Asia McClain Chapman was born on June 26, 1981, in Hollywood California. Her parents, Carl and Michelle McClain, were separated in 1986, which resulted in her relocation to Baltimore, Maryland. After growing up in the Baltimore County school system, Asia graduated from Woodlawn Senior High School in 1999 and soon left for college.In search of a fresh start, in 2005 Asia made the decision to drive across the country in her Nissan 240SX towing a U-Haul trailer full of her belongings. After several years of living in Portland, Oregon and working full-time as personal assistant, in 2008 Asia met her future husband Phillip Chapman. The couple married in 2009 and are now the proud parents of two rambunctious little boys, Lucas and Alexander. Asia also is currently pregnant with her third child due in July 2016.
Nineteen year-old Madeleine Smith may have been charged in 1857 with poisoning her lover, Emile L'Angelier, but her real sin was having sex - a lot of sex - out of wedlock. Her mistake was to write him frank and passionate letters, described by the trial judge as 'without any sense of decency', which L'Angelier threatened to send to her father when she cooled on the idea of marriage, having secretly engaged herself to someone else.
Some fifty years later, the trial of Robert Wood, a respectable, hard-working illustrator by day, who frolicked with prostitutes by night, including the unfortunate Emily Dimmock, also hinged on a dangerous correspondence. Dimmock's murderer had evidently ransacked her rooms for a postcard written by Wood. Was there something he was desperate to hide? The author of his trial is certain he was guilty.
But both escaped conviction - in Wood's case, thanks to the defence of the best defence barrister in the land. In Madeleine Smith's, the three judges ruled two-to-one to exclude from evidence L'Angelier's pocket book, which recorded her meetings with him on the day of the murder. These two salacious and controversial trials demonstrate how the dramatic difference between 'guilty' and 'not guilty' can sometimes be decided by a mere scrap of paper.
The legendary Famous Trials series set the benchmark for historical crime writing with its accounts of the most notorious and intriguing criminal trials of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Expertly reconstructed from court transcripts, these often sensational narratives have gripped generations of readers since they first appeared in 1941. In this digital edition, two of the very best Famous Trials have been selected, introduced and further abridged by criminal barrister and author Alex McBride to provide modern readers with the most compelling versions yet of these court-room classics.
Alex McBride is a criminal barrister. His book Defending the Guilty: Truth and Lies in the Criminal Courtroom was shortlisted for the 2010 Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger for Non-Fiction and is available in Penguin. He has written for the Guardian, Independent, Prospect and New Statesman, and has contributed to various BBC programmes, including From Our Own Correspondent.
'Expert, authoritative, hilarious - an insider's fearless account of life at the criminal bar' Times Literary Supplement Books of the Year on Defending the Guilty
Highly detailed and meticulously researched, The Monfils Conspiracy reveals the true story of a botched case that landed six innocent men in prison. Through extensive interviews, court documents, police reports, and other documentation, Denis Gullickson and John Gaie present a powerful look at the troubling events surrounding the death of Thomas Monfils and the mistake-riddled investigation that followed.
Gullickson and Gaie trace the futile twenty-nine month investigation between the time of Monfils death and the conviction, one pock-marked with dead end leads and overlooked evidence. Using solid facts, they lay bare the weaknesses, inconsistencies, and secrets in the prosecutions case and the jurys erroneous rush to judgment. As recently as 2001, a federal judge ordered the release of one of the men, citing a lack of evidence, and further suggesting the original proof as unsound.
Fifteen years after Monfils death and a dozen years after his coworkers convictions, The Monfils Conspiracy shatters the myths surrounding this case and opens the door to justiceand the truth.
The 2017 American Book Award Winner from the Before Columbus Foundation
A Washington Post notable nonfiction book for 2016
A Goodreads Best of 2016 Nonfiction Finalist
A Kobo Best Book of 2016
Includes an update from Rabia on Adnan's vacated murder conviction in summer 2016
Serial only told part of the story...
In early 2000, Adnan Syed was convicted and sentenced to life plus thirty years for the murder of his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, a high school senior in Baltimore, Maryland. Syed has maintained his innocence, and Rabia Chaudry, a family friend, has always believed him. By 2013, after almost all appeals had been exhausted, Rabia contacted Sarah Koenig, a producer at This American Life, in hopes of finding a journalist who could shed light on Adnan’s story. In 2014, Koenig's investigation turned into Serial, a Peabody Award-winning podcast with more than 500 million international listeners
But Serial did not tell the whole story. In this compelling narrative, Rabia Chaudry presents new key evidence that she maintains dismantles the State's case: a potential new suspect, forensics indicating Hae was killed and kept somewhere for almost half a day, and documentation withheld by the State that destroys the cell phone evidence -- among many other points -- and she shows how fans of Serial joined a crowd-sourced investigation into a case riddled with errors and strange twists. Adnan's Story also shares Adnan’s life in prison, and weaves in his personal reflections, including never-before-seen letters. Chaudry, who is committed to exonerating Adnan, makes it clear that justice is yet to be achieved in this much examined case.