5 lessons I learned covering same-sex marriage at the Supreme Court

The start of this week was a whirlwind of press conferences, photo opportunities and historic court arguments for me as I covered the Supreme Court in action for the first time. I’ve been a full-time reporter since 1999, and while my career has led me to Instanbul and Tokyo and Paris and Belize, I’d never been to our nation’s Capitol, much less granted a seat for one of the most historic high court arguments of the generation. I was there Tuesday, April 28, as the justices listened to...

First signing is in the books!

Today I'm recovering from a four-day road trip to Minneapolis -- with an 11-month-old boy in tow, no less -- where I met up with David Batcher for our first-ever book signing. The response we're getting for the book is humbling. I'm incredibly appreciative and hopeful that we can get the word out about our work. The Kennedy women we highlighted are fascinating, and I think our approach is accessible to introduce them to a new generation. Here are some photos of the big night, courtesy of...

Kennedy Wives has arrived!

I remember reading author interviews when I was younger and being dubious when the scribe likened his or her latest book release to birthing a child. I am in perfect position to judge that analogy this year: In December 2013, I delivered my first son. In June 2014, my latest true crime hit bookstores. And this week, one year after the birth of my boy, my first hardcover -- The Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America's Most Public Family -- is making its nationwide debut. I assure...

I get bored with predictability, so after three true-crime books, I switched it up for Book No. 4: It's a non-fiction biography about the Kennedy wives. I also didn't work alone this time. David Batcher, with whom I went to high school, signed on under the guise of helping me research, but by the time the book proposal was finished, I realized I wanted more than just his behind-the-scenes help, so I enlisted him as a coauthor. It was a brilliant decision. David was one of those annoying,...

The Tyler Hadley case

He stood behind her, a hammer clenched in his hand. He was silent, and she was oblivious. The hammer’s handle was smooth in his palm. He stared at her as she typed absentmindedly on the family computer. He was still for a long time and he held the hammer at his side as he eyed his mother’s head. -- So goes the first paragraph in my third true crime book, See How Much You Love Me. It was a difficult story to tell -- one about a boy whose parents did all the right things in trying to...

Effin' Matt Power

A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine died. I didn't get to know him long, but I had the privilege of knowing him pretty damn well. Matthew Power had been a colleague whom I got to know during my stint as a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan (2010-2011). It was a tight-knit clan that spent hours together crammed in buses and seminar halls and on airplanes. We traveled the globe together, visiting Argentina, Brazil and Turkey. A lot has been written about Matt since he died...

Learning from Love

Yeardley Love was no shrinking violet. The truth will come out about the University of Virginia lacrosse star, the young woman whose piercing blue eyes peered out to millions from magazine covers, newspaper pages and television reports. We will all learn that though her name has become synonymous with domestic and dating violence—due in no small part to the allegation that her lacrosse-playing boyfriend beat her to death in a violent rage just weeks before they were to graduate—the...

About Amber Hunt

Amber Hunt is an award-winning journalist who works for the Cincinnati Enquirer as an investigative reporter. She previously covered crime for the Detroit Free Press and the Dakotas for The Associated Press and was a 2011 Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan. She's written three true-crime books: Dead but Not Forgotten, All-American Murder and See How Much You Love Me, and is co-author of the upcoming The Kennedy Wives: Triumph and Tragedy in America's Most Public...

George guilty, take 2

Let’s be honest. A criminal conviction doesn’t always mean guilt, and people who are guilty don’t always get convicted. That’s simply not how the judicial system works. Instead, 12 people are tasked with weighing evidence. Pure and simple. A group of normal, everyday folks is given this most awesome of powers. They could get it wrong.

But what are the odds they screw it up twice?

A second jury weighed much of the same evidence as the first in the Michael George case — even a tad more, when considering some newly introduced theories presented by the defense — and, like the first jury, they found George guilty. Last month, he was convicted a second time of first-degree murder. Translation: life behind bars.

I don’t have any more insight into George’s guilt or innocence than anyone on that jury. I can say, however, that I was surprised a second set of 12 came to the same conclusion as the first. Because I’d moved to take a new job with the Associated Press, I wasn’t able to watch things unfold in the courtroom, so I kept tabs through reporter friends. Some were convinced the verdict would be not guilty. I was inclined to assume they’d be right.

Instead, George was led off to jail, convicted for the second time of the same crime. The Free Press covered the verdict here.

If he’s innocent, it’s a travesty: a man whose life and whose family has been shattered by 20-year-old circumstantial evidence. If he’s guilty, he’s a man who got away with murder for nearly two decades. There’s no winner in either scenario.

There aren’t plans for an updated edition of Dead But Not Forgotten quite yet. I hope to someday revisit the case, though. More than that, I’d love to someday feel as though I know the truth.

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One Response to George guilty, take 2

  1. Gloria says:

    His Pre-sentencing Statement was All About Michael, “AAM.” His life is “AAM.” Family here wish to take innue with his statement re: “I brought the girls here every 6 months to see Barbara’s family.” Then “Oh, I’m going to be buried next to her.” Wow! Sounds like Denial, to me…once I’m dead, it won’t matter where I am, whim I’m with…and it’ll look so good, when I tell the court. Well, Denial is nothing more than the surest form of Guilt. Bang!-the Gavel ! He just called himself Guilty! You can stop waiting and wishing, Amber. His actions and words tell you The Truth.

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