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By Two and Two: The Scandalous Story of Twin Sisters Accused of a Shocking Crime of Passion Hardcover – December 1, 1995


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (December 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688128718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688128715
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,529,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

On May 22, 1992, Jack Wilson, a prominent Huntsville, Ala., ophthalmologist, was bludgeoned to death with an aluminum baseball bat by James White, a schizophrenic alcoholic. When arrested, White informed the police that he knew Betty Lowe, who was married to Wilson, and her twin, Peggy. White convinced the police that he was involved in a murder-for-hire plot with the middle-aged sisters. The police ran with White's fantasy and practically concocted his scenario for him. The state would go for capital murder charges against the twins, who would be tried separately, Betty first. A former alcoholic, she had an unquenchable sexual appetite brought on in part by her husband's impotence. She had had many affairs?particularly with black men?which the prosecution played as motive. Betty was convicted and remains on death row?although her accuser has recanted much of his testimony. Peggy, tried with a more meticulous defense, was found innocent?on exactly the same evidence that had convicted her twin. In a chilling courtroom drama, we see how the police believed a psychopath over two prominent citizens; how prosecutors allowed themselves to be blinded by the media's bright lights; and how, according to the author, "the law is a fool." Schutze (Preacher's Girl) has written a gripping, graphic book about a miscarriage of justice. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Betty Wilson and her twin sister, Peggy, were charged in 1993 with conspiring to kill Betty's husband. Two juries, hearing one set of facts, found Betty guilty and acquitted Peggy. Unlike Ken Englade's account of the same case, Blood Sister (St. Martin's, 1994), this volume concludes that both women are innocent and that the drunken, drugged James Dennison White was solely responsible for the murder. Throughout, Schutze points out inconsistencies, errors, lies, etc., in the case. What is perhaps even more ghastly than the the murder is the possibility that politics, corruption, sex, and race may have affected the outcome of a trial that focused more on Betty Wilson's faults than on the evidence. A well-organized, crisp, and fast-moving account; for popular true crime collections.?Christine Moesch, Buffalo & Erie Cty. P.L., N.Y.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rae on August 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I should be surprised, but am not, by two so-called reviews of the book. What they present are not reviews but personal opinions. This is largely what the book lays out as a reason for the conviction of Betty Wilson. This woman was not convicted on any evidence or fact but on the testimony of a proven liar, schizophrenic, alcoholic, drug-addicted man that turned on his own men in Vietnam. Whether people agree or disagree with the verdict, people are supposed to be convicted on fact and not opinion. This book is eye opening and needs to be read by those possessing skills of discernment and reason. One can only hope that justice will prevail in the end although it appears that will not happen in this case.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jery Tillotson on January 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Author Jim Schutze has written some terrific non-fiction books in the past but this is his best one! Unlike most true-crime books, this one uncovers a judicial travesty where one twin sister was sent to prison for life and the other one acquitted for a crime they didn't commit. The first twin to be tried, Betty Wilson, was a controverial figure,in that she lived a life of luxury, had numerous affairs, some with black men, and cussed a lot. These traits were instrumental in paving her way into prison for the horrific beating death of her husband, a wealthy dentist. She was convincted on the incredible testimony of a known psychotic and drug addict,James White, with a rap sheet a mile long. He was given a written contract by the district attorney, that assured him of avoiding the electric chair if he would testify that the twin sisters were behind the murder of the dentist. Betty was painted as a promiscuous, alcoholic "slut" in the Tuscaloosa, Alabama courtroom and this is basically what sealed her fate. Her twin sister, Peggy, whose case was tried in Montgomery, Alabama, was acquitted on the basis of the identical testimony that doomed her sister. This time around, her lawyers pointed out the bizarre lies told by the killer who, by the way, was sent to a dentist to have his teeth capped for his trial appearance. In the jailhouse, he was awarded the status of mascot while he smirked and grinned at the imprisoned Betty. The author says frankly that he considered the twin sisters to be guilty of something when he first started covering the courtro testimony. But he said he gradually became outraged that the district attorney used a known psychopathic criminal to railroad the twin sisters into prison.Read more ›
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 27, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I like to read crime books in which, at the end, justice has been done, but such is not the case in Jim Schutze's *By Two and Two*. It tells the story of two Alabama sisters charged with conspiring to murder the husband of one of them. Although apparently neither woman was involved in the crime, one was found guilty and the other was not, because of personal, social and racial issues tangential to the case. In pursuing the investigation, well-meaning police were evidently manipulated and deceived by a career criminal who sought, and won, preferential treatment by helping them make a case against the women. The author himself was clearly disturbed by the outcome
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful By C. Gail Jarvis on June 25, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book is fairly typical of the mid 1990s. The Clintons were in the White House and the establishment was obsessed with racism. They could find racism under every rock and around every corner - and books about racism, especially in the deep South, stood a good chance of publication regardless of their other merits or lack thereof. The author, Jim Schutze, specialized in "racial" exposes and won awards from leftist organization for finding racism - he could find it in places where others might fail to spot it.

In this book, Schutze maintains that a white "racist" jury in a city in Alabama convicted Betty Wilson of hiring someone to kill her wealthy husband in order to get his life insurance - worth millions. Another, heavily black jury in another Alabama city acquitted her twin sister after hearing basically similar evidence. Schutze's conclusion: the white jury was biased but the black jury was fair.

The author claims that the husband's killer was coached by law enforcement to concoct a story that would incriminate the twin sisters. But he cannot explain the killer's motive - why he would kill a man he didn't know, had never heard of and as there was no robbery - he did not benefit monetarily or otherwise for his act. And he can't explain why the wife advanced him money hidden in a library book checked out in her name - or why the wife and her sister had so many documented contacts with the man - a man far below their social class with a criminal record.

Don't waste time with this book- instead get Ken Englade's book "Blood Sister" - Mr. Englade doesn't have a social agenda.
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