An Excerpt from JUICE III: The State of California v. Orenthal James Simpson

From the chapter, On To Rockingham:

At the same exact time over on Rockingham, O.J. wasn’t answering his buzzer.  We’re going to pick up the evidence trail right here, leaving San Vicente on June 12th, 1994 at 22:50.  From there to Rockingham Avenue it’s approximately a two to three minute drive if you’re hauling ass.

While the Bronco is speeding home Allan Park, an inexperienced limo driver, is waiting outside O.J.’s Rockingham residence. Pay attention to the following facts, because 477 days later [68 weeks and 1 day] the jury would review only one item of evidence – Allan Park’s testimony.

Allan Park

From sanluisobispo.com:

On June 12, 1994, Park had worked for Town and Country Limousine for only three months, having been hired by the owner, Dale St. John, who lived across the street. Being in Southern California, Park had already driven several celebrities, including Garth Brooks, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Faye Dunaway. But when St. John told him to pick up Simpson — the Hall of Fame football player-turned-actor and sports commenter — Park was especially interested. “Of all the people I had driven, I was the most excited about driving him,” Park said. “Just because I’m a big sports fan — I love football. He was an incredible running back.”…Park was supposed to have driven Simpson a couple of previous times, but those trips fell through…

OJ 10

Now at least five minutes must go by between Shively seeing a man in a white Bronco and Park seeing the lights going on at Rockingham.  Half a minute to a minute of that time is spent playing dodgems but going nowhere, two to three minutes are spent getting the Bronco to Rockingham, and another two to three minutes is spent…waiting for the right moment to sneak back inside.

What happens in those six or seven minutes after Shively sees the Bronco is critical to the evidence trail in this trial.  Let’s start following the evidence trail at….

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To continue reading, get JUICE III on Amazon.  If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the free Kindle Reading App and read from your PC or any smart device.

JUICE and JUICE II are also available on Amazon Kindle.

Follow the authors on Twitter at:

@HiRezLife

@lisawj13

 

 

 

O.J. Simpson Photo Archive

EARLY YEARS 

FAMILY / FRIENDS / FOOTBALL

Marcus Allen & O.J. SimpsonAllen, Rashad and SimpsonimageimageimageimageimageimageimageOJ 70sOJ 1969 sport mag

 

OJ 1970sOJ and AC 2

OJ and AC

OJ and family and Ford

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OJ and Marcus 3OJ and Marcus 4oj and marcusOJ and Marguerite gettyOJ and torchOJ commercial

O.J. Simpson and Family

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Buffalo Bills

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OJ Nicole KardashiansOJ simpson People MagOJ sport mag 1976OJ Sports Illustrated

O.J. Simpson Pictured With Parents & Son

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OJOJFootballPlayerOfYearoj-j-edgar-hooverOj-simpson-ex-wife-Marguerite-Whitley-photoSPORT-MAGAZINE-August-1969-Owhen OJ played for 49erswith Bob and Kris

OJ AND NICOLE

SimpsonsOJ and Nicole 20OJ and Nicole 19OJ and Nicole 18archiveOj and nicole 16O.J. Simpson and Nicole SimpsonO.J. Simpson and Nicole SimpsonO.J. Simpson and Nicole SimpsonOJ and Nicole 12Nicole Brown and OJ SimpsonOJ and Nicole 10OJ and Nicole 9OJ and Nicole 8OJ and Nicole 7OJ and Nicole 6OJ and Nicole 5OJ and Nicole 4OJ and Nicole 3OJ and Nicole 2

MURDER INVESTIGATION

AC mugshotAkita Katoblood poolsbruno magli shoes 2bruno magli shoesBundy 2OJ SimpsonBundy 4Bundy drawingBundyglassesglove and hatMap RockinghamNicole black halter dress

Nicole bruises 2Nicole bruises

Nicole injuryNicole injury 2Nicole letterNicoleNicoles clothingNicoles condo 2Nicoles condo todayNicoles condo

OJ and Paula

OJ June 17 1994OJ mugshotOJ surrenderRockingham 2Rockingham 3Rockingham 4Rockingham aerialRockinghamRon 2San Vicente and Bundy intersectionScreenshot 2016-04-09 20.13.07Screenshot 2016-04-09 20.13.18Screenshot 2016-04-09 20.13.41Screenshot 2016-04-09 20.13.59Screenshot 2016-04-09 20.14.06Screenshot 2016-04-09 20.14.16Screenshot 2016-04-09 20.14.23Screenshot 2016-04-09 20.14.43

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THE COURTROOM

Allan ParkArnelle and JasonBailey 2Bailey

Family members of murder victims Nicole Brown-Simp

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Denise Brown, the sister of murder victim Nicole B

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Members of murder victim Ron Goldman family react

 

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Kim Goldman, the sister of murder victim Ron Goldm

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Defense attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr. (C) puts his

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Scheck and Cochran

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OJ victory

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OJ victory 3

press

THE JURORS

OJ Simpson jury

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L to R:  Marsha Rubin-Jackson, Carrie Bess, Armanda Cooley (foreman)

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Anise Aschenbach (“The Demon”) One of the two original “guilty” voters
Yolanda
Yolanda Crawford
David Aldana
David Aldana
Lionel Cryer
Lionel Cryer (gave power fist pump to O.J. after acquittal)
Brenda Moran
Brenda Moran
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Sheila Woods

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Annie Backman (believed to be the other original “guilty” voter although she/the second person never revealed themselves/didn’t deliberate)
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Beatrice Wilson

NOT GUILTY / LIFE AFTER

AC and OJAl and Cathy RandagawkersKardashianNot GuiltyOJ 26OJ 27OJ and mamaOJ arnelle and jasonOJ disguiseOJ in disguiseOJ victory 3OJ victory 4OJ victory 5OJ victory 6OJ victory 7OJ victory 8OJ victory 9OJ victory 10OJ victory 11OJ victory 12OJ victory 13OJ victory 14OJ victory 15OJ victory 16OJ victory 17OJ victory 18OJ victory 19OJ victory 20OJ victory 21OJ victory 22OJ victory 23OJ victory 24OJ victory 25OJ victory 26OJ victory 27OJ victory 28OJ with Cathy RandaRockingham 1998Rockingham demolished 2Rockingham demolished

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O.J. Simpson and girlfriend Christie Prody — a Nicole Simpson look-alike –at a South Beach party

Prody 9Prody 7Prody 4Prody 8Prody 6

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O.J. Simpson and guests
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O.J. Simpson and guests
D

O.J. Simpson

Prody 3

OJ cigarO.J. Simpson

 

VEGAS CONVICTION

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Excerpt #2 from FOOL’S GOLD: The State vs Steven Avery

From the chapter A Second Wrongful Arrest?

Avery’s position is that “there ain’t nothing there, so why are they gonna find anything.”  He’s quite confident, isn’t he, which begs the question, how can he be so certain there’s nothing to find?  Has Avery been working hard to cover his tracks over the past few days? 

Steven 2

“All I can think is they’re trying to railroad me again.”

The police conduct an 8-day search.  They’re not sure what they’re looking for, or where to look.  The Averys are asked to leave their property while the search continues.  While Steven is concerned he’s being framed, the irony is the police want the crime scene sealed for the same reason.  Now imagine Avery knew about Halbach’s keys in his trailer [which a cursory search wouldn’t pick up, and didn’t] or that Avery had stashed the number plates [which a cursory search wouldn’t pick up]; now that the police are doing an intensive search he must know he’s going to be busted.  So he’s already forestalling his arrest by putting it out there that there’s a conspiracy against him.  If there’s a conspiracy, why are the police taking almost two weeks to figure out what the fuck is going on?

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Besides this, had the police allowed Avery to stay in the Junkyard during their search, and if Avery still had the key to Halbach’s vehicle, can we imagine he wouldn’t try to get rid of it?

When Sheriff Pagel is asked by reporters about the order of appointments [who Halbach saw last] Pagel is obtuse: “We’re narrowing in on that.”  To the question ‘who was the last person to see [Halbach] alive’ Pagel gives the same answer.

Of course Sheriff Pagel knows the last appointment was Steven Avery, but he’s determined to remain neutral.  Pagel is so neutral though he’s actually protecting Avery.  But the media smell blood on Avery’s hands, and they should.

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Next the Averys tell the media they’re feeling victimised by the police, and feel like the police don’t believe what they’re saying and are calling them liars.  Really?  I thought we just saw Pagel protecting Avery?  In an Action2 news clip we see Steven Avery sitting with Brendan Dassey at a kitchen table, while Avery’s mother hovers around in the kitchen.  Avery and Dassey are thick as thieves, trying to make sure they’ve both got their stories straight.  Brendan…

FOOL’S GOLD, book 2 in the Halbach Murder Mystery Series, is available on Amazon.

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If you don’t have a Kindle, just download the free Kindle Reading App and read from your PC or from any smart device.

The authors are on Twitter:

@HiRezLife

@lisawJ13

 

An Excerpt from FOOL’S GOLD: The State vs Steven Avery – Book 2 Coming Soon

From the chapter The Usual Suspects:

On social media, everybody from a 72 year old serial killer to “The German” to Teresa herself have been accused of killing Teresa Halbach.  Just about everybody is more likely to have killed Teresa Halbach than Steven Avery, according to a large group of Netflix bingers.  So, let’s play devil’s advocate.  Let’s pretend that Steven Avery is the unluckiest bastard on the face of this planet.  Who’s the most likely person to have killed Teresa Halbach; not according to the tokers or the cybersleuthers, but according to Steven himself? 

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We know he blames [or at least, originally blamed] the police for his framing, but he doesn’t blame them for the murder.  So, which loser does he point his finger to, and why? 

As we mentioned in the previous chapter, Steven’s defense team in 2007 wasn’t allowed to introduce evidence of third-party liability, other than Brendan Dassey.  This pre-trial determination by the court was made by applying the standards of a 1984 case, the State vs. Denny.  

Two years after Steven’s conviction, in June of 2009, as part of his appeal, Steven and his team filed a motion stating that the Denny test was incorrectly applied.  Without going into detail regarding the merits of that argument right now [we’ll be doing that in Fool’s Errand] my opinion is the defense’s position may have some teeth. 

I’m not sure the Judge made the right legal decision by disallowing the naming of other potential suspicious parties as part of Steven’s defense. Maybe he was concerned it would waste the court’s time, maybe he simply didn’t want to confuse the jury.  Try the accused – let that be the court’s ambit [may have been his reasoning].

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Regardless, it doesn’t change my position on Steven’s culpability, nor does it make the list of suspects any moresuspect.  In theory could it have changed the outcome of the verdict? Maybe.  In the interests of thoroughness we’re going to test those people Steven named as suspects in that 2009 motion.  Afterwards we ought to be able to more confidently answer the question: could additional suspects have changed the outcome of the verdict in court?

For this narrative, we’re not going to pick apart the trial transcripts.  We’ll refer to certain elements where relevant, but not in great detail.  We are evaluating what Steven’s alleging according to his motion.  After that we’ll rate their probability of guilt.

Ready to meet the line-up?

From:   

June 2009 Motion – Part 1

June 2009 Motion – Part 2

1.      Scott Tadych

Tadych would also have had a motive to frame Steven Avery.  At the time of Ms. Halbach’s murder, Tadych was dating Barb Janda, who lived next door to Steven Avery, and who is the mother of Bobby, Blaine, Brendan and Bryan Dassey.  If Tadych killed Ms. Halbach, or if one of the Dassey boys killed her, Tadych would have had a motive to frame someone else for the crime, and Steven Avery would have been a convenient choice for a frame-up.

