The Combat Zone: Murder, Race, and Boston's Struggle for Justice

The Combat Zone: Murder, Race, and Boston's Struggle for Justice

by Jan Brogan
The Combat Zone: Murder, Race, and Boston's Struggle for Justice

The Combat Zone: Murder, Race, and Boston's Struggle for Justice

by Jan Brogan


    Qualifies for Free Shipping
    Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, December 7
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


Shortlisted for the 2021 Agatha Award for Best Non-Fiction and the 2022 Anthony Award for Best Critical or Nonfiction Work

At the end of the 1976 football season, more than forty Harvard athletes went to Boston's Combat Zone to celebrate. In the city's adult entertainment district, drugs and prostitution ran rampant, violent crime was commonplace, and corrupt police turned the other way. At the end of the night, Italian American star athlete Andy Puopolo, raised in the city's North End, was murdered in a stabbing. Three African American men were accused of the crime. His murder made national news and led to the eventual demise of the city's red-light district.

Starting with this brutal murder, The Combat Zone tells the story of the Puopolo family's struggle with both a devastating loss and a criminal justice system that produced two trials with opposing verdicts, all within the context of a racially divided Boston. Brogan traces the contentious relationship between Boston’s segregated neighborhoods during the busing crisis; shines a light on a court system that allowed lawyers to strike potential jurors based purely on their racial or ethnic identity; and lays bare the deep-seated corruption within the police department and throughout the Combat Zone. What emerges is a fascinating snapshot of the city at a transitional moment in its recent past.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781625346094
Publisher: Bright Leaf
Publication date: 09/24/2021
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 416,255
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

JAN BROGAN is a journalist and novelist living in Boston. A former staff writer for the Providence Journal and the Worcester Telegram, her freelance work has appeared in the Boston Globe, Boston magazine, Ladies' Home Journal, and Forbes.

Table of Contents

A Note on Language ix

Chapter 1 A Wight in "the Zone" 1

Chapter 2 Combat Medicine 6

Chapter 3 A Sexual Disneyland 14

Chapter 4 You Can't Back Down 24

Chapter 5 The Sleaze Factor 35

Chapter 6 Loyalty and Revenge 48

Chapter 7 Ferocious Competitors 55

Chapter 8 A Terrible Witness 61

Chapter 9 Private Loss, Public Controversy 70

Chapter 10 Wading through the Jury Pool 76

Chapter 11 A Noble Act 85

Chapter 12 State of Mind 105

Chapter 13 The Color of Justice 112

Chapter 14 Death Grants No Appeals 126

Chapter 15 Landmark Decision 132

Chapter 16 The Edge 145

Chapter 17 Behind Locked Doors 165

Chapter 18 A Brother's Responsibility 178

Chapter 19 Furloughs and Escapes 190

Chapter 20 Hitman for Hire 198

Afterword: Progress and Struggles 205

Acknowledgments 211

Author's Note 215

Notes 219

Index 233

From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews