jazz dancer and murder victim on the front cover

The murder of a young woman, found nude on the beach, begins one of the most complex, and intense investigations that San Diego had dealt with.
Fritzie Mann, a vivacious dancer, was found on the beach by a young boy. After alerting his father, who flagged someone down to alert the police, another person had to take a look before phoning authorities (cause lookie-loos are in abundance). Once the investigation got underway, there were problems from the start.

Many witnesses were unreliable, unsure of what they had seen, while others did not want to get involved. The police used many questionable tactics, including intimidation to get the information they wanted, not necessarily the correct information. While the family wanted justice, the police department just wanted a conviction. As the main players came into focus, it narrowed down to two main suspects, and there was not a very strong case against either. What was to follow during the investigation, the trial, and the subsequent questions leave a case today that still has lingering questions.

This was a fabulous read! The book goes through the different aspects of the case, the complexities, hidden players, dubious evidence, and so much more. James Stewart lays out the case and the story of the main suspects, and Fritzie Mann in a way that allows you to connect with them, while drawing more attention to the open ends of the case.
While quite a bit of time has passed since the murder of Fritzie, there are still questions, and questions deserve answers.

True crime lovers – you will enjoy this one! It is a great weekend read!

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