Scott

Is Steven a good or convenient choice?  He may be convenient, but only because he lived next door.  There were also other family members living on the lot.  Why single out Steven?  As far as whether or not he was a good choice, I’m not so sure.  He had already been wrongly convicted and then exonerated, and was in the midst of a lawsuit with the county.  Isn’t it possible the police wouldn’t have wanted to touch Steven with a ten foot pole?   Why go through the massive trouble to make it look like him?  I’m not sure that’s a brilliant plan.

Tadych also had opportunity to kill Ms. Halbach.  Janda and Tadych are now married.  As her then-boyfriend, Tadych would have been on the property numerous times, and would have had easy access to the property.

Tadych having access to the property is kind of a so-what.  So did the customers, so did the bus driver, so did Santa Claus.  Yes, it was a privately owned lot, but from all accounts, it was mostly open and people came and went as they pleased.  Having access to the lot, in my opinion, isn’t exactly a big red flag.

Tadych testified that he was at the Janda home twice on October 31, 2005.  It was Janda’s van that Teresa Halbach had come to photograph, and so Barb, and likely Tadych, knew Ms. Halbach would be coming to the yard to photograph the van.  Because of the close proximity of the Janda and Steven Avery residences, anyone at the Janda home could see the van and Teresa Habach coming to photograph the van.  Indeed, Bobby Dassey testified that he saw her taking pictures of his mother’s car.

According to the bits of testimony that we saw in MAKING A MURDERER, Scott Tadych testified that his mom was in the hospital on October 31st.  Both he and Barb visited her sometime after 6pm that night.  Scott was also at work earlier in the day.  There are a few hours in between leaving work and his visit, where he says he went into the woods to go hunting. 

Without knowing Scott’s regular routines, or how frequently he hunts, it’s hard to say if this is normal or suspicious.  The fact that he needed to visit his mom that evening, and that he was going with his girlfriend, seems like a really inconvenient time to kill, and potentially rape some random girl.  Not to mention there’d be the hassle of dumping her body and the car, and then planting evidence.

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On the other hand, Steven wasn’t going anywhere that day, nor was anybody expecting him to be around.  He could take his sweet time doing whatever he wanted to Teresa, far more so than Scott Tadych could.

Tadych also had a direct connection to the crime.  Tadych’s alibi for the time at which it is believed that Ms. Halbach was killed is Bobby Dassey, who is now Tadych’s step-son.  Bobby Dassey and Scott Tadych are mutual alibis in this case.  Each states that he saw the other while driving, on their way to hunt. (Of course, that they saw each other while driving does not mean that one of them could have had a restrained Teresa Halbach in his car at that time).  No one else can vouch for their whereabouts during that afternoon.

Brendan Dassey can vouch for the fact that neither Scott or Bobby were involved.  With all of the heat on Brendan after he confessed, he never once accused his mother’s boyfriend (or brother) of being there or having anything to do with the crime.  Is it possible Brendan knew his mother’s boyfriend was guilty, so he blamed Steven to cover for him?  I don’t think so. 

Steven home

By all accounts, Brendan idolized Steven*, so why choose to screw him over instead of somebody else, especially your mother’s boyfriend, who quite frankly seemed like a dick? 

How much of a dick was Scott?

Tadych’s motive to kill Ms. Halvach is his violent and volatile personality.  According to Tadych’s co-workers, Tadych is a short-tempered and angry person capable of murder. Tadych was described as a chronic liar who blows up at people, “screams a lot” and is a “psycho.” Another co-worker described Tadych as “not being hooked up right” and someone who would “fly off the handle at everyone at work.”

Another co-worker of Tadych reported that Tadych had approached him to sell him a .22 rifle that belonged to one of the Dassey boys. A .22 rifle was believed to be the murder weapon in this case. Tadych’s previous experiences with the court system show him to be a violent and impulsive person, particularly towards women. 

