A look at five famous trials that transfixed a nation. Geis, a criminologist, and Bienen, who teaches at Northwestern School of Law, contend that the five cases they discuss--Leopold and Loeb, the Scottsboro boys, the Lindbergh baby, Alger Hiss, and O.J. Simpson-- have left a major imprint on our collective consciousness because they represent a ""mystery""--such as he ambiguity of rebuttable evidence or a defendant's unwavering claims to innocence, or, in the case of Alger Hiss, the impeaccable credentials the accused and the disreputableness of his accuser. Successful trials are overly dependent on skilled, high-priced lawyers--and on the passions of the times. They also argue that these cases highlight ""the tensions, the inadequacies, and the underlying processes"" of our justice system. The O.J. Simpson case, they argue, underscores the sloppiness with which judges give warrants to the police--a sloppiness that passes unremarked on until a high-priced legal team is able to publicize it. The authors offer a fair analysis of celebrated cases that address the need to see that true justice is dones.