QUEEN'S JUSTICE: The Alice Crimmins Case by Kenneth Gross

QUEEN'S JUSTICE: The Alice Crimmins Case

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Alice Crimmins whose murder (?) of her two children has been one of the most inconceivable, inconclusive and distasteful cases of our times--with endless headlines, letters (thousands), taps, tapes, trials and appeals (at this writing her latest has just been turned down)--was no doubt tried as much for being a ""tramp in her own way"" as for the deaths of Eddie, five, and ""Missy,"" four, found in various states of asphyxiation and decomposition. She refused to grieve for her children, publicly, or did her grief show as anger, or indifference? For beneath her always carefully arranged face, there was her ""complicated innocence."" According to the author who covered the case for two large newspapers here, Alice had for years lived in ""a world that shriveled in daylight, a world of first names and bad imitation rock music; a world of quick, guilty sex in strange beds. . ."" where she performed incomparably. And those ""first names"" included a number of politicos in high places like former Mayor Wagner as well as more lovers than she could remember including one, Joe Rorech, who said she admitted the crime to him. There's not much more to go on--the statement of a neurotic witness; Alice's contention that she woke the children at midnight while the pathologist asserted they were dead by 9:30, an admission under pentothal. Or the punitive investigation of hard-nosed little detective Jerry Piering who would assert ""the filth that you come up with can make you sick."" Whatever your parti pris (opinion is against her) the case has its all too undeniable readability factor with or without question marks.

Pub Date: July 24th, 1975
Publisher: Knopf