Between 1994 and 2002 there were at least five, possibly more, police reports and restraining orders involving Scott Tadych.  He repeatedly harassed, and sometimes assaulted, his girlfriend Constance Welnetz both at her home and at her place of employment.  He was reported to have punched her, her son and her lover.  He was reported to have called her names like “fucker” and “cunt” and said “You will die for this, bitch” when he found her with another man. 

Scott’s history with women is definitely troubling.  It does appear however that a lot of it’s focused on this one particular woman.  Obviously, that doesn’t excuse it or preclude it from being a point of concern.  But if I have to evaluate Scott as a suspect, solely on Steven Avery’s claims, I don’t see anything that connects Scott to Teresa here.

If Steven was at his home from 2pm-on October 31, how did Scott get a hold of Teresa after she met with Steven, then kill her, maybe rape her, throw her and her phone, camera, palm pilot and clothing into the fire directly in front of Steven’s house and let it burn without Steven being aware?  Why doesn’t Steven mention Scott when he’s asked early on who he thinks could have been involved?

We also can’t forget that more than one person testified to seeing Steven standing by the burning fire that night.

2.      Charles (Chuckie) Avery…

Charles Avery also had a motive to frame Steven Avery for Ms. Halbach’s murder, namely…

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FOOL’S GOLD: The State vs Steven Avery is book two in The Halbach Murder Mystery Series.  It will be available on Amazon this weekend.

In the meantime, if you haven’t read book one, check out FOOL’S PARADISE.

Both are ebooks and can be viewed on your Kindle, or if you don’t have a Kindle, just download the free Reading App and read from your PC or smart device.

Connect with the authors on Twitter:

@HiRezLife

@lisawJ13

 

Excerpt from FOOL’S PARADISE: The State vs Steven Avery

From the chapter The Key:

family

For most people telling a simple lie in a straightforward way is difficult.  We know the answer so when we consciously give an incorrect one there’s an internal disconnect, a mental jolt.  Bad liars don’t want to let on that they’re ‘jolting’ while they’re lying, hence the diarrhea.

The next question Alvear asks Avery is: “What sort of questions are police asking you?”

Avery: [glances away, blinks three times] “Jus when she was out here…what time…around…mmm…[shrugs]…zabout it.”[Nods reassuringly]

I doubt whether the police said to Avery: “Around what time was Teresa here?” 

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They would have wanted to know EXACTLY what time Teresa was there.  When she arrived and when she left.  Notice how vague Steven is in answering Alvear’s question again.  He basically tells one thing, that they want to know when she was there.  Didn’t they want to know where he was?  Where the car was?  When he called her?  Did he see anything suspicious?  How often had Teresa come out there?

Notice the contradictory body language again.  Shrugging and nodding.  The message is: I don’t know – yes that’s true, I don’t know.

Alvear asks Avery if the police asked him to take a polygraph.  It’s an interesting question, because if we think he’s lying, what does Alvear think?  What do the police think?

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Again, Avery’s response to this pointed question is like his first answer.  The simple answer is a straightforward yes or no.  But notice how Avery answers it.

Alvear: “Hmm. Did they ask you to take a polygraph or anything like that?”

Avery: “No…[shakes his head] no.  Well tonight…cops come, they ask me if I…remember anything…[scowls, shrugs]…I told them no. Oh…then they asked me if they can come in the house and check the house over. [Shrugs] I said I ain’t got no problem with that, come on in. [Small, quick nod] So they checked the house all over…[shrugs] ..uh, everything was fine and then they left.”

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It sounds perfectly harmless, doesn’t it?  I ain’t got no problem…everything was fine. Really? It’s strange that Avery says he doesn’t remember anything.  Does he mean he didn’t notice anything strange, or that he simply doesn’t remember anything? This guy’s really talking like a guilty sucker! Surely if he was innocent he’d remember a great deal and try to be helpful.  Surely if he was innocent he’d be both annoyed at being under suspicion and considerate towards the Halbach’s.  He could say: “We’ve actually been searching the property ourselves.  We’re joining the search.”  But of course if he knows Teresa’s dead, he knows searching for her is pointless.

