“Valentine's Day” is the name of a chapter about a Chicago mob trial in a tremendously entertaining paperback, RULE 53: Capturing Hippies, Spies, Politicians, and Murderers in an American Courtroom. The author, Andy Austin, is a Chicago artist who sketches trial participants for the media because Rule 53 prohibits cameras in courtrooms. She's very, very funny in recounting the preening Chicago mobsters on trial for a long list of charges, from tax fraud to racketeering to murder. Austin began her career in 1969 when she was hired by ABC to cover the conspiracy trial of the Chicago 7; the defendants included Abbie Hoffman, Tom Hayden, and Bobby Seale. From the beginning, in this courtroom circus Andy displayed a talent not only for sketching but also for reporting the daily tumult. She has a special gift for describing the proceedings as simultaneously shocking and funny, outrageous and worthy of sympathy. "The stories I heard as I drew fascinated and educated me,” she writes. “I learned that the courthouse is the grand bazaar of American life."
Rule 53: Capturing Hippies, Spies, Politicians, and Murderers in an American Courtroom - Andy Austin
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Lake Claremont Press - April 1st, 2008