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Publisher's Summary

The horrific 1988 murder of four-year-old Barbara Jean Horn shocked the citizens of Philadelphia. Plucked from her own front yard, Barbara Jean was found dead less than two and a half hours later in a cardboard TV box dragged to a nearby street curb. After months of investigation with no strong leads, the case went cold. Four years later it was reopened, and Walter Ogrod, a young man with autism spectrum disorder who had lived across the street from the family at the time of the murder, was brought in as a suspect.
Ogrod bears no resemblance to the composite police sketch based on eyewitness accounts of the man carrying the box, and there is no physical evidence linking him to the crime. His conviction was based solely on a confession he signed after 36 hours without sleep. "They said I could go home if I signed it," Ogrod told his brother from the jailhouse. The case was so weak that the jury voted unanimously to acquit him, but at the last second - in a dramatic courtroom declaration - one juror changed his mind. As he waited for a retrial, Ogrod's fate was sealed when a notorious jailhouse snitch was planted in his cell block and supplied the prosecution with a second supposed confession. As a result, Walter Ogrod sits on death row for the murder today.
Informed by police records, court transcripts, interviews, letters, journals, and more, award-winning journalist Thomas Lowenstein leads listeners through the facts of the infamous Horn murder case in compelling, compassionate, and riveting fashion. He reveals explosive new evidence that points to a condemned man's innocence and exposes a larger underlying pattern of prosecutorial misconduct in Philadelphia.
©2017 Thomas Lowenstein (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

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4 out of 5 stars
By Eugene Ponder on 10-06-17

A great look into the injustice system

next time you read or see a story about a jailhouse confession this book will make you think about it from a different perspective

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By philip g brady on 06-27-18

very engaging book ...kept me entertained

This is a well researched book and left me frustrated on behalf of Ogrod who seems to have been the unfortunate target of a manipulative and twisted justice system . I was shocked and angry at times at how ruthless the detectives and prosecutors involved in the case behaved in order to get a conviction regardless of how loosely (or not at all) they followed legal protocol. Maybe I've been manipulated by the author but his logic and consistent thoroughness is impressive none the less. He would have convinced me to choose not guilty If I was a juror.....it was also a great book for exposing human nature when it is in predatory and rigid-minded mode or how it can use a horrendous crime to destroy someone because we want someone to pay at any cost.
It is also read with a sense of great connection to the story by the narrator who has a good and flexible voice.

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5 out of 5 stars
By R. Turner on 09-02-17

Shocking eye opener!

I wasnt sure how i would feel following the completion of this book, yet i am surprisingly certain of my feelings. with such research done in the making of this it places you there as events unfold. it lets you feel or understand every possible emotion and for me makes it so very clear how the american justice system is failing far too many. I hope and pray walter finds his way home hope his case is shown for what it is, a lie. It was a horrible thing that happened that day but it will never turn back time, and its certainly not a solution to make someone pay for those events just for sake of saying they can tick the job off as closed. He is innocent and the one responsible is still out there....but to those who found his verdict acceptable it doesnt matter. After all why worry about someone languishing in jail awaiting death when all it was is a 'job well done'.....

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