A young nurse is savagely killed during a pre-dawn run on Galveston’s seawall. The murderer slices her running shorts from her body as his trophy and tosses the body over the wall to the rocks below. As dawn breaks, a bedraggled street person, wearing four layers of old, tattered clothes, emerges from the end of the jetty, waving his arms and talking to people only he hears. He trips over the body, checks for a pulse and, instead, finds a diamond bracelet which he puts in his pocket. He hurries across the street, heading for breakfast at the Salvation Army two blocks away, leaving his footprints in blood as he goes.
Wayne Little, former Galveston prosecutor and now Houston trial lawyer, learns that his older brother has been charged with capital murder for the killing. At first he refuses to be dragged back into his brother’s life. Once a brilliant lawyer, Dan’s paranoid schizophrenia had captured his mind, estranging everyone including Wayne. Finally giving in to pleas from his mother, Wayne enlists the help of his best friend, Duke Romack, former NBA star turned criminal lawyer. When Wayne and Duke review the evidence, they conclude that Dan’s chances are slim. They either find the killer or win a plea of insanity since the prosecution’s case is air tight. The former may be a mission impossible since the killer is the most brilliant, devious and cruel fictional murderer since Hannibal Lecter. The chances of winning an insanity plea are equally grim.
It will take the combined skills of the two lawyers along with those of Duke’s girlfriend, Claudia, a brilliant appellate lawyer, and Rita Contreras, Wayne’s next door neighbor and computer hacker extraordinaire, to attempt to unravel the mystery of the serial killer before the clock clicks down to a guilty verdict for Dan.
The Insanity Plea is a spell-binding tale of four amateur sleuths who must find, track and trap a serial killer as they prepare for and defend Wayne brother who is trapped in a mind like that of John Nash, Russell Crowe’s character in A Beautiful Mind.
Combining legal thriller with tracking a serial killer, Thompson once again takes the reader on a helluva ride, right up to the last page and sentence.
Larry D. Thompson is a veteran trial lawyer and has drawn on decades of experience in the courtroom to produce riveting legal thrillers. After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law, Thompson founded the Houston trial firm where he still serves as managing partner. The proud father of three grown children, he lives and works in Texas but spends his summers in Colorado, where he crafts his novels and hikes the mountains summers in Colorado, where he crafts his novels and hikes the mountains surrounding Vail. His greatest inspiration came from Thomas Thompson, his brother, who wrote many best-selling true-crime books and novels.
Insanity Plea: Larry Thompson
Delve into the minds of two men. Both appear to be sane yet they are really not. One was a prominent attorney with a promising career. The other, a prominent forensic psychiatrist focusing on the inner workings the mind trying to find the many reasons why someone would want to kill and become a serial killer. A simple case study would change the lives of many or shall I say end the lives of 50 victims that this killer sets his sights on in order to determine if he can get away with these murders, if the police will figure out who he is and to of course benefit mankind. Rationalizing his motives and describing his reasons this killer hides in plain sight even offering to help out on a case brought to the media.
“Paranoid schizophrenia is one of several types of schizophrenia, a chronic mental illness in which a person loses touch with reality (psychosis). The classic features of paranoid schizophrenia are having delusions and hearing things that aren’t real.” Dan Little was the attorney with a promising career, a new wife and great hope in becoming a trial lawyer. His brother Wyatt was his champion. Ten years young Wyatt Little worshipped the ground his brother walked on until something in his mind snapped. He thought aliens were after him and voices were telling him what to do in his head. Insanity Plea by best selling author Larry Thompson focuses on what happens when someone that is sane becomes mentally ill, the government and medical profession turns shuns them and their lives become more like a vacant space in a homeless shelter or alley. Dan Little snaps. Arrested and diagnosed with Paranoid schizophrenia, he begins taking medication until he stops. The author flashes back to his career in sports allowing readers to get to know him before he snapped. But, things change and in the present he finds himself smack dab in the middle of a murder case where he is the prime suspect. A killer that leaves a body on the beach and man, who encounters it, steals the victim’s diamond bracelet and gets caught.
