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Burned

A Story of Murder and the Crime That Wasn't
Narrated by: Rebecca Lowman
Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
4 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)
Regular price: $28.00
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Publisher's Summary

Was a monstrous killer brought to justice or an innocent mother condemned?

On an April night in 1989, Jo Ann Parks survived a house fire that claimed the lives of her three small children. Though the fire at first seemed a tragic accident, investigators soon reported finding evidence proving that Parks had sabotaged wiring, set several fires herself, and even barricaded her four-year-old son inside a closet to prevent his escape. Though she insisted she did nothing wrong, Jo Ann parks received a life sentence without parole based on the power of forensic fire science that convincingly proved her guilt.

But more than a quarter century later, a revolution in the science of fire has exposed many of the incontrovertible truths of 1989 as guesswork in disguise. The California Innocence Project is challenging Parks's conviction and the so-called science behind it, claiming that false assumptions and outright bias convicted an innocent mother of a crime that never actually happened.

If Parks is exonerated, she could well be the "Patient Zero" in an epidemic of overturned guilty verdicts - but only if she wins. Can prosecutors dredge up enough evidence and roadblocks to make sure Jo Ann Parks dies in prison? No matter how her last-ditch effort for freedom turns out, the scenes of betrayal, ruin, and hope will leave listeners longing for justice we can trust.

©2019 Edward Humes (P)2019 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"A searing look at the limits of forensics in this unsettling reexamination of the case of Jo Ann Parks... An instant true-crime classic that reads like a thriller, this joins the ranks of recent works also throwing into question the belief that crime scene investigators can infallibly arrive at the right answer.” (Publishers Weekly)

“This sobering, enlightening read is true crime at its best, with the right blend of justice and intrigue that will leave readers searching for truth in the criminal justice system.” (Library Journal, starred review)

“Burned raises question after troubling question, and points out the frustrating subjectivity and fearful power of damning narratives that make up the ponderous process of criminal justice.” (NPR.org)

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Great book!

Very sad but moving book. Hard to read/hear at times being the survivor of a house fire but very worth sticking out the tough parts and facing my fears. Very interesting information about fire forensics, bias etc. I learned a great deal and throughly enjoyed the soothing narration.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful