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She's So Cold: Murder, Accusations and the System that Devastated a Family    by Donald E. McInnis order for
She's So Cold
by Donald E. McInnis
Order:  USA  Can
J & E Publications, 2019 (2019)
Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Carrol Wolverton

Who Knew That Lies and Trickery Are Legal?

The West Coast is an enlightened border of The United States, right? The attorney for the Crowe family and specifically their son, Michael, gives question to any enlightenment or justice at all relative to the killing of the Crowe's precious daughter Stephanie. The twelve-year-old was found brutally murdered on the floor of her bedroom in 1998.

This grisly crime drew national attention because there was no apparent evidence, blood spatter or bloody clothes, fingerprints, weapon, or motive for this evil. No problem for the Escondido, California police department, however, since they were able to piece together the crime, and after extra-long interrogations of Michael and his friends, concluded she was murdered by her brother and his two schoolmates.

Two of these teens confessed to the killing. The two implicated the third. The police used the Reid Method of interrogation, which involves pitting one suspect against another, telling them separately that they have evidence proving their guilt provided by the others. It worked. Using lies and trickery the police got written confessions of involvement from three boys who didn't commit the crime. How this happened is the basis of this book written by an attorney who felt compelled to write it.

Complicating the issue was the political agenda of the lead prosecutor, who felt with her whole heart that the boys were murderers. That there was an upcoming election and prospects of higher office propelled a zealous pursuit. It took a while, but she ultimately did very well. I can't say that the boys did.

What happens to these young men who did not commit the crime? They are ultimately exonerated but at what price? How is this ordeal going to affect their lives? Will they ever trust anyone? I'm going to suggest a future book telling us how they mature and how it affects them. It ruined the Crowe family for sure.

So who killed Stephanie? I will leave this to the reader to discover. Hers actually becomes a secondary crime to that perpetrated on these boys. In defense of the police, they must deal every day with the dregs of society who all declare their innocence. The detectives must have methods and ways to tenaciously get at the truth. However, to use what falls dangerously into the realm of torture is surely not the answer, particularly on teenagers.

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