Selected stories

Kevin Davis' grandfather faces America's notorious bank robber
An essay about a newspaper thief, a newspaper junkie and a dying industry.
A memoir of my old crime reporting days, an old pal and some lessons about death
Can a brain injury turn you into a criminal? A look at the clash of neuroscience, law and criminal responsibility
One man's obsession to row solo across the Atlantic
Counterfeiting gone wild
How a teen-age beauty queen became an American porn queen
What it feels like to get shot
Travel Stories
Journey to the Outback
Hills and Thrills Deep Down in Mexico

Publishers Weekly Review: Defending the Damned

From Publishers Weeky - Feb. 5, 2007

Defending the Damned

A colorful lawyer and a cop killing are at the center of this skillfully crafted narrative look at the Murder Task Force of Chicago's public defender's office. A veteran crime reporter, Davis focuses on the case of Aloysius Oliver, a 26-year-old ex-convict charged with fatally shooting undercover police officer Eric Lee. In sharp journalistic prose, Davis portrays a variety of public defenders driven by idealism, ambition and the excitement of legal battles. At the heart of this story is Oliver's lawyer, Marijane Placek, an excellent lawyer and a character who loves "high profile, seemingly impossible cases" like a cop killing. Placek views the court as a stage where she performs before a hostile audience. Despite her best efforts to prove that Oliver's confession was coerced with physical abuse, that he didn't know Lee was a police officer and did not intend to fire his weapon, the jury found him guilty; the judge gave him life without parole. Davis ably captures the drama of the courtroom and makes a powerful case for the necessity of the often unpopular public defenders within the criminal justice system, conveying their dedication to obtaining justice for their clients.(Apr. 3)