Lis Wiehl

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Born
Seattle, WA , The United States
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September 2009


Lis Wiehl is a New York Times bestselling author and
one of the nation’s most prominent trial lawyers and highly regarded commentators.  She is the author of 18 books, including Hunting Charles Manson: The Quest for Justice in the Days of Helter Skelter (Thomas Nelson, June 2018) and was a legal analyst and reporter for Fox News for fifteen years.

Lis is currently an anchor for the Law & Crime Network and a Professor of Law at New York Law School and the host of the podcast “Pursuit of Justice with Lis Wiehl” (available for download and subscription on iTunes or at LawAndCrime.com).

Prior to joining Fox News Channel in New York City, Wiehl served as a legal analyst and reporter for NBC News and NPR’s All Things Considered and was the co-
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Lis Wiehl As a Federal Prosecutor, I remember telling juries, “I didn't pick the witnesses you've heard at trial -- the defendant did that!"  I had to put on…more
As a Federal Prosecutor, I remember telling juries, “I didn't pick the witnesses you've heard at trial -- the defendant did that!"  I had to put on witnesses who told the jury their stories of the defendant's criminal activities, and in many cases these witnesses were criminals themselves. 

Of course in writing non-fiction, I don’t get to pick the characters in the books either!  These “characters” are usually friends or criminal cohorts or intertwined in other ways with my main "Hunting" subject. And each is important to the narrative. Because it’s non-fiction I don't choose the characters, I don't choose the storyline, I don’t choose how the storyline unravels. All of these elements of the book have been predetermined. 

However, in fiction I am given artistic license and as a result my characters are not predetermined, and the story-line is not predictable or even known to anyone but me.

In writing both fiction and nonfiction, I use real world research and fact-based case knowledge to study human behavior.  I feel very blessed to be able to have a great publisher (Nelson Books/Harper Collins) – the publishing team lets me write both! I am the author of books about what has actually happened in history and also my own stories from my experiences as a prosecutor and journalist. 

It’s the best of both worlds!
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Lis Wiehl Thank you Goodreads author and my friend Linda Fairstein! In taking on the quest for justice in the tragedy that was the summer of 1969, I thought…moreThank you Goodreads author and my friend Linda Fairstein! In taking on the quest for justice in the tragedy that was the summer of 1969, I thought about what made Charlie Manson do what he did.
Those killings changed American culture. People who didn't have home alarms quickly bought as fancy a system as they could afford. Mothers began walking their children to school. And parents and children alike had trouble falling asleep at night. Charlie Manson and his “children” robbed America of its innocence.
Nearly fifty years later, Charles “Tex” Watson, the man who carried out Manson’s murderous plans, was asked by a parole board commissioner, “What made a God-fearing, churchgoing young man from Texas move to California and commit the worst killings this state has ever seen?” The commissioner’s question was asked in a thunderous tone. He was met with silence from the prisoner and straight-on stares from family members of the victims. I could understand the silence. What answer could there be?
As the only reporter allowed in that parole hearing in California, I brought into the room fifteen years of national television crime reporting and, as a former federal prosecutor, hundreds of federal prosecutions. I am proud to be a third-generation federal prosecutor, after my father and grandfather before me. That same grandfather was also a judge, and my father had also served as an FBI agent. I have had a lifetime of law enforcement exposure and experience, and yet I was as bewildered as the parole commissioner by the crimes.
This mystery is part of the reason behind this reexamination of arguably the most notorious crime in American history. How could it have happened? I also wanted to explore the process by which justice was done. The Christian tradition, of which I am a part, has justice at its center, a consequence of the belief that God will ultimately put all things right. We should take seriously the process by which our governments work to see justice accomplished, and this book—as well as subsequent books in this series—attempts to do just that.
As a result of my legal experience, I knew when embarking on this quest what law enforcement agents on the scene in 1969 would have or should have been looking for, which made my discoveries of what they actually did all the more shocking. I knew what the lead prosecutor, Vincent Bugliosi, was attempting to do with his various motions and strategies, and how successful he was or was not. (Long after the Manson case, I got to know Bugliosi when he asked for assistance in writing a book about the Supreme Court.) And my television crime reporting experience was invaluable as I researched, wrote, and analyzed the defense’s case and the various alternative theories about the crime.
Investigative journalist and true crime author Caitlin Rother brought thirty years of research and storytelling experience, as well as a breadth of knowledge about the criminal justice system, addiction, and mental illness. We agreed to approach the “known” sources—including the criminal case files—with fresh eyes. But we also set out with the goal of uncovering new details that would enhance readers’ overall understanding of the case. I believe the book does just that, offering new and illuminating material that will not only surprise but possibly even astonish the reader.
In the end, I’m not sure we will ever be able to answer definitively the question of why. But I do believe HUNTING CHARLES MANSON brings us closer than ever before. Thank you for kicking us off with this question, Linda!(less)
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More books by Lis Wiehl…
Enter my new Goodreads giveaway! https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/sh...
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Published on August 22, 2018 05:53 • 112 views
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Lis Wiehl wrote a new blog post
" T michael henderson wrote: "I just received blog today from Goodreads. Price was back up to 999. Help."

Price reduction was for three days only - ended
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The Separatists by Lis Wiehl
"The Separatists is book 3 from the Newsmakers series by Lis Wiehl. Reporter Erica Sparks finds herself in Bismarck, North Dakota covering the recall of the state's governor. Erica meets Mary Bellamy, she is wanting the state to have more freedom a..." Read more of this review »
The Separatists by Lis Wiehl
" Amy, Thank you so much for your awesome review. I'm thrilled that you liked the book and I really appreciate you taking the time to share your impress ...more "
The Separatists by Lis Wiehl
"This series just keeps getting better and better. I love Erica Sparks and all the drama that seems to follow her around. Great read full of excitement. *I received an advanced copy of this book.*"
The Separatists by Lis Wiehl
" Karen, Thank you so much for your positive review. I'm thrilled that you liked the book, as well as the others in the series, and I really appreciate ...more "
The Separatists by Lis Wiehl
"Loved this book! Another winner in the Newsmakers series. This is a very fast paced mystery that grabbed my attention from the first page. This begins with Erica pitching a new show concept to her station executives.

Once green lighted, her first..." Read more of this review »
The Separatists by Lis Wiehl
" Linda, Thank you so much for your positive review. I'm thrilled that you liked the book, as well as my earlier novels, and I really appreciate you tak ...more "
The Separatists by Lis Wiehl
" Lea, Thank you so much for your positive review. I'm thrilled that you liked the book and I really appreciate you taking the time to share your impres ...more "
More of Lis's books…
“The absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.”
Lis Wiehl, A Matter of Trust

“out exactly what happened.” Nic tried to hide her pride at the next bit of news. “I’ve been appointed the case agent.” She had lobbied hard for it, pointing out to John Drood, the special agent in charge, that Jim Fate had reached out to her and Allison just before he was killed.”
Lis Wiehl, Hand of Fate

“making him question why he’d given”
Lis Wiehl, Snapshot

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