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The Wrong Guys: Murder, False Confessions, and the Norfolk Four

1 rating: 5.0
a book by Tom Wells and Richard Leo


Tags: Books, Nonfiction, Mystery, True Crime, Norfolk Four
Publisher: New Press
Date Published: November 3, 2008
1 review about The Wrong Guys: Murder, False Confessions,...

True crime story of a egregious case of injustice

  • Apr 22, 2009
  • by
The Wrong Guys by Tom Wells and Richard Leo details the infamous case of the Norfolk Four. In 1997, a Navy private named Billy Bosko returned to the apartment he shared with his wife Michelle to discover her murdered body in their bedroom. He raced across the hallway of the building to a neighbor to ask him to call 911. That phone call sucked the neighbor, Danial Williams, into a nightmare that he and his family are still fighting today. The police quickly focused on Williams as a suspect, despite the fact that his wife remembered waking up in the middle of the night with him next to her as she heard raised male and female voices in the Bosko apartment. The police discounted that alibi and all other evidence proving Williams' innocence (his wife died four months later without ever being questioned) including DNA evidence that cleared him. Williams spent hours without food or sleep being interrogated by a police officer who had pre-determined Williams' guilt. Williams decided that he was never going to get out of the interrogation unless he confessed to a crime he didn't commit. When the DNA evidence cleared him, the police instead decided that he must have had a confederate and started questioning Joe Dick Jr, Williams' former roommate. Dick, who has a low IQ and is easily led, was easily convinced by the police that he had committed the crime with Williams (again, Dick had an alibi the police never checked on) and he confessed as well. When DNA evidence cleared him too, he started naming men he knew only casually as his accomplices until a total of seven men were charged with the crime. Even when the real killer confessed to the crime and was convicted (it was his DNA), the police were still convinced that the eight men killed poor Michelle together. Three of the Norfolk Four are still imprisoned, and their case is currently under review by Virginia's governor for a pardon. Wells and Leo lay out their case for the men's innocence like the best of attorneys starting with the crime itself and then bringing in experts to back up their case. The story is a frightening indictment of a prosecutorial system that refuses to admit when its committed wrong. It's well written, and while I can't say I enjoyed it, I definitely couldn't put it down. <br/>

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