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Justice: Crimes, Trials, and Punishments (2001)

von Dominick Dunne

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3871056,185 (3.61)4
For more than two decades,Vanity Fairhas published Dominick Dunne's brilliant, revelatory chronicles of the most famous crimes, trials, and punishments of our time. The pursuit of justice has become his passion — a passion that began during the trial of the man who murdered Dunne's daughter and who was sentenced to six and a half years and released in less than three. Dunne's account of that trial and its shocking result became the first of his many classic essays on justice. Dominick Dunne's essays do much more than simply describe; his investigations have shed new light on those crimes and their perpetrators — and demonstrated how it is possible for some to skirt, even flout, the law. His persistence and personal involvement in the matter of Martha Moxley's murder was an important catalyst in bringing a dormant case back to life. Here in one volume are Dominick Dunne's mesmerizing tales of justice denied and justice affirmed. Whether writing of Vicki Morgan's hideous death; Claus von Bülow's romp through two trials; the media frenzy of Los Angeles in the age of O.J. Simpson; the death by fire of multibillionaire banker Edmund Safra in Monaco; or the ominous silence surrounding the death of Martha Moxley in Greenwich, Connecticut, and the indictment — decades later — of Michael Skakel, Dominick Dunne tells it honestly and tells it from his unique perspective. His search for the truth is relentless. His courage and his storytelling skills shine from every page.… (mehr)
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A book about a self-described free lance journalist who has written for several leading publications and has been viewed on a few telecasts for trial observations. This book sadly starts with the case of his own daughter who was murdered by an abusive ex and the culprit having been given a lenient penalty for his guilty sentence. Dunne says he soured on the American justice system then although he wanted to stay engaged with the public legal process however warped and corrupt it was. He then worked on covering the Menedez Brothers case which was a case of two brothers who initially found innocent but were retried and found guilty for murdering their parents. Most of the remaining book is Dunne covering ad nauseam the OJ Simpson trial. I was here in LA during that time although I was on vacation in England during the slow freeway chase. As a self-assessed seasoned reporter, Dunne gives his own impression of the trial and not the trial itself. You get his feelings, his visual impressions, his opinions on other hangers-on of the players in the court case. Since I didn't follow the case closely when it was happening I thought I would give this book a read to see if he was accurate. It was inescapable on nightly news. Dunne is fairly comprehensive of the events at court but he does go off on several tangents which help to dispel the boredom of such a long case. I got the impression that Dunne feels that most people have not served on a criminal case and definitely not a high visibility news case. If you have served on a jury you will not be impressed by Dunne's naivete. He seems to think that all trials are fixed and that whomever has the most money will be seen as the most impressive and that the case will turn into a Star Chamber where the wealthy (royals/nobles) with inside knowledge and hidden personal relationships always prevail. In the Simpson case Dunne felt that the Judge (Ito) let the Simpson defense team railroad him and the prosecution was allowed to fall flat on it's face. The DA was Gil Garcetti, the father of the current mayor who is in the process of destroying the city of LA before he hopes to abscond to India for an ambassadorship as reward for shielding Biden from making a fool of himself when Biden campaigned for President in LA.
Dunne is not an impressive writer, but he does give you his emotional state (days hating Simpson, days being enamored with Simpson) as he covers the characters of the news cameras. LAPD officer Mark Furman and the glove that "didn't fit" are the two straws that broke the jury's back for a unanimous conviction according to Dunne. If you are interested in reacquainting yourself with the Simpson murder case this might be worth skimming through. Most people would like to forget this LA historical episode and I fall into this category too.
No footnotes, No pictures, No index.
  sacredheart25 | May 27, 2022 |
A collection of Dominick Dunne's stories for Vanity Fair, this is a very entertaining and thought-provoking book. It covers the trial of Dunne's daughter's murderer and also covers the Menendez Brothers trial, the Claus Van Bulow trial, and the O.J. Simpson trial, which, wonder of wonders, I'm still sick of hearing/reading about.

I love Dominick Dunne. His writing is so clean that it's easy to picture in your head the dialogues and images of the high and snooty. Dominick Dunne--I think he knew everyone who was someone.

