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Homicide Special

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Here are six real-life cases for Law & Order to rip off next season. Although Corwin’s tale of a murdered Russian prostitute provides a rare glimpse into L.A.’s Russian Mafia, the most riveting and timely investigation involves Bonny Lee Bakley — the famously dead wife of Robert Blake. The former Los Angeles Times reporter offers a few unknown facts, including the detectives’ struggle to find physical evidence and their private frustration at the PR campaign of Blake’s attorney against the victim. (He also throws in an apology for becoming part of the case when the defense suggested that interviews conducted in his presence were tainted.) But while Homicide Special is packed with juicy details, Corwin’s cliche-riddled prose is so deadpan you’re tempted to draw chalk lines around his sentences.