CHICAGO, March 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The horrific 1988 murder of four-year-old Barbara Jean Horn rocked the city of Philadelphia to its core. Plucked from her own front yard, Barbara Jean was found less than two and a half hours later in a cardboard TV box dragged to a nearby street curb, dead. After months of investigations 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 despite no physical evidence linking him to the crime. He was later given a death row sentence.
The Trials of Walter Ogrod: The Shocking Murder, So-Called Confessions, and Notorious Snitch That Sent a Man to Death Row (Chicago Review Press; April 1, 2017) by Thomas Lowenstein leads readers through the facts of the infamous Horn murder case in compelling, compassionate and riveting fashion.
The few descriptions witnesses had provided bore no resemblance to Walter Ogrod. When he was finally brought in for questioning he was held for 36 hours without sleep and was insistently fed details of how he killed Barbara Jean. Under such strenuous conditions and confusion, and further disabled by his autism spectrum disorder, Ogrod eventually signed a confession.
Nearly acquitted during his first trial, a single member of the jury changed his mind at the last minute and a mistrial was declared. As he waited in jail for a retrial, Walter's fate was sealed when an infamous 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 makes the case for Walter Ogrod's innocence. In the style of "Serial" and "Making a Murderer," The Trials of Walter Ogrod reveals explosive new evidence that unearths a notorious "professional" snitch who sealed Ogrod's fate, and exposes a larger underlying pattern of prosecutorial misconduct in Philadelphia.
About the author:
Thomas Lowenstein, son of the late U.S. Representative for New York, 5th District, Allard Lowenstein, is the founder of the New Orleans Journalism Project, which works with journalism students on stories related to criminal justice issues. He was formerly the policy director and an investigator at The Innocence Project New Orleans, an editor at Doubletake magazine, and a teaching fellow at Harvard. He has contributed to the American Prospect magazine and the Philadelphia City Paper. He lives in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The Trials of Walter Ogrod:
The Shocking Murder, So-Called Confessions, and
Notorious Snitch That Sent a Man to Death Row
By Thomas Lowenstein
Published by Chicago Review Press, distributed by IPG
Price: $28.99 (CAN $38.99) | ISBN: 9781613738016
Cloth | 6 x 9 | 21 color photos | 368 pages
True Crime / Social Science
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SOURCE Chicago Review Press