BookBrowse Reviews Scoundrel by Sarah Weinman

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Scoundrel

How a Convicted Murderer Persuaded the Women Who Loved Him, the Conservative Establishment, and the Courts to Set Him Free

by Sarah Weinman

Scoundrel by Sarah Weinman X
Scoundrel by Sarah Weinman
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  • Published:
    Feb 2022, 464 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Maria Katsulos
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Stranger than fiction: Weinman's true story of the death row inmate who wrote a bestselling book while manipulating countless women and befriending a leader of the conservative movement.

"There is certainly a book in the weird coming together of three people as different as the three of us, for a psychologist at least."

So were the reflections of book editor and translator Sophie Wilkins in July 1998, 30 years after her epistolary introduction to Edgar Smith, a man accused of murdering a 15-year-old girl in 1957 — and at one time, the longest-serving death row inmate in America. Wilkins was writing to none other than William F. Buckley Jr., the founder of the conservative magazine the National Review, who was famous for — among other forays into the political arena — calling Gore Vidal a homophobic slur on live television during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. It was, as Wilkins alluded to, quite the unexpected group of compatriots, brought together by an even more unexpected cause.

Despite overwhelming evidence against him —...

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