Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyOne can hardly imagine a a more unlikely criminal than William Leasure: bland and passive, the Los Angeles Traffic Division cop who never fired his gun on the job and usually gave lectures rather than tickets was nicknamed Mild Bill by his fellow officers. But from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s he masterminded at least three contract killings, played a major role in the theft of several yachts and made off with vintage Corvettes. When he was arrested in 1986 aboard a stolen yacht, his co-workers simply could not believe him guilty of theft, and when his seedier associates tied him to the murders, they were absolutely staggered. Humes, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, relates the obviously complex case lucidly and dramatically, combining painstaking research and hair-trigger pacing. Like his Buried Secrets , this book is a noteworthy contribution to the true-crime genre. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
Library JournalComplicated is a word used throughout this work. There are three murders. There are boat and car thefts and insurance fraud reaching into the millions of dollars. There is a key witness who is an obvious liar and another who is dead before trial's end. And at the center is William Leasure, a mild Los Angeles traffic cop who prefers issuing warnings to tickets and has used neither gun nor baton in a long police career, yet who is charged with living a double life of contract killer and thief. Humes walks a fine line as he presents the complexities of the case and the enigmatic officer lest his audience be overwhelmed, and in the end most readers will agree with the findings--but beyond a reasonable doubt? Recommended for most public libraries.-- Jim Burns, Broward Cty. Lib. System, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
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