Olsson's Book Bits

by Greta Olsson

Fatal Justice by Jerry Allen Potter & Fred Bost
Re-investigating the MacDonald Murders
W.W. Norton & Company
Paperback - 464 Pages
ISBN O-393-31544-4

Joe McGinniss, the author of A Fatal Vision, gained MacDonald's confidence, cooperation and access to MacDonald's notes, thoughts, and correspondence by claiming that he, McGinniss, believed that MacDonald was innocent, and that his book would show this fact, thus releasing MacDonald from a false conviction. He did insist that MacDonald sign that he would never sue McGinniss for whatever appeared in his book. Big mistake.

McGinnis betrayed him, and is now revealed to be a real bast....! After four years of friendship and trust, MacDonald went into shock at A Fatal Vision's depiction of what really did not happen at the time of the murder of MacDonald's wife and two small daughters.

Fatal Justice, an exhaustively complete ten year work, proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that MacDonald did not do the crime, and that his claim of a drug-hippie group coming into his home and committing the crime was true. The shocking truth is that the CID, the FBI, the Army, and the government suppressed the truth. The authors suggest that at Fort Bragg too many of the army kids were into drugs, which high ranking officers didn't want known. Even Hoover suppressed information about the Army's sloppy work in this case.

"In summation - during our decade in the MacDonald files, Fred Bost and I examined every major government claim against MacDonald. We found each one grossly short of proof, and many of them intentionally distorted. We would be hard pressed to mention a single important item that had not been somehow manipulated to throw suspicion away from intruders who left substantial evidence in the home, in the victims' hands, and on and around the bodies.

"The Army said the crime scene was well protected. It was not. They said it was competently searched. It was not. They said they could prove the scene could only have been staged by MacDonald, yet Colonel Rock himself proved it need not have been. They said neighbors didn't see or hear anything suspicious that night. They did. The Army and government said that nothing was found to support the presence of intruders at the crime scene. That was false. Now that we know about the bloody palm print, the hair in Colette's hand, the hairs under the children's fingernails, the bloody gloves, the piece of skin, the blond wig hair, and the black wool fibers, this was the most grotesque lie of all.

"...Fred Bost and I found the government's charges to be 'not true.' Like Colonel Rock at the army hearing, we suggest a real investigation of the murders by examiners who did not themselves take part in the earlier systematic whitewash of CID wrongdoing. And we request, again echoing Colonel Rock, that the authorities finally take time to probe the activities of Helena Stoeckley (the lady in the floppy hat) and her troubled young friends on the night the MacDonald family died."

When a suit was filed against McGinniss and the truth came out in court, the government's reaction was "too bad. It's too late. If this evidence had been used in the first trial and first appeal - then it would have freed MacDonald. Now it's too late!!!"

I for one hope that there is so much outrage at this miscarriage of justice that the truth finally wins against anyone who sought a cover-up - possibly to "help" young drug users or those who sought career advancement - all of which might have been Hoover's motivation. Even Alan Dershowitz joined MacDonald's defense team...for free. Someone asked him how long he would continue to fight. "Forever," he answered. I hope many will join him.

Blue B1ood by Edward Conlon
Copyright 2004
Riverhead Books
Paperback. 562 pages
ISBN: 1-57322-266-6

This book was a New York Times Notable Book. Joseph Wambaugh wrote, "Superb. The most stunning memoir ever written about the cop world." The New York Times Book Review said, "Conlon bleeds policeman blue...A sprawling, wry, opinionated, beautifully written memoir." "A great book. May be the best account ever written of life behind the badge."

Conlon entered the cop world and worked with the disadvantage of being a Harvard graduate. I highly recommend this work, which gives you a view of the cop's progress from rookie to gold shield detective. One can only have a high respect for the struggle of being a New York cop. The book differs from movie versions of such a life.

Elizabeth by J. Randy Taraborrelli
Copyright 2OO6
Rose Books, Inc.
Hard cover, 533 pages

Taraborrelli promises to give you a view of the real woman, to give you new information, and show how she developed from a great film star to "a woman in her own right." Taraborrelli keeps his word, and I got a different picture of her than what Hollywood would have us believe. I recommend it "for something different."

Rhett Butler's People by Donald McCraig
Copyright 2OO7
St. Martin's Press
Hard Cover, 9O5 Pages
ISBN: 13: 978-O-7394-8866-9

McCaig's book is better than I expected. It puts you into the old South during the time of the Civil War, and lets you experience what life was like at that time. I would say that its story line wasn't as good as this fact. I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to experience the South in a more complete way than Margaret Mitchell could depict. The story line isn't bad, just not as great as it could have been. If someone else wishes to report on it, please do so with my blessing.

Someone asked what happened to my Book Bits during the last 6 months. I moved from Port Townsend, WA to Phoenix during Arizona's hottest time of the year; made the move alone; had to decide between Lubbock, Texas and Phoenix, Arizona, taking two trips to locate an apartment; turned 80 in October; had to handle the packing and unpacking myself; and had cataract surgery. I was told to take it easy and found the 115 degree weather helped me to wish to do nothing, not even write about the books that I read.

I asked the doctor what causes cataracts, and he answered, "Aging...the same as for wrinkles and gray hair." The crystals form, harden, and if not removed, turn yellow and finally brown, blurring your vision. Because I couldn't get the surgery scheduled before moving, I discovered the two Mayo Clinics in Scottsdale and Dr. Graham, a surgeon who has done 4500 operations. He was very straight with me, saying the surgery could cause my vision to become worse, it could cause blindness, and possibly even death. I chose to do it.

I was third in a line up of three beds waiting to be rolled into the operating room. It took about 15 minutes for the first two ladies and 2O minutes for me. My crystals were hard and brown, and required more work from Dr. Graham.

My long distance vision went from 2O/25O to 2O/2O. The doctor was very pleased saying I had done better than the others. It was absolutely painless but required many, many drops put into the eye. Each eye two weeks apart, two surgeries. You choose whether you want distance or reading correction. You can't have both at this time.

I asked the doctor how he could do three in one afternoon. Such delicate work. He answered, "Three is light. I'm used to doing 1O in one day."

The man is a God!!!!

I have two more books stacked up on my desk, but I cannot remember reading them. I'll have to browse and use them the next time Kort is willing to publish me.

Love to all. I didn't forget you.

(Ed. note: I absolutely refuse to publish any more of your reviews until the Feb/March issue...)

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