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Publisher's Summary

In 1958, 19-year-old Charlie Starkweather went on a murder spree that paralyzed Nebraska, shocked the nation, and left 11 people dead. With him when he was captured was his 14-year-old ex-girlfriend Caril Fugate. The question soon arose: Was Caril a kidnapped victim or a heartless accomplice?

Appointed to her case, Attorney John McArthur initially accepted the assignment out of a sense of constitutional duty. But as he delved deeper, he found that the truth was far more complicated than anyone was letting on. Up against incredible odds, and with a strong conviction of her innocence, McArthur remained with Caril and fought for her freedom for 18 years. For this service, he took no pay, accepting the case pro bono.

This audiobook follows the long struggle of McArthur, his partner Merril Reller, and John's son, James, as they took on the Nebraska legal system and a public that had already determined Caril's guilt before ever hearing a word of testimony. The story continues through all it influenced, such as Stephen King, who became a horror writer because of it, Bruce Springsteen, who wrote a whole album about it, Terrence Malick, Oliver Stone, Martin Sheen, and Peter Jackson, who wrote his first major movie based on the Starkweather-Fugate incident.

Pro Bono explores aspects of this incredible story that have never been revealed before, and sheds new light on these terrifying and complex events.

©2012 Jeff McArthur (P)2014 Jeff McArthur

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Informative and Interesting!

The author,being the grandson of the defense for Caril Fugate, brings to light the behind the scene account of the case. Lots of facts that were not known at the time of the trial. This book brings you closer to the 14 year old girl who was involved with a troubled boy, and how she was a “victim” and not the accomplice she was sentenced for. The author narration makes this a more personal account of this case.
If you like court cases and the inner workings of defending a defendant that is young and vulnerable this is for you! Good interesting read!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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It was okay

They story and information was good! But it did repeat its self a lot. Both with information and with the sound. Bad editing. I can hear the buzz of the mic the whole time. This is one I would not listen to again but I would read again.

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Captivating!

This is not something that I would usually listen to, but it sounded interesting and I decided to give it a try. Boy, am I glad I did. I do like true crime stories, but I don't usually read them. This was interesting because of the story of the murder spree, but also because the writer and narrator of the book is the grandson of the lawyer that defended the girl/woman in the case. Besides just the court and police notes being read, the book also included emotions and events that were occurring within his family at the time of the trial. He also included the impact the trial had on others.
Although Jeff McArthur obviously isn't your usual narrator for an audiobook, I do think, however, that his personal connection to the story was a plus. There were several editing errors in the audio, but had little impact on the story. Overall, a captivating experience!
I was given this audio book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts on it are my own.

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Po Bono

A fascinating look at the lawyers side of the trial of Caril Ann Fugate.That they stuck with her thru 18 years is wonderful.Sadly a 14 year old girl was railroaded for a media show.Charles Starkweather ,our mass murderer/star was truely insane.Having lived through years of mass murders we can now see it.He was the first.Jeff McArthur was a fine narrator.The only issue was that there were many repeats of sentences.I was given this book by the narrator,author or publisher free for an honest review.

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Excellent! and Enlughtening!

Finally, a well-informed explanation to the crimes that haunted Us. It is refreshing to see something written about the subject, that is based solely on facts! This subject has always been sensationalized... and mis-represented for the "entertainment" it could offer. Thus, Poor Carol would never receive any empathy or understanding from the masses. I loved this book... The fact that the Narrator is the Author, as well as the Grandson and Son of the two Lawyers who devoted so much time and effort to Carol's defense, is additional creedence. Major Kudos to the Author/Narrator! I received this book from the Author free of charge in exchange for a fair review... Thank You!

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Social opinion over justice

While never having heard of these two or the case itself, I was quite enthralled with the information provided. With a love of these type of courtroom back stories, this certainly appealed to me. It is unbelievable how some peoples opinion of a situation can be completely sealed without anything more than another's opinion. The way that so many repeated the same line as they had heard down the grapevine without learning more and getting a more informed opinion, is quite scary. What would it be like with today's social media?
Jeff has clearly researched this well and having grown up with the case, he can give a broader insight into the finer details. I like how he has almost come to the defense of his grandfather and the case he provided. He has a passion for the case and for the integrity of the truth. He stands by the fact that only Caril Ann knows what truly happened in that killing time spree, but her behavior prior and after speaks quite well for itself. I do believe myself after listening to this, that she was just a bit of a simple girl that partook in the event in whatever form due to fear.
A great listen from an impassioned narrator.

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A True Crime Story Well Worth Your Time

I'm not usually a fan of non-fiction but I am a big true crime fan so this book caught my eye.
Caril Ann’s name sounded familiar but I couldn't put any facts together with it so I had some reservations going in when it came to the question of her guilt. I definitely came out of this book
with some thoughts on her guilt. Overall this is a great read for all levels of true crime officianado

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Enjoyable listen

I have never heard of this case, but enjoyed this book very much. It is definitely worth listening to.

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Great True Life Story

**I was given this free review copy audio book at my request and have voluntarily left this review.**

I liked the story and learn about Caril Ann Fugate and her case. It was interesting and worth a credit to learn about the case.

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pretty good

this book tells how a women was on trail for a crime that someone else did and someone wanted to prove that the woman was innocent and shows how a child could go along with someone they thought held there family against them