Newport Harbor Murders



The author revisits the controversial verdict in this high profile murder case. He shows the miscarriage of justice in the case against Louise Overell and Bud Gollum in the murders of Overell’s parents, Walter and Beulah Overell, as well as in other cases throughout America. He uses examples like the trials of Casey Anthony and O.J. Simpson to demonstrate the United States’ flawed justice system.

Wilson analyzes the investigation and trial of Overell and Gollum, who purchased dynamite the day before an explosion on the Overells’ boat which officials initially believed killed both of her parents. Investigation indicated that they were dead before the explosion and they were charged for the murders. He shows what their lives were like pre-trial and post-trial to give an accurate description of how the injustices of some are unfortunately not surprising.

“The adversarial system has morphed into a system where guilty persons are given a 50 percent chance of acquittal,” The author says. “I was reminded of my reaction to this case as I read of the verdict in the Casey Anthony case.”

Overell and Gollum were acquitted for the murder of Overell’s parents in 1947. The author says acquittals like this, paired with the Michael Jackson and Robert Blake verdicts, show a weakness in the criminal justice system.

The book follows the relationship of Overell and Gollum from before the murder, through their time in jail, through the trial and even shows their lives after the trial in “The Newport Harbor Murders Revisited.” As someone who followed the case as a teenager, the author believes his book delves deeper than others on this particular case due to his prior knowledge and experience as a police officer.
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