The Wrong Guys: Murder, False Confessions, and the Norfolk Four

Tom Wells, Author, Richard A. Leo, Author , foreword by Donald S. Connery. New Press $25.95 (342p) ISBN 978-1-59558-401-4

In a case echoing John Grisham's The Innocent Man, two experts in interrogation and false confessions unfold the story of four men who, under duress by the police, all pleaded guilty to the same crime. In 1997, 19-year-old sailor Billy Bosko came home to Norfolk, Va., from a naval tour to find his wife, Michelle, viciously raped and stabbed to death. Police hastily concluded that the Boskos' neighbor, another young sailor named Danial Williams, was the murderer, and after a lengthy interrogation and being told falsely that he'd failed a polygraph test, he confessed. But with DNA evidence not supporting his guilt, police, rather than letting Williams go, looked for accomplices. Eventually three other sailors, Joseph J. Dick Jr., who boarded with Williams, and Eric Wilson and Derek Tice, faced similar treatment, and all pleaded guilty. The DNA evidence and a letter in the police's hands actually pointed to another, far more credible suspect, but police clung to their theory, and Williams plea-bargained and the others were convicted at trial. The authors passionately relate the case of the Norwalk Four as a tragic one in which facts were not allowed to interfere with a good theory, and the justice system failed to do justice. (Nov.)

Reviewed on: 09/22/2008
Release date: 09/01/2008
Genre: Nonfiction
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