• Principal Suspect

  • The True Story of Dr. Jay Smith and the Main Line Murders
  • By: William C. Costopoulos
  • Narrated by: Danny Campbell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (38 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Joseph Wambaugh's Echoes in the Darkness and its subsequent TV dramatization have made household words of both Susan Reinert, the murder victim, and Dr. Jay Smith, a high school principal and her accused killer. The naked body of Susan Reinert, a suburban Philadelphia school teacher, was found jammed into the hatchback of a car. Her two young children were missing and never found.

Thus began one of the most prominent murder cases in Pennsylvania history, and one that would grip the nation. Now the defense attorney for the main suspect of the murders - Jay Smith, the principal of the school where Reinert taught - takes you inside the cover-ups and corruption that dramatically affected the outcome of the case. Did Jay Smith do it? Did he deserved the death penalty? It is you who must decide.

Contains mature themes.

©1996, 2014 William C. Costopoulos (P)2021 Tantor

What listeners say about Principal Suspect

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Narrator sounds 300 years older

I had to stop and return the book. The narrator sounds like Santa with COPD. He rushes through sentences with a breathy old cartoon voice then is gasping for air. I even slowed the speed down but it’s just too much to tolerate.

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Totally confusing with too much detail

I couldn’t return it and tried listening to it twice but seriously could not keep track even 5 hours in.

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Great story!

Interesting. Complex. Intriguing. An honest and in depth look at the justice system. Smart. Funny. Eye opening.

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Too much unnecessary detail

The author was the defense attorney for one of the alleged perpetrators in this case. He seems very impressed that he knew the judge on the case, the prosecutor and others personally and so goes into waaay too much detail about how they all knew each other. There is also too much detail about the legal proceedings. I’m a lawyer and I know what he’s talking about and I still found it dry. The narrator doesn’t add much, but to be fair, he didn’t have a lot to work with. I gave up with 5 hours to go. Waste of a credit.

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  • Staupe
  • 05-05-21

Great book

One of the best true crime books I have ever listened to. And I thought that I had listened to all of them. Narration by Campbell is also great as usual. Faultless

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-12-21

Was he guilty or not guilty?

I honestly don't know how I feel in regards to Jay C. Smith's guilt or innocence after reading this book. Costopoulos makes an interesting case, I feel like I do need to go out and read Echoes in the Darkness so I can get the other side of the story.

This is definitely a bias book, Costopoulos has an interest in portraying Jay. C. Smith as an innocent man, and therefore, I don't know how much faith to put in his word.

What I do believe though is that, guilty or innocent, Jay C. Smith did not receive a fair trial. Some of the things the prosecution almost go away with is crazy, and I don't blame Costopoulos as all for trying to change the Double Jeopardy law in order to prevent this happening again. If Jay C. Smith was guilty, then the prosecution really let the public down by mishandling this case.

Definitely an interesting read.