THE GREAT TEXAS MURDER TRIALS by David Atlee Phillips

THE GREAT TEXAS MURDER TRIALS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Subtitled ""A Compelling Account of the Sensational T. Cullen Davis Case""--and the facts are sensational, for sure. But Phillips' account of these recent trials is no match for Gary Cartwright's Blood Will Tell (above). Cartwright, a Texas Monthly staffer, gives a far more thorough account of the trials themselves, of the principals, of the towns of Fort Worth and Amarillo where the trials took place; and he's more ironic, more in control. It's a mark of Phillips' weak grasp of his material that he must invent a fictional character (based on a real person) called The Old Judge for interchapter legal commentaries; the Judge's last comment on the trials is a fatuous--""My only child has been the law. Now I feel as if my daughter has been raped. There's something wrong with the system."" The apparent rape was conducted by T. Cullen Davis, one of the richest men in Texas, who survived two murder trials by sheer force of wealth and incredulity. The details are truly electric, but see the Cartwright version.

Pub Date: May 15th, 1979
Publisher: Macmillan