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A Death in the Islands
A Death in the Islands: The Unwritten Law and the Last Trial of Clarence Darrow | Mike Farris
1 post | 1 reading | 6 to read
Lies, murder, and a legendary courtroom battle threaten to tear apart the Territory of Hawaii. In September of 1931, Thalia Massie, a young naval lieutenants wife, claims to have been raped by five Hawaiian men in Honolulu. Following a hung jury in the rape trial, Thalias mother, socialite Grace Fortescue, and husband, along with two sailors, kidnap one of the accused in an attempt to coerce a confession. When they are caught after killing him and trying to dump his body in the ocean, Mrs. Fortescues society friends raise enough money to hire seventy-four-year-old Clarence Darrow out of retirement to defend the vigilante killers. The result is an epic courtroom battle between Darrow and the Territory of Hawaiis top prosecutor, John C. Kelley, in a case that threatens to touch off a race war in Hawaii and results in one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in American history. Written in the style of a novel, but meticulously following the historical record, A Death in the Islands weaves a story of lies, deception, mental illness, racism, revenge, and murdera series of events in the Territory of Hawaii that nearly tore apart the peaceful islands, reverberating from the tenements of Honolulu to the hallowed halls of Congress, and right into the Oval Office itself, and left a stain on the legacy of one of the greatest legal minds of all time.
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DebinHawaii
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Breakfast did happen this morning 📚🥑🍞☕️before my errands but I got to chatting with another coffee shop regular & missed getting a picture until halfway through. Ah, well... 🤷🏼‍♀️Just starting this crime/legal non-fiction book set in the islands that I picked up on a Kindle sale last week. I have heard good things & I didn't know this part of history & that Clarence Darrow came out of retirement at 74 for this case in Honolulu in 1931.

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