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Defending the Devil: My Story As Ted Bundy's Last Lawyer [Anglais] [Relié]

Polly Nelson

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.7 étoiles sur 5  18 commentaires
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Kinda creepy 23 février 2001
Par jenbird - Publié sur
What got to me most about this book is how attached Nelson becomes to Bundy. Being passionate about your opposition to the death penalty is one thing; speaking of a monster like Bundy as "my Ted" and buying him a Mickey Mouse watch when you go to Disneyland is something else. However, this does give a detailed look at Bundy's case from the judicial perspective, which hasn't been covered much before. Most people seem to want to read about the details of Bundy's gruesome crimes; if you've read all those books and want a new perspective, this is a worthwhile read.
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Most criticisms are unjustified 28 septembre 2011
Par DoctorJoeE - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
I'm not surprised at the wide diversity of reviews; readers tend to see only what they want to see in books of this sort. I changed my own opinion of it completely after re-reading it recently. Lawyers are not widely loved under the best of circumstances, so any attempt to justify defending the indefensible is going to be a particularly tough sell. But a lot of the complaints in other reviews are unfair, or just plain incorrect.

Those who complain that the book is more about Nelson than Bundy should re-read the subtitle: "*My Story* as Ted Bundy's Last Lawyer". Bundy's story has been told a hundred times; this is Nelson's story, and she expresses pretty well, I think, the gigantic emotional conflict inherent in assembling a cogent Supreme Court appeal that might prevent the execution of "the very definition of heartless evil" (her words).

Those who complain that Nelson is sympathetic to Bundy miss the point; she did her best to do what lawyers do -- represent her client -- all the while struggling with the undeniable fact that this particular client had murdered at least 30 young women, and didn't seem to care. "It was the absolute misogyny of his crimes that stunned me," she writes, "his manifest rage against women. He had no compassion at all...he was totally engrossed in the details. His murders were his life's accomplishments."

Those who complain that there is nothing about Bundy in this book that can't be found in other books simply didn't read this book. There is a verbatim interview with Bundy, conducted by the primary court-appointed psychiatrist, that offers a never-before-seen glimpse into a serial killer's thought processes. There is verbatim testimony given by his trial attorneys, graphically illustrating what an ordeal it must have been to attempt to defend a psychopath in court. There is a complete documentation of the bizarre list of suggestions Bundy made to the FBI to improve their serial killer questionnaire -- in essence a written confession of the full, terrifying range of his depredations. Among other things.

This book, while not perfect, it is eminently readable; and as another reviewer astutely pointed out, an account by a person close to Bundy at the end of his life is a good companion piece to the account by Ann Rule, who was close to him toward the beginning.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Lawyer for Ted writes well 3 décembre 2008
Par Forensic Student - Publié sur
I was pleased with how well the author wrote the story. She came across very polished. Very insightful on Bundy. She did appear to have made a connecton with Ted, and he had her sympathies. She appeared to have seen his vulnerable side, or fell for his deception. She also remarks on things about Ted that shed light on how he could do his crimes. I received more insight from this book than on many others. What she described that Ted said about what really happened at the Seattle lake resort (I've been there and lived in Seattle) where he got two victims was interesting. Other writers claim that he said he put both victms together, in this version, he claims he didn't. Sometimes you think Ted is talking to these women (there was another woman in the book with his attorney) in a way that paints him in the best light, so you wonder if he's soft pedaling what he really did, which as we know was horrendous acts of necrophilia. But a very good read overall.
10 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The last and closest look at America's most nororious killer 17 décembre 1997
Par - Publié sur
Just as Ann Rule's The Stranger Beside Me gave us an eyewitness account of the beginnings and middle of Ted Bundy's gruesome criminal career, Defending the Devil gives us an up-close look at the end. Consider this a companion piece.
12 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A very good behind-the-scenes look 22 mai 2001
Par Paul Cerra - Publié sur
In early 1986, a young attorney named Polly Nelson took on a case that would catapult her name into the headlines. Yet because the job was to save Ted Bundy from Florida's electric chair, the publicity wasn't favorable. Reporters would invariably ask "what about the victims?" and Nelson would have no answer. In the end, Nelson and her colleagues would fail to persuade the courts that Bundy deserved to live, and he would be put to death in January 1989. Even staunch death penalty foes refused to protest at the prison as Bundy, the very personification of evil, died in Old Sparky.
This is much more than a sob story for Ted Bundy, however. Nelson's book has an agenda, but it really doesn't involve deifying Bundy. Rather, Nelson believes that the American justice system is unfair to convicts facing death sentences, and her passion is clearly not for Ted Bundy but instead for justice. Keep in mind that she was a neophyte attorney with very little experience -- she didn't even know who Ted Bundy was when she took the case. Her story isn't just about a horrible serial killer; it's about the judges and court clerks and prosecutors and public defenders who together held a man's life in their hands. She does put forth some questionable theories, such as Bundy's being mentally ill (manic depressive) and being forcibly tranquilized on the day of his critical May 1979 plea hearing, but to her credit she appears to simply be acting as a good lawyer who is exploring all the evidence -- not as someone who thinks Bundy got a raw deal and should go free.
If you are a true crime fan who also has an interest in jurisprudence, this book will probably interest you. If instead you are primarily interested in Bundy himself, this book still has plenty of relevant information to offer. For example, Nelson exposes the role of Diana Weiner as being more than just Bundy's civil attorney. She discusses Bundy's meetings with psychiatrist Dr. Dorothy Lewis. And she offers a great deal of insight into Bundy's Florida trials where Bundy sometimes acted as his own counsel, essentially signing his own death warrant with his grandstanding. This book is a very good supplement to the other books on Ted Bundy.
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