Jul 30, 2018
Conan Doyle's real-life turn as Sherlock Holmes has typically been shared through the George Edalji case. But there was another case involving one Oscar Slater that has been more of a footnote than a feature. Author Margalit Fox set out to change that.
In Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World's Most Famous Detective Writer, she has crafted a fascinating true-crime narrative thanks to her career as an explanatory writer (most notably as a senior writer for The New York Times).
Our conversation with Ms. Fox ranges from the origin of her fascination with this story, to the societal prejudices and corruption that weighed on the victim and verdict, to Conan Doyle's own revulsion with the actions of the innocent man, and takes us from the streets of Glasgow to the barren north shore of Scotland, home of a gulag-like prison that held an innocent man for 18 years.
It's a fascinating and tragic story that fully exposes the chinks in Sir Arthur's armor, the true nature of an accused criminal, and the elements that still stick with society today.
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