Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America

Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America

by Jill Leovy

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Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, USA TODAY, AND CHICAGO TRIBUNE • A masterly work of literary journalism about a senseless murder, a relentless detective, and the great plague of homicide in America

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe  The Economist • The Globe and Mail  BookPage  Kirkus Reviews


On a warm spring evening in South Los Angeles, a young man is shot and killed on a sidewalk minutes away from his home, one of the thousands of black Americans murdered that year. His assailant runs down the street, jumps into an SUV, and vanishes, hoping to join the scores of killers in American cities who are never arrested for their crimes.

But as soon as the case is assigned to Detective John Skaggs, the odds shift.

Here is the kaleidoscopic story of the quintessential, but mostly ignored, American murder—a “ghettoside” killing, one young black man slaying another—and a brilliant and driven cadre of detectives whose creed is to pursue justice for forgotten victims at all costs. Ghettoside is a fast-paced narrative of a devastating crime, an intimate portrait of detectives and a community bonded in tragedy, and a surprising new lens into the great subject of why murder happens in our cities—and how the epidemic of killings might yet be stopped.

Praise for Ghettoside

“A serious and kaleidoscopic achievement . . . [Jill Leovy is] a crisp writer with a crisp mind and the ability to boil entire skies of information into hard journalistic rain.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

“Masterful . . . gritty reporting that matches the police work behind it.”Los Angeles Times

“Moving and engrossing.”San Francisco Chronicle

“Penetrating and heartbreaking . . . Ghettoside points out how relatively little America has cared even as recently as the last decade about the value of young black men’s lives.”USA Today

“Functions both as a snappy police procedural and—more significantly—as a searing indictment of legal neglect . . . Leovy’s powerful testimony demands respectful attention.”The Boston Globe

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780385529990
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/27/2015
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 75,324
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Jill Leovy is an award-winning reporter for the Los Angeles Times. She lives in Los Angeles with her family.

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Copyright © 2015 Jill Leovy.
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Table of Contents

Part I The Plaque

1 A Circle of Grief 3

2 A Killing 13

3 Ghettoside 22

4 School of Catastrophe 28

5 Clearance 44

6 The Circumstantial Case 52

7 Good People and Knuckleheads 61

8 Witnesses and the Shadow System 74

9 The Notification 86

Part II The Case of Bryant Tennelle

10 Son of the City 99

11 "It's My Son" 112

12 The Killing of Dovon Harris 123

13 Nothing Worse 131

14 The Assignment 139

15 "Everybody Know" 162

16 The Witness 176

17 Baby Man 189

18 Mutual Combat 214

19 Witness Welfare 223

20 Lost Souls 240

21 The Victims' Side 256

22 The Opening 274

23 "We Have to Pray for Peace" 286

24 The Missing 304

Epilogue 311

Author's Note 321

Acknowledgments 325

Notes 327

Select Bibliography 353

Index 357

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