The author explains the many reasons why lawyers have difficulties defending clients and having them plead insanity. Just what they have to do to prove that they did not know that their conduct was wrong will take Wayne Little and his best friend Duke down many paths, inside mental institutions and aid them in learning through Dan’s doctor just how the government has failed people who are schizophrenic or bi-polar. Taking Duke on a tour of Galveston where he grew up and where the trial will take place he gets more than just an education about the illness but is able to learn from a group of teens more about his brother with the help of his friend.
Added in his Wayne’s neighbor and possible love interest Rita and Claudia Duke’s girlfriend all working together to find a way to clear his name and get the real killer. But, this man is dangerous, smart and has figured out a way to spread out the kills over different places and use different methods of killing his victims. At times you hear his voice and know that he too is more insane than Dan as he thrives on each kill and seems more energized too.
Harry Klein is the District Attorney and his lead prosecutor; Katherine Rasmussen would try the case. Called Capital Kate, heartless and unfeeling she would attend executions just to make sure the convicted person received his/her just reward.
Wayne Little had abandoned his brother Dan, now accused of killer a nurse named Debbie Robinson. Both Wayne and his mother Sarah gave up on Dan years ago and the thought of defending him and trying to save his life required more than just thinking about it but would require a first rate legal team that would work towards that goal. With the help of three good friends and the hope that the judge would be fair, he took on this herculean task.
The author did quite a bit of research into paranoid schizophrenia, bi-polar and expresses his findings in the voice of forensic psychiatrist Fredrick Parke who has been studying why a man turns into a killer for over 30 years. Claiming the person might have a chemical imbalance, or kills because he/she wants to or maybe even rationalizing that there was one less person on this earth and billions left justifying his/her motive to kill. “Paranoid schizophrenia is one of several types of schizophrenia, a chronic mental illness in which a person loses touch with reality (psychosis). The classic features of paranoid schizophrenia are having delusions and hearing things that aren’t real. With paranoid schizophrenia, your ability to think and function in daily life may be better than with other types of schizophrenia. You may not have as many problems with memory, concentration or dulled emotions. Still, paranoid schizophrenia is a serious, lifelong condition that can lead to many complications, including suicidal behavior. With effective treatment, you can manage the symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia and work toward leading a happier, healthier life.” (Dictionary .com) Imagine what Dan hears without his medication every day as Satan directs his movements. The FBI is coming after him and he hears voices telling him what to do and where to go.
Gathering witnesses and finding out more about his brother’s state of mind lead Wayne and his team to Dr. Adashek, his psychiatrist for over 15 years and learning that voices are real to patients like Dan. Some like Dan even follow their commands and do what the instruct them to do. Deeming Dan insane the author then goes into the many different definitions that help define how the case will be handled: defining not guilty by reason of insanity and defining what an insanity plea is the author helps clarify the terms for readers and for the jury when the trial finally takes place. Knowing that an insanity defense is the hardest one to win especially in the entire Texas criminal justice system, Wayne, his friend criminal attorney Duke Romack, his girlfriend and brilliant appellate lawyer and Rita Contreras the best computer hacker you could ever find, plus Sarah his mother, team up to take down a killer.
This killer moves around and it takes several other murders with the same MO for the team to realize that Dan just might be innocent and that the murders that have taken place in other states might be related to this one. The killer called the Runner, because of where the murders too place and the link to his being a jogger, makes one final move that sets the team on edge. When Rita is brutally attacked by the killer because he/she suspects that she realizes he is the Runner, things start to change for the defense and a trial you will never forget begins.
Walter Robinson is the victim’s father and money is no object when making sure that Dan is convicted. The author brings to light just how much mental health patients have been tossed aside, not receiving the right help and often placed in mental institutions for 30 days, medicated, evaluated and then thrown back out on the street starting the same vicious cycle over again.
