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California has a long history of criminal cases that captured the collective imagination long after the judges' gavels fell. Some sent potential innocents to the gas chamber. In others, public opinion suggested a killer got away with murder. Some crimes were so insane and grotesque they worked their way into popular culture. In Murder by Crows: Hot Crime in California, author Steve Cassady takes an in-depth look at California's most notorious criminal cases. Did 1950s B-girl Barbara Graham deserve to die for the murder of a Burbank matron? How, despite not having a single piece of direct evidence, did the prosecution succeed in sending shy Burton W. Abbot to San Quentin for the murder of a young girl? Cassady digs deep into the Golden State's goriest crimes, from the twenty-six murders Santa Cruz endured over thirty long months to the strange, almost hypnotic influence Charles Manson held over his cult of murderous fanatics. And then, of course, there was what many consider the trial of the century. Was O. J. Simpson a killer or the victim of embedded racism at all levels of the LAPD? These are more than criminal cases. These are pivotal moments in American justice-or injustice.