Another problem with Avery’s answer is… 

FP cover as of 1.17.16

FOOL’S PARADISE is the first book in a 3 book series.  Get it on Amazon today.

If you don’t have a Kindle, you can download the free Kindle Reading App and read from your PC or smart device.

Join the conversation!  Leave your comments here or contact the authors on Twitter.

@HiRezLife

@lisawJ13

What’s everyone saying?

 

Reviews of THE APPEAL: Oscar Pistorius

5 Stars, Excellent! Another astounding narrative in a series that’s left…

Melissa Manzella on January 7, 2016 (verified purchase)

Excellent! Another astounding narrative in a series that’s left readers absolutely spellbound. This is perhaps the most comprehensive to date, and is chocked full of stunning new revelations. Both authors go further here, explore more, REVEAL more, than in any other narrative thus far. Other books have been written regarding this crime, but this series of narratives stand as definitive.These two, Nick Van der Leek and Lisa Wilson, just have a unique ability to harness this case and all the many characters within it, all the facts, move the story along to where it stands today, and all the while never miss even a nugget of pertinent information. All balls are in the air, and this talent shines through again here in spades! A well written account, as usual, beginning with an informative and truly eye opening interview with Honourable Judge Chris Greenland (retired) giving his thoughts on the actual shooting, and ending with the actual appeal itself, with tons of action in between. Their account of the appeal proceeding is superb, as they actually attended it, and share not only their take on the process, but their thoughts as to their emotional relief of what this murder conviction means to them. At the same time, they recognize their bittersweet lament of the somewhat incompleteness of it. The authors have believed from day one that this murder was one of Dolus Directus, premeditated murder. Their accompanying insights shared here on this subject are quite exceptional. Nick himself studied law, and so naturally has a good grasp of the issues. As with any really good book that holds the readers interest, the authors have a true passion for their subject matter. I happen to believe this reality makes a book distinctive, makes the reading better, more authentic, more interesting. Clearly that is the case here with THE APPEAL. Both authors share a true disgust for the murderer, along with his attempts at thwarting justice (he nearly did), and both share a genuine sorrow for the death of Reeva Steenkamp. Van der Leek has an uncanny talent in recognizing and aptly exposing the character flaws of his subject, in this case Pistorius, and he puts every card on the table here in this book. His criticism of Pistorius is scathing, he goes further than he’s ever gone before, revealing how grotesque and manipulative is the nature of Oscar Pistorius. For those who have followed this story and case, when one reads these words, they immediately resonate as the truth of the matter. He reveals too just what he thinks Pistorius could have been up to immediately following the murder. We’ve all probably pondered it, held it in the back of our minds, but hearing Nick state it gives this possibility much more weight in this readers eyes. Nicks refusal to sugar coat absolutely any aspect of this case, gives the reader a more honest look at what’s really transpired here, as does Lisa’s accuracy and command of all the many facts involved, her integrity and her desire for complete objectivity. Both authors believe there were attempts both by Masipa and even society to some extent, to give Pistorius a pass of sorts. Some leniency. Both believe this notion is flawed and ludicrous, and believe Pistorius should be held 100% accountable for his deed. They mention the horrendously vile and callous nature of his crime and his lack of remorse. To quote the author Van der Leek, “That a man could reason that his symbolic life of luxury, endorsements and specific conveniences was ‘worth’ more than another person’s life is the true horror of Oscar Pistorius.” This quote sums the decision made by Pistorius to shoot Reeva, says it in a nutshell, and this reader concurs. Nick speaks often of his conviction to do justice in his books to the victim Reeva, his first book being one that was solely about her, who she was, her dreams and aspirations, what she cared about most. Lisa speaks similarly of having been profoundly moved by this tragedy and a longing to know more about Reeva, as she began to watch this trial from many miles away in America. She wanted to discover the truth. Then she wanted to see justice done. During the writing of this particular narrative, Lisa happened to travel to South Africa. She includes some side stories of her experience that are really superb and some that are simply hilarious! In a book covering such serious subject matter, some moments of brevity are both nice and appreciated. Pictures are included here as well, which is a really nice bonus. Always an adventure with Nick and Lisa. A truly special part of this visit to SA includes the authors visit with June and Barry Steenkamp. The reader here is treated to bits of conversation with them, and as someone who has really followed this case and developed great empathy for these parents, it was good to hear how they’re faring these days. It’s clear that these two will never ever be the same (how could they) but they’re getting on with it. The visit sounded like a very pleasant one, and the authors remark on just how meaningful it was to them. This crime and resulting trial has held the interest and intrigue of half the world, and continues to do so even today. Pistorius has now appealed his conviction by the SCA to the Constitutional Court, so this matter is sadly not over yet. The hope is that no consideration is given to this appeal by the Constitutional Court, and a just sentence is dispensed instead. It’s high time for it. We hold our collective breath….

