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Wolves at the Door: The Trials of Fatty Arbuckle

Book By: elmer88

The narrative account of the trials of Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle in 1921 from the perspective of the attorneys, the lawyers and the media.

Submitted:Dec 28, 2010    Reads: 38    Comments: 2    Likes: 1   

Wecan't seem to help ourselves.
We have amorbid interestincelebrities and unexplained death - especially if the death involves a young person. In the thirties, it was Bruno Hauptman and the Lindberg baby. In the sixties, it was Charles Manson and Sharon Tate. At the end of the millennium, it was O.J. and Nicole - each event resulting in a 'trial of the century.'
But there was another trial, now long forgotten, that surpassedthem all. It involved a beloved, overweight, silent movie actor, who as fate, or some higher power divined, ended up in the wrong place, at the worst possible time.
The lambent waves of chance that swept over him nearly one hundred years agowould reflect everything that we like,and dislike about ourselvesas Americans- our conflicting love for fairness and sensationalism; for truth and for lurid gossip; for getting the bad guy and fighting for vindication. As with all morality plays, there was lots of money involved, and, of course, booze and pretty women.
On many levels, his trial brought us further into the twentieth century thanmaybe we wereprepared to go. People could notget enough of the sordid details in a post war era of prohibition and religious indignation toward sin.
The defendant was represented by a "million dollar defense team" and the concepts of forensic evidence were firstintroducedto a national audience. Testimony was suppressed and witnesses lied. A celebrity would ask forgiveness from an outraged publicafter falling so far and so fast into disgrace. It was our country's first "he said - she said," courtroom drama - beauty and the beast with a tragic third act.
There were pirates in the story and maybe even some hoo doo.
Freddy Kreuger was there too.
O.J. Simpson was not the defendant in America's 'trial of the century.'
It was Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle.


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