Sarah Weinman, Scoundrel
Edgar Smith was sentenced to death for the murder of teenager Victoria Zielinski and in prison in the 1960s when William F. Buckley, founder of the National Review and well-known conservative pundit, struck up an unlikely friendship with him. Through his connection with Buckley, Smith was eventually freed from prison, got a book deal, achieved some fame…and tried to commit murder again. His story is a fascinating look at who gets a second chance, whose stories are believed and not believed, and in what ways the justice system can be manipulated. Scoundrel: How a Convicted Murderer Persuaded the Women Who Loved Him, the Conservative Establishment, and the Courts to Set Him Free is the account of this story by the wonderful writer Sarah Weinman.