Epub David George Wilson ß ß Not Just Evil PDF/EPUB ↠ Not Just eBook ✓

Written by a retired detective this true crime saga captures California's first insanity plea given during a murder trial from the early twentieth century that rocked Hollywood with accusations Readers of Tinseltown Murder Morphine and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood will love Not Just Evil Twelve year old Marion Parker was kidnapped from her Los Angeles school by an unknown assailant on December 15 1927 Her body was found days later delivered to her father by the killer who fled with the ransom money When William Hickman was hunted down and charged with the killing he admitted to all of it in terrifying detail but that was only the start His insanity plea was the first of its kind in the history of California and the nature of the crime led to a media frenzy unlike any the country had seen to that point Hickman's lawyers argued that their client lived in a fantasy world inspired by movies unable to tell right from wrong The movie industry scrambled to protect its exploding popularity and profits from ruinous publicity Outside of the courtroom a country grew starved for every awful detail and a media was only too happy to feed that hunger As scandals threatened the proceedings from moment one the death of a young girl grew into a referendum on the state of America at the birth of mass media culture David Wilson a private investigator for over thirty years captures the maelstrom of Marion Parker's death in vivid detail From the crime itself to the manhunt that followed from the unprecedented trial to its aftermath Wilson draws reader in to the birth of the celebrity criminal


10 thoughts on “Not Just Evil

  1. says:

    uestions 1 How can one drive the 1135 miles between LA and Seattle in 12 hours? Even with today's interstate highways it would take at least LEAST 18 hours and that is if there is no traffic but in 1927? A model T can hit 35 40 MPH at most according to my research2 Why weren't gold certificates traceable? Why would he not just ask for 150o in cash? 3 If it seemed to the court that the jury was not listening to the 12 page rant or all the expert witnesses did he receive a fair trial?


  2. says:

    Review to follow shortly


  3. says:

    Hickman's crime his apparent indifference and his attempt at using the insanity plea for the first time in California makes for an interesting read The expansive detail about Hollywood also makes for an interesting read But combined as they are here the two aspects don't gel as a singular storyBefore I clarify my statement I want to say that the research appears to be impeccable This is absolutely where the author shines We are totally immersed in the past with all the inhabitants of the era The writing is straightforward akin to news journalism than narrative nonfiction Hickman's crime is laid out for us from his decision to kidnap Marion Parker on to the murder and throughout his trial We also learn bits about Hickman's childhood and his crimes during early adulthood Hickman makes for an intriguing character study in criminal behavior during a time when psychology was in its infancy Psychiatrists of the time had little understanding of psychopathic and narcissistic minds Courts were only just beginning to form guidelines for what it meant to be criminally insane and therefore not legally responsible Against this backdrop we have a man attempting to manipulate the system to his advantageHickman was obsessed with movies attending the theater daily I think it's important to note that his obsession was a product of his aversion to real life and that whatever mental illness he suffered from was not caused or even necessarily enhanced by the movies he watched Because he didn't want to work he used robbery as a way to fund his obsession Eventually robbery wasn't enough and his desire for a big payoff led to kidnapping for ransom This is the thread linking the other aspect of this book which is the story of Hollywood's rise We learn a lot about Hollywood within these pages The author takes us to the beginning with silent movies on to the emergence of sound and the conflict of dealing with this new phenomenon We meet the major players of the era We're given a lot of detail on rating systems censorship and the politics behind it all Hollywood like the legal system was in a state of fluxWhile the Hollywood story is thorough and interesting I thought the connection to Hickman was tenuous at best The depth of detail about Hollywood led me to believe that Hickman's movie obsession would play heavily into his defense but this was not the case In fact his movie obsession was barely a blip in his defense Hickman's decision to murder a little girl had nothing at all to do with the content of the movies he watched and his lawyer made no attempt at the claim Conseuently the book winds up feeling like two distinct and separate stories The in depth attention to all that went on in Hollywood has the misfortune of overshadowing the legal aspect of the first true insanity plea in a criminal caseIn his closing the author attempts to euate Hickman's movie obsession with later societal influences of advertising and current influences of violent video games This feels like way too much of a leap particularly since Hickman's absorption in movies was never even remotely proven to have anything to do with his mental state or his choice to murder a little girl The closing left me feeling as if the author began with an agenda and then attempted to put the story together in a way that exposed media's impact on young andor damaged minds I was provided with an advance ebook copy by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review


  4. says:

    Rating 3 I fail to understand the connection the author tries to create between this murder and film censorship As I understand a few theaters did not want to show newsreels about the murder but other than that I do not see a significant connection The trial was not focused on movie violence so it felt a bit misplaced I would have prefered the focus to have been solely on the trial


  5. says:

    Connection between movies and the killer was weak Should have been about the insanity plea and what it meant Too many original transcripts used for pages and pages


  6. says:

    This book is 216 pages and half of it is huge sections of trial testimony and letters uotes in whole sometimes running for pages at a time Often it feels less like the author is providing important information and that he's either showing off the research he did or that he's filling space A large part of the book is dedicated to film censorship and the murder's connection but aside from the fact a small number of theaters didn't want to show newsreels about the murder the author failed to show any really significant connection and he absolutely showed no real connection to the idea that moviestv influence violence nor was that a theme of the trial


  7. says:

    35 StarsMarion Parker was 12 years old when kidnapped and later murdered and dismembered by William Edward Hickman on December 15 1927 He asked for 1500 ransom which was delivered by the child's father The killer left only Marion's torso for her father her arms legs and internal organs were delivered to the police at a later date When arrested and charged Hickman freely admitted that he had killed Marion ParkerHickman's lawyers absolutely were against the death penalty The best they could hope for would be something never tried before an insanity defense Their argument was that he was so involved in watching theater movies he was living in a fantasy world and did not know right from wrongThere are several parts to this book The reader learns a little about Hickman hears his own words about why he felt compelled to kill We also hear about his aversion to real life his fantasy world in the movie theaters was his 'real world'At the same time there was a war on censorship in the entertainment field Movie makers theater owners were at loggerheads over who would set the standards of decency This had all started when theaters were showing pictures of Marion Parker after she was killed Several movie moguls were concerned that the HIckman case and his link to movies would kill the industryDuring Hickman's trial both defense and prosecuting attorneys were looking for psychiatrists who would testify the way they wanted Psychiatrists weren't much respected or believed in the 1920s and there was no clear definition of insanityThe end of the book consists of what happened to all the players afterThis was an interesting read but I would have liked to see information concerning HIckman's early years and maybe not so much about HollywoodMany thanks to the author Diversion Books Diversion Publicity Netgalley who provided an ARC All opinions expressed are my own


  8. says:

    This is a nice concise book on an unjustly forgotten and horrific crime from 1927 It came at the juxtaposition of a number of issues of the time the uestion of should there be censorship of the movie industry the definition of what constitutes insanity in legal doctrine and how can we trust our law enforcement officials and make improvements to the ethics of prosecutorsI especially appreciated excerpts from the psychiatrists' notes from newspaper accounts and from the trial They helped so much to give the flavor of the times to the story If there is one thing I would have liked to have seen it would be the reaction of Marion's twin Marjorie It may simply be that there is no account of her But I could not help but wonder how it would feel to be the twin of a sister who was not only slain but mutilated And surely it was impossible to shield her from the barrage of newspaper stories Perhaps I will never know


  9. says:

    I was able to obtain a first read via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewA very well written and informative book about one of the most shocking crimes in California history I highly recommend any true crime fan read this book


  10. says:

    An interesting case I didn't know about The tie ins to Hollywood felt a little forced and not completely relevant I was interested in the case and investigation and trial