Email this review


This is an exemplary anatomy of a murder trial, based on its exact conduct and presented by one of the five defense lawyers, although, certainly for the general reader, the wheels of justice may grind too slowly, since Mr. Wilbourne goes to great pains to explain the technicalities of the law in both theory and practice. The case itself--still unsolved--occurred in Connecticut where Margot Farnham, housewife and occasional real estate operator, was literally stoned to death. Young Patrick Finno, a construction man, was found near her car, arrested, indicted in a grand jury proceeding, and tried on the basis of minimal circumstantial evidence (bloodstains on his pants; her calling card, torn, found in his car; etc.). With fuller explanations of all kinds of procedures--the search and seizure law, evidential rulings, various motions--the trial itself gets underway only after more than half of a relatively long book, carried to a great extent by Mr. Wilburne's energetic interest in the case per se and in the machinery of his profession (expensive--Finno was cleared; the trial cost a good fifty thousand dollars). But the redirect here will be towards those with a greater interest in the legal brief rather than the police blotter.

Pub Date: Aug. 12th, 1968
Publisher: Macmillan