Very good. ( )
  quillmenow | May 16, 2012 |
A good book, I learned alot about the OJ Simpson trial. I remember when I was a kid and seeing the car chase on TV, but was too young then to know all the details. I've seen the crime scene photos which are very brutal. There were a few crimes in his book I'd like to read more into. I liked Dunne's writing style and would like to read more by him, but it also felt like a massive gossip column throughout the whole book on who was who in Hollywood and who did what. It sickens me that the rich & famous truly do seem to think they can get away with anything! ( )
  briannad84 | Mar 25, 2012 |
This book is a collection of Dominick Dunne's articles for Vanity Fair concerning true crimes. Unfortunately they are the ones that have already been hashed and rehashed to death (no pun intended). I always liked Mr. Dunne. I have enjoyed his appearances on T.V. as well as the book the Two Mrs. Grenvilles. The best story in the whole collection is the first one where he recounts the murder of his daughter, the actress Dominique Dunne, and subsequent trial of her killer John Sweeney. It is told from the perspective that only a father's rage and despair can provide. It is no wonder then that Dominick Dunne became such a friend to crime victims families. His hatred of O.J. comes from the same place as his hatred of his own daughters killer, the total revulsion for a man who would kill a woman he supposedly loved. In this book the stories of Claus Von Bulow, the Menendenez brothers, O.J. Simpson, and Michael Skakel are told from a not unbiased point of view. Dominick Dunne ran in the same circle as many of the people who knew these killers personally and he is not afraid to name names and reveal his insider knowledge of the cases. What surprised me the most was how many ways murderers were connected to other murderers. For instance Clause Von Bulow, before marrying Sunny, had an affair with Anne Woodward after she murdered her husband and whose story was the basis of Dunne's book the Two Mrs. Grenvilles. The Menendez brother's had many coincidental connections to O.J. Simpson as well. The rich apparently move in the same small circles. Fascinating stuff. The only part that really dragged for me were all of the chapters dedicated to the O.J. case. At the time this book was published it was probably shocking stuff but now from the perspective of ten years later the chapters drag on too long. If you don't know O.J. did it by now you have my sympathy. Everyone and anyone who was connected to the case has written a book, I think even Nicole's dog, Kato has one. If for some reason you should find yourself still interested in the case there is really only one book you need to read by O.J. Simpson. Not that ridiculous I Want to Tell you, the one where he lays out his full confession, (if) I Did It! which contains a forward by guess who, Dominick Dunne! The Martha Moxley murder is also discussed here and Dunne reveals how he was instrumental in bringing Michael Skakel to justice through his thinly veiled recounting of the crime in A Season in Purgatory. Who was his partner in exposing the killer?, none other than Mark Fuhrman of O.J. Simpson trial fame. It's really a small world after all. Even though the crimes in this book are old, very old news, it is still worth reading just to experience Dominick Dunnes distinctive voice again. I was very sad to hear of his passing but I know Dominique was waiting in heaven for him with a well done dad. ( )
1 abstimmen arielfl | Nov 17, 2011 |
Justice: Crimes, Trials, and Punishmentsby Dominick Dunne
Why I picked this book up: I have an interest in the human creation and wanted to read some big name people and crimes and how they played out.

Why I finished this book: It started out interesting, talked about his professional life, his own family, death and trials that just kept me hooked. His exwife also had M.S. so that was personally interesting to me. I wanted to read what else he had to say about the various people. I like to people watch. ( )
  DrT | Apr 27, 2011 |
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For my two great editors, Betty Prashker of Crown, who has guided me through my books and Wayne Lawson of Vanity Fair, who has guided me through every article, with love and thanks
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For more than two decades,Vanity Fairhas published Dominick Dunne's brilliant, revelatory chronicles of the most famous crimes, trials, and punishments of our time. The pursuit of justice has become his passion — a passion that began during the trial of the man who murdered Dunne's daughter and who was sentenced to six and a half years and released in less than three. Dunne's account of that trial and its shocking result became the first of his many classic essays on justice. Dominick Dunne's essays do much more than simply describe; his investigations have shed new light on those crimes and their perpetrators — and demonstrated how it is possible for some to skirt, even flout, the law. His persistence and personal involvement in the matter of Martha Moxley's murder was an important catalyst in bringing a dormant case back to life. Here in one volume are Dominick Dunne's mesmerizing tales of justice denied and justice affirmed. Whether writing of Vicki Morgan's hideous death; Claus von Bülow's romp through two trials; the media frenzy of Los Angeles in the age of O.J. Simpson; the death by fire of multibillionaire banker Edmund Safra in Monaco; or the ominous silence surrounding the death of Martha Moxley in Greenwich, Connecticut, and the indictment — decades later — of Michael Skakel, Dominick Dunne tells it honestly and tells it from his unique perspective. His search for the truth is relentless. His courage and his storytelling skills shine from every page.

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