5 Stars, This book is a masterpiece! Well done!

Jane Vaughan on January 1, 2016 (verified purchase)

This book is a masterpiece! Nick and Lisa have once again collaborated on the continuing saga of Oscar Pistorius. I enjoyed the way this book was written, a step by step account of the Pistorius saga starting with his days, weeks, & months in prison, through the South African appeal process. This book also makes numerous references and examples of the social media and mainstream media coverage, including video clips from the appeal, and quotes by various players. Unfortunately, with Oscar’s celebrity, there is still a portion of his fans who will attack the truth because they prefer to believe that ten months = one life taken. This book is a ten, unfortunately I can only give it a five. Well done, your collaboration is excellent, no longer awkward, and this is very, very well researched. I enjoyed it, can’t wait for your next one!

Kindle_02

5 Stars, Excellent

Amazon Customer on December 29, 2015 (verified purchase)

Excellent … again. !! These books are so good at telling the story of what I consider to be the real truth behind Reeva Steenkamp’s murder.

 

And… we even heard from one of the Pistorians.  I’m glad they didn’t buy the book and waste their money 🙂

1 Star, This book is a reflection of the sad state of South Africa’s publishing industry

SR Graham on December 29, 2015

This book is a reflection of the sad state of South Africa’s publishing industry. The authors should be ashamed of themselves for being attached to such a worthless project. Find something valuable to write about you opportunistic fools.

 

THE APPEAL is available on Amazon.   THEAPPEAL

If you don’t have a Kindle, no problem.  You can download the free Kindle Reading App and read on your PC or any smart device.

If you do read THE APPEAL, please stop by Amazon to share your thoughts. You can also join the conversation with the authors by commenting on this blog post, or by reaching out to them via Twitter.

@HiRezLife

@lisawJ13

@SHAKEDOWNTITLE

 

Journey to South Africa – Day 11, November 23 – Robberg and Tsitsikamma

Somehow we managed to get some sleep last night even though it was cold and we had to use pillows and extra shirts for blankets.   We spend the morning just hanging out and enjoying the beach.  We’ve made a seagull buddy we named Fred who hangs out with us a bit before our trek back.

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I’m not exactly doing cartwheels about the hike back this morning.  Still sore from yesterday, my thighs are on fire as we make it over the first hill. But I’m also on a mission now because I’m pissed off that it was hard the day before.  I quietly remind myself not to focus on the pain but enjoy the experience and of course, the surroundings, which I do.

I’m once again in awe of the beauty of this place as we pass by caves and cliffs and flowers.  I don’t want to leave.

There’s one particularly gnarly spot up a narrow stone walkway that you have to hoist yourself up to, and once I do [aside from doing my little happy dance] I feel like I have a better groove.  At least I know what to expect on the way back, which to some extent does make the hike easier.  We make our way to the top, and now we’re looking out over the other side – the side where we stayed at Sea Breeze just a few days before.

