A Year with the LAPD's Elite Detective Unit
By Miles Corwin
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805067989, 416pp.)
Publication Date: January 2004
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A riveting, behind-the-scenes look at one of the most elite, highly trained units of homicide
detectives in the country
Los Angeles is a town of dreamers—and of those who prey on them. The scene of innumerable bizarre crimes, it is also home to a unique police unit called Homicide Special, whose mandate is to take on the toughest, most controversial, and highest-profile cases. Now acclaimed writer Miles Corwin uses his unprecedented access to this legendary unit to narrate six of its cases—and capture its newest generation at work.
When a call girl from Kiev dies in the line of duty, detectives Chuck Knolls and Brian McCartin seek her killer among a circle of Russian women who have been sold unwittingly into white slavery. When a gangster’s daughter, brought up in Las Vegas, takes a bullet, veterans Jerry Stephens and Paul Coulter trace clues scattered across the country to one of Manhattan’s wealthiest real estate magnates. A cold case is reopened; a suspicious mother-daughter drowning and a baffling rape/murder are solved. And finally, Corwin re-creates the investigation surrounding the late Bonny Lee Bakley, a woman driven—like her city—by the desire for fame, and allegedly murdered by her actor-husband, Robert Blake.
Compulsively readable, artfully written, and surprisingly redemptive, Homicide Special offers a thrilling insider’s report on some of the nation’s most high-profile and complex homicides—and the extraordinary men who solve them.
A former staff reporter at the Los Angeles Times, Miles Corwin is the author of The Killing Season and And Still We Rise. He lives in Los Angeles.