From Blood to Verdict: Three Women on Trial

From Blood to Verdict: Three Women on Trial

by Deborah Homsher

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Homsher, who teaches English literature at Ithaca College, relates three tales of women accused of crimes in Tompkins County, N.Y. Shirley Kinge is purported to have assisted her son, Michael, in burning down the house of a middle-class family he had killed after raping their daughter. Christine Lane was convicted of manslaughter after the authorities found her two-year-old daughter's body wrapped in garbage bags in the woods. Debra Dennett shot her estranged husband, and evidence of the knife attack that she insists forced the incident was flimsy. These individual stories are flush with horrifying specifics but few insights. Homsher occasionally slips into a florid style and needlessly repeats details--such as the fact that Kinge's son tied his teenage victim to her bed with her green prom dress. The author draws few connections among the three cases and rarely comments on the status of women in the judicial system, except for a brief description of battered-woman syndrome. (June)
Library Journal - Library Journal
A court watcher who saw trials as a way to learn about her community, Homsher describes three trials that all took place in Ithaca, New York in 1990. All had female defendants, and all involved horrible crimes. Shirley Kinge was accused of helping her son murder an entire family and then go on a spending spree with their credit cards; Christine Lane was tried for killing her small daughter; Debra Dennett admitted killing her lawyer husband and claimed that he had abused her. Homsher devotes a section to each case, retelling the crimes and trials. Unfortunately, she aims to do too many things at once, making the book disjointed. The jumps back and forth from the scene of the crime to a spectator's view of the trial gets tiresome, particularly in the Kinge segment. In addition, one is never quite sure how these crimes, or women, are meant to relate to one another or what any of it really says about Ithaca. Interesting, but an optional purchase for large crime collections.-- Sally G. Waters, Stetson Law Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.

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Product Details

McBooks Press, Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.48(w) x 8.44(h) x 0.85(d)

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