From Blood to Verdict

Deborah Homsher, Author McBooks Press $12.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-935526-20-2
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)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1970
Release date: 01/01/1955
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