Studies in Crime - "Two Truths and A Lie"

    Wednesday, July 20th @ 5:30 p.m.

    Two Truths and a Lie: A Murder, A Private Investigator, and Her Search for Justice

    by Ellen McGarrahan

    New members are welcome! Please contact Kiki Butler at or 822-9105 for further information or stop by the Reference Desk to pick up a copy of the book!

    About this month’s pick:

    In 1990, Ellen McGarrahan was a young reporter for the Miami Herald when she covered the execution of Jesse Tafero, a man convicted of murdering two police officers. When it later emerged that Tafero may not have committed the murders, McGarrahan became haunted by that grisly execution — and appalled by her unquestioning acceptance of the state's version of events. Decades later, in the midst of her successful career as a private investigator, McGarrahan finally decides to find out the truth of what really happened. Her investigation takes her back to Florida, where she combs through court files and interviews everyone involved in the case. She plunges back into the Miami of the 1960s and 1970s, where gangsters and kingpins and beautiful women inhabit a dangerous world of nightclubs, speed boats, and drug cartels. Violence is everywhere. The murdered police officers, she discovers, are only one part of the picture. But even as McGarrahan circles closer to the truth, the story of guilt and innocence becomes more complex. She gradually discovers that she hasn't been alone in her search for closure, because whenever a human life is forcibly taken — by bullet, or by electric chair — the reckoning is long and difficult. Both a gripping true-crime narrative and a fascinating glimpse into the life of a private investigator, Two Truths and a Lie is ultimately a profound meditation on grief and complicity.

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