Echoes of my Soul

( 2 )

Overview

New York Times bestselling author and renowned prosecuting attorney Robert K. Tanenbaum provides the first insider's account of the historic Wylie-Hoffert case, from the shocking double-murder to the wrenching interrogation of an innocent young man, and the heroic Assistant District Attorney who risked everything to unravel a disgraceful injustice. Here is a gripping chronicle of the unnerving crime that led to the Miranda Rights, and of the courageous stand that forever ...

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Overview

New York Times bestselling author and renowned prosecuting attorney Robert K. Tanenbaum provides the first insider's account of the historic Wylie-Hoffert case, from the shocking double-murder to the wrenching interrogation of an innocent young man, and the heroic Assistant District Attorney who risked everything to unravel a disgraceful injustice. Here is a gripping chronicle of the unnerving crime that led to the Miranda Rights, and of the courageous stand that forever reformed the American justice system.

It was a muggy summer day in New York when Janice Wylie and Emily Hoffert were raped and murdered in their apartment on Manhattan's fashionable Upper East Side. Months passed as their families grieved the unthinkable and a shaken city awaited answers. Finally, Brooklyn police arrested George Whitmore, Jr., a nineteen-year-old with an I.Q. of less than 70. But his incarceration would ultimately entail a host of shocking law enforcement missteps and cover-ups.

Whitmore had confessed. Yet Mel Glass, a young Manhattan Assistant D.A. not even assigned to the Homicide Bureau, was troubled by the investigation. With the blessing of legendary D.A. Frank Hogan, Glass tirelessly immersed himself in the case. So began an epic quest for justice, culminating in a courtroom showdown in which the Brooklyn arresting cops refused to admit their flagrant errors, providing a complete defense to a vicious predator. The outcome would reach far beyond the individuals involved.

Including trial transcripts and never before published crime scene photos, here is a captivating depiction of one of the most intense manhunts of our time. Echoes of My Soul is also a testament to the power of individuals like Glass and Hogan, without whom the real killer would never have been convicted and an unjustly accused man would have been jailed for life. And we may never have gained the legal safeguards that protect us today.

Also available on CD or digital download from AudioGO

Experts Praise Echoes of My Soul

"A strong candidate to become a true crime classic....Brilliantly written and unfailingly riveting." —Vincent Bugliosi

"Echoes of My Soul has the excitement of a great work of fiction and it is not 'based upon' a real case. It is a real case and it is about a real hero." —Mark Lane

"A compelling, page turning, disturbing true story." —Professor Jesse Choper, Earl Warren Professor of Public Law Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California, Berkeley

"Tanenbaum knows this territory better than anyone." —Linda Fairstein

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his third true crime offering (after The Piano Teacher), Tanenbaum—best known for his legal thrillers about Butch Karp and Marlene Ciampi, lawyers in the New York District Attorney’s office—examines the convoluted and dramatic case that followed the brutal murders of two young women, Janice Wylie and Emily Hoffert, in New York City in 1963. Relying on court transcripts, crime-scene photos, and the reminiscences of his legal mentors—Mel Glass, John Keenan, and D.A. Frank Hogan, all of whom were involved in the case—Tanenbaum recreates the proceedings with a novelist’s sense of plotting. The seasoned attorney and two-time mayor of Beverly Hills, Calif., details how a young black man, George Whitmore Jr. (who had an IQ of less than 70), was connected to the killings by a confession extracted under extreme duress. Luckily, Manhattan Assistant D.A. Glass took an interest in the case and began to question the police tactics used to accuse Whitmore. A clue worthy of crime fiction eventually leads to the capture of the real killer, and a trial cleverly conducted by Keenan reveals police incompetence (and possible malfeasance) and sets Whitmore free. Tanenbaum’s take on the case, which was cited by the Supreme Court in its 1966 Miranda v. State of Arizona decision regarding self-incrimination, is a thrilling and insightful addition to the true crime genre. Photos. Agent: Bob Diforio, D4EO Literary Agency. (May 28)
Kirkus Reviews
A former New York prosecuting attorney and prolific novelist recounts miscarriages of justice on the way to solving a highly publicized 1963 double murder. Tanenbaum (Bad Faith, 2012, etc.) learned legal ethics and courtroom tactics from New York District Attorney Frank Hogan and Hogan's assistants Mel Glass and John Keenan. This nonfiction murder mystery is intended as a tribute to those three, who realized police had arrested the wrong man after the August 28, 1963, murder of roommates Emily Hoffert and Janice Wylie on the Upper East Side. Suspicion cast on George Whitmore Jr. in that case also led to felony charges against him in two Brooklyn cases. Using archival material and relying to some extent on his memory, Tanenbaum explains the tunnel vision, racism and overaggressiveness of police and prosecutors that led to the mistreatment of Whitmore. Eventually, the shoddy treatment of Whitmore figured into the historic Supreme Court ruling requiring law enforcement officers to issue Miranda warnings to suspects. In a parallel narrative, Tanenbaum also shows how Glass engineered the new investigation leading to the arrest and conviction of the actual murderer, Richard Robles. Many of the elements of the narrative are inherently fascinating: the circumstances of the crimes in Manhattan and Brooklyn, the police investigations, the prosecutors' deliberations and the courtroom dramatics. Unfortunately, the author hampers the narrative flow with extended quotations that are obviously re-created using far too much novelistic license, and he also made the questionable decision to grant false names to 19 real-life characters, including police detectives, which calls into question the credibility of the story. Furthermore, page after page is filled with clichéd writing. An intriguing saga that should have been better presented.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758285355
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 5/28/2013
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 400,848
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Before the famous case that came to be known simply as Miranda,

    Before the famous case that came to be known simply as Miranda, there was the celebrated arrest of George Whitmore Jr., a poor black youth with an IQ of less than 70, subjected to police questioning initially in an assault of a woman as she was walking home. Hour after hour, the detectives badgered him, wearing him down and leading eventually into a confession not only for the assault, but another murder that had taken place in the same Brooklyn neighborhood. Then to add insult to injury, he was blamed for the murder on the Upper East Side of Manhattan of two young women, even though he had never been to that borough.

    Approaching the story like the novelist he is, the author recounts the efforts of one assistant district attorney to learn the truth, which eventually led to the arrest and conviction of the real killer, Richard Robles, in the case dubbed The Career Girl Murders. Step by step he reviews the investigation by Mr. Tanenbaum’s mentor, ADA Mel Glass, and analyzes the forced confession of Whitmore. As a result, exposed were the tactics of the Brooklyn detectives who fed details of the crime to the young man so he could provide the confession they wanted and needed to convict him. Then, drawing from trial transcripts, he recounts the trial in dramatic fashion in which Robles was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

    It was not long afterward that the Supreme Court reached the Miranda decision aimed at preventing such miscarriages of justice, guaranteeing the right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during questioning while in custody. The tale is written with a passion: The main players are well-known to the author, who served under them as an ADA in the New York District Attorney’s office. Plotted like a fictional crime novel, the story is genuine and gripping, a well-told story of what the justice system should be, and sometimes isn’t.

    Highly recommended.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 5, 2013

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