I was having a conversation at the elevator bank today with my friend and fellow defense attorney, Todd Bennett, and our conversation turned to talking about Todd's father, Bob Bennett, who is a retired attorney. Back in the late 60s/early 70s, Todd's dad had been involved in one of Houston's most notorious murder cases that was detailed in Thomas Thompson's book Blood and Money. (NOTE: I'm not giving the details of the book, because I'm hoping you'll go actually read it yourself. It's a great book.)
But anyway, what Todd and I were talking about was the sad fact that a lot of lawyers around the CJC sometimes pass through that building and deal with prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges without ever realizing some of the amazing things these members of the Bar have done or been involved in. As time passes, the newer attorneys lose the institutional memory of some of the "Old Dogs" and the fascinating cases that they tried.
I think that's a shame.
So, in an effort to combat that, I'm recommending to you three books that you ought to read to learn more about the lawyers you interact with on a daily basis. I guarantee you that you will see some very familiar names and faces in them. Learn a little about the legal footsteps we're all following in and go talk to those folks about their cases.
God has yet to invent the lawyer that doesn't like telling War Stories, and they are always entertaining.
So, here's my list:
1. Blood and Money by Thomas Thomspon-this is a fantastic and well-written book about a murder in River Oaks. I don't want to give anything away on it, because it is extremely suspenseful.
2. The Cop Who Wouldn't Quit by Rick Nelson-also an outstanding book about former-HPD Homicide Sergeant and Harris County District Attorney's Office Investigator Johnny Bonds. I don't think this book is in print anymore, but you can still get a used copy off of Amazon.com. If you can't find one, give me a call, and I'll loan you my copy. It's a great book and you'll learn why Johnny had such a great reputation as an investigator.
3. Daddy's Girl by Clifford Irving-this one was a big fan favorite at the D.A.'s Office because of a certain picture in the photo section of a prosecutor that we shall just refer to here as "Big Poppa". I first read Daddy's Girl when I was in college, because my friend and mentor, Gil Schultz, was one of the lead investigators on the case. His partner at the time was Sgt. Paul Motard, who is still with HPD Homicide. Those guys were my heroes. Hell, they still are. The case is also interesting because the lead prosecutor on the case was Rusty Hardin.
Okay, so there's my Top Three. If you've got some additional suggestions, let us know about them.