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Willful Blindness: A Diligent Pursuit of Justice by James Ramsey

Willful Blindness: A Diligent Pursuit of Justice

by James Ramsey

416 pages
The case of Charles Goldblum, who was wrongfully convicted of murder.

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Category: True Crime
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About the Book
On Feb. 9, 1976, George Wilhelm was stabbed 23 times on the 8th floor rooftop of a parking garage in downtown Pittsburgh and thrown over the edge of the building.

Instead of falling to the ground, Wilhelm landed on a ledge one floor below. Although mortally wounded, he lived long enough to name his killer to the police officer who came to his aid. “Clarence,” he said. “Clarence Miller did this to me."

Taken into custody the following morning, Clarence Miller, a minor, courthouse factotum, quickly fingered Charles “Zeke” Goldblum as Wilhelm's killer.

A 26-year-old tax lawyer at a prominent accounting firm and part-time university instructor, a dutiful citizen with no criminal record, Goldblum was also a son of a prominent local Rabbi. After interviewing him at his office for an hour that afternoon, police detectives also arrested Goldblum.

With two suspects behind bars in less than 24 hours, the murder seemed an open and shut case. Or was it?

Over the ensuing months, homicide detectives developed a complex backstory for the murder, one they said also involved land fraud and arson. Based entirely on Miller's testimony, Goldblum was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life. The months later, Miller was also convicted of Wilhelm's killing and given the same sentence.

The problem is, Goldblum's conviction has since been called a “miscarriage of justice” both by the judge who presided over his trial and the assistant district attorney who prosecuted him.

Willful Blindness recounts the infamous murder and its subsequent prosecutions and convictions through the eyes of different observers.

In addition to detailed analysis and reports by Detective Jim Ramsey and the personal recollections of Goldblum, other chapters in the book include examinations by noted forensic pathologists, Dr. Cyril Wecht and Dr. Joshua Perper, both of whom played active roles in the original case.

Each observer circles through the basic elements of the case, emphasizing different aspects and drawing different deductions.

Yet, all reach the same conclusion. Goldblum was wrongfully convicted of murder, and he has already served far more time than justified for any crime he did commit.

The final chapter of Willful Blindness presents a unique archive: a selection of the numerous newspaper articles that covered the case. The “Public Record” chronicles the case's unfolding, as well as the evolution of public perception about those involved.

This multi-perspective, in-depth analysis provides something like a "parallax of proof."

Willful Blindness makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in true crime. Those who want to dig more deeply into this fascinating and disturbing true-crime story will find much more information and documentation at the website freezeke.com.

Willful Blindness: a Diligent Pursuit of Justice

 

 

About the Author
James Ramsey - After a career as a detective in the Pittsburgh Police narcotics squad, Ramsey became a private investigator. He has been working on the Goldblum case since 2005.

David Bear – A former editor at The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Bear is an author and producer/host of several public radio series.

 

 

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