Most helpful critical review
2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Better than the Canadians book
on 24 January 2006
Hirsch at least did his homework on Carter, but still fails to present the story as accurately as he could, with a bit too much licence being given at times to events surrounding the Lafayette Grill Murders.
There was no conspiracy against Carter, certainly no conspiracy against Artis. Carter was not any kind of civil rights activists, he was also not racist, he was just a thug and an alcoholic who had a decent right hand, a slightly glassy chin, and had made it to top 10 middleweights but was dropping down the rankings fast. But that doesnt make him a murderer, although he certainly did not help himself by being so inconsistent in his account of his whereabouts that evening or providing friends with false alibis.
Having said that, Frank Graves wanted closure on a gruesome murder, two suspects fitted the bill, in the right coloured car and right coloured skin, so every last piece of circumstantial evidence was used to ensure closure. The fact that the one of the defendants was a black boxer was irrelevent, after all the other defendant was a 20 year old college boy with no previous convictions, so forget any conspiracy rubbish. Hirsch writes well about the botched police investigation, no proper forensics were caried out, the crime scene was not properly searched or sealed, the search for witnesses was not carried out fully, the search for weapons not carried out effectively, and the two defendants were taken back to the scene of the crime for all to see, including the star witness Alfred Bello, and the other key witness Patricia Valentine, effectively placing them at the crime right in front of distressed and confused witnesses.
Hirsch does open up some interesting questions such as how well Valentine and Bello knew each other already, and whether they could have corroborated their testimony (Bello dated Valentines roommate, and could well have been to her apartment before) There is also doubts cast over Valentines testimonies, she says she was alone on the night with her son, so firstly where was her roommate with whom she'd been drinking that evening, and where was Steve, the married man she was having an affair with and who was staying with her at her apartment?
Hirsch also opens up questions regarding polygraph tests which reveal the total lack of credibility in Bello.
A useful book to gain a better understanding of the failures in the police investigation.