Mount Union College's Dr. Jack DeSario Co-Authors Book on Sheppard Murder Trial

April 22, 2010

Dr. Jack DeSario, professor of political science, has recently released a book he co-authored with Cuyahoga County Prosecutor William Mason, "Dr. Sam Sheppard on Trial: The Prosecutors and the Marilyn Sheppard Murder (Kent State University Press, 2003)."

The idea came about through DeSario's interaction with Mason, who had taken on the case of Sheppard vs. Ohio. DeSario had previously run Mason's election campaign when he ran for Prosecutor in 1999. DeSario remembers that Mason was getting a lot of publicity because of his role in the trial and agreed to help him with public relations.

The trial took about three months. He then invited Mason to speak about his experience in a presentation at Mount Union College. People came from all over Ohio to hear him speak. "When I saw the reaction to his presentation, realized that people were interested in the details of the case. Bill and I talked and decided to write a book about it," DeSario said.

The research process was very fulfilling. DeSario had the chance to interact with prosecutors who worked on both of the Sheppard trials in 1954 and 1966. He met with acquaintances and family members of the Sheppard's. He also traveled to the Justice Center in Cleveland and went to what the attorneys referred to as the "bunker," in the basement where he looked through files.

There was extensive information about anyone who had anything to do with the case, evidence boxes and autopsy reports. "It was interesting to see original evidence and photos as well as experts applying new science to the trial like enhanced imagery analysis and DNA testing. It was just an amazing experience."

Since the book's release in June, DeSario and Mason have appeared on Channel 8 and in the Canton Repository. They are scheduled to appear on Channel 5, in the Plain Dealer and the Akron Beacon Journal and will be having several book signings in the area.

One of DeSario's most memorable experiences was receiving a phone call from Jane Reese, Marilyn Sheppard's 95-year old mother. "She told me that she was glad that I wrote it. I got goose bumps. I thought it was neat that she appreciated my work."

In the upcoming semester, DeSario will be using the book in his Introduction to Law course. "The book will be very useful in class because it breaks down the different areas of a trial like opening statements, closing statements, the prosecutor's role and several other issues," he said. "It gives people a chance to read the book in an academic setting."

In the future, DeSario plans to complete articles on constitutional law and environmental law. He also plans to write a nonfiction novel to be centered on a courtroom drama.

During Mount Union College's Homecoming on Saturday, October 4, 2003, DeSario will be having a book signing from 10 a.m. to noon in the Mount Union Bookstore.

The schedule for other book signings is as follows:
Saturday, September 20, 2 p.m. at Westlake Borders
Monday, September 22, 7 p.m. at North Canton Public Library - presentation and discussion
Friday, September 26, 12 p.m. at Rodman Public Library in Alliance - presentation and discussion
Saturday, September 27, 2 p.m. at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Shaker Heights
Saturday, October 4, 1 p.m. at Canton Borders
Saturday, October 11 at Watermark in Cleveland - presentation
Saturday, November 1, 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. - appearance at the Buckeye Book Fair in Wooster
Saturday, November 22, 1 p.m. at Waldenbooks store in Belden Village Mall

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