Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Onion Field by Joseph Wambaugh

Meant to read this book since high school; got around to it this week..

The felt for a while as i was reading that it wasn't very good, but then i realized it's because i wanted it to be In Cold Blood, and no true crime book is going to be In Cold Blood, so i ended up glad i read this piece of true crime by an LAPD detective who went on to become a famous writer. The movie from the '70s stars James Woods; Ted Danson is in it too. 1979 I think. The book was published in 1973; the killing happened in 1963, the night of March 9. It hurt me. I like the guy pictured ahove and his story within this story hurt me too...(I also like what he has on and wish the outfit were mine, only not ripped.) ...

I won't tell you how things blew up on that night or how things blew up in the trial phase but my favorite lines were a prosecutor's who got to thinking something that I believe now more than ever..."They made movies and wrote books about courtroom drama. It was all a hoax. There was no drama. Not in a real courtroom. It was all a cruel joke and an incredibly silly thing to devote one's life to...We're not remotely concerned with a search for truth, he thought. The advantage to the defense is the passage of time and the courts permit it and pervert justice. Who respects the system? Not the defendants surely. Not the public. Not ME, God knows! ... When lawyers were permitted to obstruct and even stop this pathetic process, then it was not even madness. There was some dignity in madness..."