Sarah Little hoped that Wayne would take the case and defend his brother. Wayne is a top lawyer but not in civil cases and not in criminal law. But, Wayne is not deterred, his mother created an office environment for the team and what we learn about the legal system in this novel will help anyone going to law school thinking about going into the profession really understand what it takes to interview jurors, give an opening statement, understand basic definitions and courtroom decorum.
The courtroom battle begins. The sides are drawn but are they even? What about Dan and his mental state? What happens when Dan decides to turn the tables and show the court just what he really looked like when the police discovered him? What about his access to the law library in jail and why was he allowed to be part of the legal team? What about the Judge and the fact that Duke was a major basketball star? Did that help?
A devious prosecuting attorney who would try a case and win regardless of the guilt or innocence of the person accused as long as she gets a guilty verdict. What happens when the witnesses take the stand and then a startling revelation is revealed as the defense team gets piece of information that might just turn the tables in their favor? But, will they get the answers before it is too late? What happens when Rita once again comes face to face with the killer will she remember what happened?
Will the killer be brought to justice before the trial is over or will Dan face the death penalty or become a permanent resident in a Mental Institution? Hear the voice of a deranged killer as he/she explains why the murders were necessary and why they were committed? Hear the voice of someone who believes that might be able to get away with murder because despite their actions they are going to go for an : Insanity Plea!
Insanity Plea: Larry Thompson weaves a story that is so compelling, so realistic and definitely will enlighten readers about paranoid schizophrenia, what happens when someone is diagnosed as being bi-polar, the actions that need to be taken to protect them you might say from themselves. Why won’t the government provide more funding for their care? Why is their so much injustice for the mentally ill? Insanity Plea: learn more about it when you read this outstanding FIVE STAR NOVEL.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer
The Crazy Life of a Kid From Brooklyn: Bill Morgenstein
Each step of the way Bill Morgenstein created his own path to success one shoe company at a time. Determined, tenacious, persistent and determined to build a business author Bill Morgenstein injects his own brand of humor, sarcasm and practical jokes that will keep readers guessing as to just what he has in store for everyone and what surprises will pop up. From meeting Louis and getting in trouble in school, daredevils, fun locking, his time in the ROTC as a cadet, joining the military and working his way up not only in grade or rank but with the top brass this man never let anything get him down. Jobs that span many continents, many fields and a home that he made with a young girl named Sylvia, Bill set his sites high, his aspirations many and his energy unlimited as we embark on a journey, a life’s journey with This Crazy Life of a Kid from Brooklyn.
Shoes seem to be what makes him come alive and working in one store that my mom loved and told me about Thom McAn. Giving readers the history of the store, the company and its owner, we learn the many reasons why Bill had to learn diplomacy, patience, and creativity and definitely use his ingenuity when dealing with the head of this company who hated being wrong and had to always be in charge. From a manager named Bob who disliked perfection in anyone else and who would get upset if there was nothing to correct of blame on someone else and you smile, laugh or wonder what will happen next.
Beginning with his family and meeting his best friend Louie, you fall in love with both Bill and his young kid as they get in trouble in school, blamed it on his friend and became close friends throughout it all. Entering Stuyvesant H.S. and doing acting out Bill enters the University of Alabama and things take another turn and change. Practical jokes were always on his agenda and sometimes when played at his expense well you sometimes get what you deserve. But, Bill never gives up and playing a joke on his ROTC staff and not getting caught was pure joy and luck. Joining a fraternity he meets Sylvia and you would think he would settle down and change. Bill worked for many companies in different managerial and upper level positions. He started selling shoes in Tennessee meeting many great people and then off to the army as a private where he assimilated into the thick of things with no problem. Officers treating him like royalty and allowed to travel first class things changed when he was sent to Korea, lived on a ship and enlightens readers about his further escapades, close calls, demotions and eventually returning to Brooklyn where it all begins for him as a management trainee for Thom McAn shoes. Extensive travel all over the world, job offers from Kitty Kelly as an Executive V.P. and hopefully becoming the president of a company before age 35 this man set his sites high and when you read the memoir, listen to meetings, learn about the deals he made and the people he worked with you know that he will succeed no matter what. Working for BK or Mr. Kellner was not easy and the lessons he learns he would take with him when starting his own business.
