidence resulted in an acquittal. An expert on sexual sadism suspected that the incriminating photos would not have been destroyed, and indeed they were found under a floorboard in Ignatow's former house in 1992, proof that Shore's testimony had been true in every particular. The Fifth Amendment's double jeopardy provision meant that Ignatow could not be tried again, although he was given some prison time for perjury. Hill, a Louisville Courier-Journal columnist, has done an outstanding job of showing how the case developed and what went wrong. Photos not seen by PW. (July)
Sue-Ellen Beauregard
As grisly, sadistic murders go, Brenda Schaefer's ranks right up there. In 1988, after the 36-year-old Louisville native's car was found abandoned, her manipulative boyfriend, Mel Ignatow, quickly became the prime suspect. After months of dead-end leads, enigmatic Mary Ann Shore, another of Ignatow's lovers, finally admitted that she had witnessed the murder and helped Ignatow bury the body. Although the case seemed airtight, a flighty jury found Ignatow innocent of murder, sodomy, and rape. Sadly, incriminating photographs were eventually found that directly linked Ignatow to the brutal slaying. Louisville journalist Hill reconstructs this convoluted, disturbing case in precise detail. But although he presents the facts admirably, the veteran reporter fails to explore the psychological reasons and motivations for Ignatow and Shore's despicable actions.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688129101
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/1/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.48 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.22 (d)

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