View to Sea Breeze

We get in our car and head off to the Peppermill Cafe for some lunch.  At this point, it’s been 14 hours since we’ve last eaten and we’re both so hungry we could eat a horse.

The Peppermill is a place that was recommended to us by Nick’s contact at Plett Tourism.  The owner, also named Nick, was a chatty guy who treated us to fish and chips in turn for some pictures and shout outs on social media.   The food and drinks were very tasty and it felt good to just relax in the sun and enjoy some coffee.

Our journey along the Garden Route continues, with our next step being Tsitsikamma.  Before we get to our destination, Misty Mountain Reserve, we stop off at what’s known as the “Big Tree”.  It’s a yellowwood that’s estimated to be a thousand year old.  Nick and I discuss what this tree has seen over the years and all the things it knows that we don’t.

The rest of the drive to the reserve is through farmland.  We drive down the dirt road past tractors and fields of cows.  The first thing we see as we pull into the property is a peacock.  By the time we get to the parking lot, there are several more peacocks, but these ones are proudly displaying their large plumes of feathers.

After a much needed shower and change of clothes [feeling pretty grungy from the night before] I pick out the nicest dress in my suitcase and we go to the dining room at the reserve with a bottle of red wine in hand.  Later that night I slept like a queen in the pimped out tent.  The chandelier, sunken tub and fine linen sheets would definitely quality this place as “glamping.”

Journey to South Africa – Day 10, November 22 – Plettenberg Bay & Robberg

The next morning we’re up early for an 8am visit to the Elephant Sanctuary in the Crags.  We’re the first visitors of the day and are met by a small team of guides.

There are five elephants in total when we arrive but we’ll be spending the morning with three of them.  The guides walk to the far reaches of the property where the elephants are standing and slowly they start to walk in our direction.  As they come nearer, I have one of those heart-fluttering moments.  These creatures are huge and sweet and powerful all at the same time, and they’re on their way to visit us.

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I smiled the whole day.  We were able to walk them, which you do by cupping your hand like a hook and letting them place their trunk inside it.  Their trunks are heavy and wet with mucus but who cares when you realize you’re actually walking with an elephant.  I walk looking straight ahead of me while this massive animal follows a foot behind, his trunk in my hand.  The guide is there, of course, to watch over us and make sure all goes smoothly.  But there’s a moment I look back and remember this animal could trample me in a heartbeat if he wanted to.  A little unnerving, but I’m still in my bliss.

After some education and demonstrations from the guides, we were able to touch different parts of them – their ears, their eyelashes, their feet.   I’m surprised their entire body is covered with short course black hairs.  I’ve always assumed their body was just the grey leathery skin, but it’s not.

Next, it was my turn to take a ride.  Nick opted out.  With just a blanket draped over the elephant, no saddle or seat, the guide and I straddle the elephant and ride through the field.  The other two elephants come along and they walk in a straight line, with each elephant linking their trunks to the tail of the one in front.  The guides tells me this is a comfort to the elephants, just like humans holding hands or hugging.  The elephants walk together for security, which in turn, keeps the riders secure.

Once we’re in the car, Nick tells me he feels bad for the animals, and I get it.  I felt it too. While I loved being able to interact with them, in order to do that, there has to be some manipulation of this wild animal.  On the one hand, these are rescued elephants who are being cared for and will live out their lives without fear of being poached – a horrible reality in Africa.  On the other hand, they’re not in the wild and therefore are not in control of their destiny.  They do have to conform to a set of rules in order to live peacefully on this land.

We go back to the Lodge and check out.  Our next stop is one of the biggest highlights of our trip – the Fountain Shack at Robberg.

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Another 20 minute drive down the N2 and we arrive at Robberg Nature Preserve on the coast.  We get our small overnight bag from the [clueless] gate guard, which has some kindling for burning, two pillow cases and a key.  The hike out to the Shack, which is a