Interviews with Melville Shoe Company, which dealt with T.J. Max, Bobs, Vanguard and even CVS Bill, managed to enter many training programs and hoped that his trips to Maine, Boston and other places would pay off.
Describing Mr. Melville and the district manager Frank, Bill was told he was ready to become a store manager. He would then have full responsibility for the personnel, sales results, all of the store’s inventory and the cash. This store was in the Inwood section of the Bronx. Then he was transferred to my old neck of the woods Fordham Road where things turned kind of mysteries and the FBI came in and bank drops were in question and our author brilliantly handles it all. Just how: Like a good mystery you have to find out for yourself. More moves, different stores, meeting with Richard McCarthey, making sure you are formal with him and off to a new store on 48th street and Broadway. Meldisco where he meets Bob a man who wanted to prove that he was the smartest person in the room and as I said before needed the feel of being able to correct everyone and find something wrong. Realizing that he would have to at least play along with this and allow him to find and correct something, Bill learn the ropes fast and was promoted. Always leaving something for him to correct. Wait until you see what happens when everything is perfect. Wait until you find out what happens when Bill makes the mistake of leaving nothing for him to change or critique. Kitty Kelly was next and things seemed to be going well until Mr.Kellner decided to bring his son Warren into the firm and what happens will surprise readers and change things for Bill. When you read Ben Kellner’s stories you will learn more about the man, how he runs his company and Bill’s trips to Florence and Rome and how he was wearing thin traveling with the boss. Learn more when you read Kitty Kelly Travels and when the boss’s son returns. All this leads up to Bill and his dream to start Marquesa International and Marquesa Import Company after learning the import/export business. This business was his baby and it did very well for a long time until deceptions, lies, betrayals, deceits and one huge scam brings him down.
Brazil, Uruguay, Yugoslavia and other countries dealing with managers, Presidents, directors and even Chile, but Bill never saw it coming and was blindsided. Wait until you read how and why he decides to retire. But, just briefly.
Retirement is definitely out of the question and he became involved with Dining A La Card but first just a little more about the scandal that changed it all as large sums of money were being sent to his company from Russia. Learning that they wanted to buy and shipping boots from Macedonia to various stores and wholesalers in Russia and the rest read pages 276-279 to learn more. You just won’t believe the rest!
From Dining A La Card he then got a job at Advanceme where he managed to become a Senior V.P. of Sterling. Remaining with this company required learning about a second one called Transmedia and a final decision was made. Deciding to form his own brokerage firm in 2008 the author goes into detail to explain why he decided to do this, who was involved, the author relates the pitfalls, why things seemed to stall, panic calls and the rest you need to read for yourself so that you can learn the same lessons he did and what the end result was. A dream trip to Israel and he brings readers to the present and up to date. For over 60 years he has been married to Sylvia, traveling the world, dealt with the army, many different corporations and finally writing this book.
In an article I read in the author’s own words: “
What I hope comes out of reading this book, besides the humor is not only the love of life but also the extreme dislike for injustice and tyranny. I realize that some laws and rules are
necessary but I am firmly convinced that we have far too many regulations”. From the start with his friend Louie who always got him in trouble, to Gary Metzel and his wife Jackie, and many close friends still here and long gone the author relates his love of shoes, footwear, people, challenges and adventure and playing by his own rules. Where is he now and what has he been up to? Read the book and find out what one Crazy Life of a Kid From Brooklyn was really like growing up and still is right now. Just like our author his wife tells it like it is, honest to a fault and let’s hope for another 60 years. One self made man whom never stops reinventing himself and striving to be the best. Stories that will double you over in laughter, make you angry or just plain not believe what you read, Bill Morgenstein tells it all in the first person narrative, straight from the hip and definitely from the soles of some very expensive shoes.
Let’s give this book: FIVE GOLDEN FLATS OR PUMPS OR BOOTS.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer