Friday, December 18, 2009

True Crime: Silent Testimony

Silent Testimony (Roger W. Walker, 1990, St. Martin's True Crime)

"One late summer night in 1976, Florence Busacca,
a former opera singer, was reported missing."

True crime? More like truly boring. A reprint of a book that was originally printed in 1984, telling of the trial Thomas Busacca, convicted of killing his wife of 25 years despite the fact that there was no body. (The body of Florence Busacca was only found three years later, and then by accident.) Walker may have been one of the detectives working on the case, but it doesn't help him any in writing an interesting book. Most of the book is simply the trial transcripts regurgitated as dialog. Boring. No: BOORRIINNGG!!
There is little insight into the people involved, and that which is told seems gleamed only from the evidence collected or what was used during the trial. Likewise, all the photos also seem to come from police files. Input from the family members themselves must have been little, as is the book's entertainment level. In truth, the story of the family would be the interesting tale to tell. How and why the couple ever became one, how the marriage lasted as long as it did, what went on at home – that would be interesting to know, not all the boring talk talk talk that took place in court. Perhaps the case is memorable for once being one of the only two cases in which a man was found guilty for murder despite the lack of the corpse, but the book is only memorable for being unbelievably tedious.
Basically, son and daughter come home to find a bloody house, dad shows up with a bloody car and claims to have left his wife alive propped up against some fence. Sure, and I have a bridge to sell you. The trial must have been a bore, though the jury got a lot of leg exercise because they continually had to leave the courtroom while the judge and lawyers argued technicalities. This book is only for the most forgiving readers; others should avoid it at all costs.
The husband, by the way, has since died in prison.
And did I mention that the book is, like, really boring?

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