Fatal Flaw: A True Story of Malice and Murder in a Small Southern Town

Front Cover
Villard Books, 1992 - Social Science - 327 pages
"In 1975 Tommy Zeigler was a happily married man, the owner of a successful business, and a pillar of his community in Winter Garden, Florida. Then one evening he walked into his furniture store to pick up some Christmas gifts. And his life changed forever." "Hours later, Zeigler, lying in a hospital bed almost dead from a bullet wound to the abdomen, was charged with the murders of his wife, his parents-in-law, and a bystander. Convicted of the crimes and sentenced to death in the Florida state court system, Zeigler has spent the better part of the last two decades in prison and has lost everything: his family, his business, his friends, his freedom. It was a shocking crime for a small town, and the community was deeply shaken. But the most shocking aspect of this case is what happened after the murders, for Tommy Zeigler is innocent, as much a victim as those who lay dead in the store." "As Phillip Finch has discovered, the investigation of the crime was a sham, and the trial a travesty. The Orange County sheriff's office and ultimately the state of Florida's legal system appear to have presumed Zeigler's guilt from the start. Crucial evidence - including photographs, witnesses, and physical evidence proving that the crimes could not possibly have taken place the way the state believed them to, findings that would have cast severe doubt on Zeigler's guilt if not exonerated him completely - has been completely ignored and suppressed. There is reason to believe that other evidence that points to Zeigler's guilt was fabricated. The state's case depends upon the testimony of two men who, if they had not been the key witnesses for the prosecution, would certainly have been the chief suspects." "The state's case is so precarious that it starts to unravel when even one part is discredited - and there are so many problems, so many holes and inconsistencies in the verdict that was returned against Tommy Zeigler, that an observer is forced to wonder if this simply was a truly extraordinary example of ineptitude and tunnel vision, or if something more sinister was taking place..." "Fatal Flaw is a masterpiece of detective work and a chilling example of what can happen when people believe what they're told to believe without challenging the source. It also forces the reader to take a hard look at our legal system and the all-too-real possibility that a person can be put to death for crimes he did not commit." "Justice has not been served for Tommy Zeigler. He is still in prison under a sentence of death for these murders. Fatal Flaw may be the key to securing his absolution, and perhaps the instrument that saves his life."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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