Book Talk and Signing:
Past Event ....... March 22nd, 2011 — 7:00 pm
Tuesday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m. in Callahan Hall: Auburn author Elliott L. Epstein will talk about his new publication, Lucifer’s Child, a wrenching account of one of the nation’s most gruesome child abuse cases which took place in L-A in 1984.
The events which Epstein recounts read like scenes from a Gothic novel, made all the more terrifying by their reality. On a chilly fall afternoon, an Auburn patrolman was dispatched to an inner-city tenement to investigate a reported fire. What he found inside the building’s smoke-filled, second-story apartment was not a fire but something far more horrifying – the charred body of a 4-year-old girl, Angela Palmer, who had been stuffed into the oven of a kitchen stove and cooked to death.
The ensuing murder prosecution of the child’s mother, Cynthia Palmer, and her boyfriend, John Lane, shocked the sensibilities of millions, unleashing a torrent of outrage and grief. It remained a national headline news story through the trial, which took place a year later and ended with Lane’s murder conviction and Palmer’s acquittal.
Its impact, however, went far beyond intense emotions and lurid news coverage. The case was the product of, as well as the catalyst for, social and legal change, with implications for high-profile criminal trials, the insanity defense, child abuse and abuse of women.
Elliott Epstein, a graduate of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and the University of Maine School of Law, is a former journalist who has worked as a Maine attorney for over 30 years. He lives in Auburn and practices with the firm of Pickus & Epstein in Portland.
Following the library presentation, copies of the book will be available for sale and signing by the author.
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