Books: Out To Make Killings

Crime pays, at least for the many authors who write about it

Criminal trials used to have four main components: defendant, attorneys, judge and jury. Now they have a fifth: writers, eager to make a killing of their own. The more notorious the case nowadays, the longer seems the line of authors in and around the courtroom, armed with notebooks and contracts. Last year's "preppie murder" trial of Robert Chambers for strangling Jennifer Levin in New York City's Central Park, for example, will soon yield Wasted, a book by Linda Wolfe (The Professor and the Prostitute). The Tawana Brawley affair has inspired a team of six New York Times reporters and an editor...

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