This story is remarkable not for the actual amount of money that T. Cullen Davis had, but for the way in which he was allowed to spend it during his murder trial. Not only did he bring into Dallas the best, the flashiest, and the most vindictive defense attorney money could buy, he also was allowed to turn the whole trial into an unbelievable (at least outside of Texas) circus in which even the jury members were treated to prime steaks every night, courtesy of the defendant. Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith deliver this tale with both tact and panache: they discover the sad substance beneath the surface glitter, they bring to life the many eccentric characters involved, and they have a fine sense of the absurd.
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From Publishers Weekly
Most true crime tales are brutal and sad, but the case of Cullen Davis is doubly wrenching because it is also a story of justice miscarried. Cullen was one of three sons of Kenneth ("Stinky") Davis, who built a Texas empire and amassed a fortune by questionable means. Brutalized by his father throughout his childhood, Cullen grew into a shy, introverted adolescent and a monstrous adult. In 1976 in Forth Worth, he was accused of wounding his second wife, Priscilla, with whom he was wrangling over a divorce, and her friend, Beverly Bass, and of killing Priscilla's 12-year-old daughter, Andrea, and Bass's boyfriend, Bubba Gavrel. Acquitted, Cullen was subsequently in the courts again in two murder-for-hire trials, both cases ending in hung juries. He has never been convicted, thanks to a legal staff that eventually numbered 30 and the expenditure of perhaps $20 million, the authors show. Others have written about this classic case, but none so searchingly as have Naifeh and Smith, who previously collaborated on The Mormon Murders and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Jackson Pollock . Cynically, they conclude that Cullen had the right of it when he bragged that "Money can buy anything." Photos not seen by PW .
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.