A man falsely convicted of murdering his wife shares his story.
Already the subject of several articles, TV segments and a documentary, Morton chronicles his remarkable 25-year ordeal in a sweeping autobiography. The author’s family relocated from California to Texas when Morton was a teenager in the early 1980s, and while in college, he fell in love with and married Christine Kirkpatrick, a kindhearted, gregarious girl with whom he would conceive a son. The day after his 32nd birthday in 1986, the author arrived home to discover his wife bludgeoned to death. Compounding his grief was an investigator who soon positioned Morton as a suspect, even though his brother-in-law found some “overlooked” bloodstained evidence and his son provided an eyewitness confession about seeing the real murderer. The author ably demonstrates the heinous result of a bungled investigation by police detectives desperate to collar a perpetrator and aggressively angling to tie Morton to his wife’s grisly murder. With few leads to go on, Morton became the lead suspect, and his personal depiction of the prosecution and ensuing laborious trial proceedings is riveting. More than a month after the crime, he was arrested, convicted by jury trial and sentenced to serve a life sentence in prison. As unsettling as his jail time was, Morton’s chronicle of his time there is a vicarious penitentiary tour for inquisitive readers. The author kept a diary during this time and remained surprisingly free of anger and acrimony, one day sure he would exonerate himself. His plight for freedom was bolstered by DNA evidence presented by a pair of humanitarian attorneys, including one from the Innocence Project. The conviction of both a misguided prosecutor who suppressed evidence and the real murderer, Mark Alan Norwood, allowed Morton, now almost 60, the freedom to remarry and live as a liberated man.
An intimate, gripping portrayal of a grievous miscarriage of justice.