Thursday, September 17, 2009

Books in the Park 2009

Murder At Green Springs will be one of the books featured at "Books in the Park" hosted by Barnes & Noble in Norfolk, VA on September 27th. I will be signing copies from noon until 4 p.m. Ya'll come!
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Sambo Johnson Dies

Albert G. "Sambo" Johnson was a unique individual who knew no strangers, and all who met him regarded him as friend. Everyone in Louisa County knew Sambo. We shared a keen interest in Green Springs history, the Victor Hall murder in particular. Sambo and his wife Sally were always the perfect hosts. The hours we spent in their den discussing history with his dog "Toby" at our feet and his forefather General William Mahone's sword above his hearth are precious memories indeed. Such rich moments in life are rare. My eyes tear up thinking about how blessed I was to know this gentleman. Sambo encouraged me to write about the Hall Case and his generosity in time and sharing information made the book possible. As credited in print, history owes Sambo Johnson and his family a debt of thanks. He left this world November 4th, 2008, Election Day, a most ironic and fitting time for this seasoned politician.
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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Yet Another Historian Examines Sensationalism in Virginia!

The Body in the Reservoir by Michael Trotti is the new, definitive work on newspaper sensationalism in Virginia. Trotti documents the escalation of sensational reporting from Virginia's colonial era into the twentieth century. He summarizes all of the major murder sensations: Phillips, Cluverius, McCue, Beattie, etc. All that is, but the last great one: the Hall Case, only recently revealed in Murder At Green Springs. Trotti's text was, no doubt, completed before then.
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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Southern Honor and Chivalry

Murder, Honor and Law by Richard Hamm is the definitive work on Southern honor and its influences on the legal and cultural sociologies of the Old South in general and Virginia specifically. Hamm's four case studies of Virginia murder trials show "Southern honor" as a critical factor in courtrooms until it gradually became a non issue.

In the Old South, personal honor demanded the satisfaction of a duel. Hamm shows it was also a time when honor justified premeditated murder as a Virginia jury acquitted a man who killed in defense of a lady's reputation. Things changed by the early twentieth century when juries no longer weighted honor as a factor in decisions.

Hamm reaches as late as 1935 to substantiate his point. However, the unjust conviction and imprisonment of Elizabeth Hall had already date stamped 1914 on the death certificates of both honor and chivalry in Virginia.

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Habitat for Humanity and More!

Morgan James Publishing donates one percent of its revenues from Murder At Green Springs to Habitat for Humanity as attested by the logo on the back cover. Moreover, the author designates all of his profits to Operation Smile and other worthwhile causes.
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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Thoughts On The Death Penalty

Elizabeth Hall, an innocent woman, was tried for her life. Three men voted for death by electrocution. The story should make anyone rethink their position on the death penalty. I did. If media, politics and public opinion can overwhelm legal safe guards, then the system cannot be trusted with a life. Think of it! Media, politics and public opinion were the same agents that crucified Christ!
For more about the death penalty, visit:
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Monday, January 28, 2008

The Uncanny Parallels with the Leo Frank Case

One year before the Hall Case, a Georgia jury convicted Leo Frank of murder. In both instances an innocent party was convicted through dubious investigations; skewed evidence; perjured prosecution witnesses; betrayal by the accused's own Pinkerton detective; introduction of alleged, uncharged crimes; and public opinion polarized by hostile newspapers. For more on Frank see:
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