Friday, September 5, 2008

Blog-Jacking: The NYTimes

Cape Cod Murder Case Adds Another Chapter
By Corey Kilgannon
Originally published: August 28, 2008

TRURO, Mass. — Peter Manso has always courted controversy to promote his books, including biographies on Norman Mailer and Marlon Brando and a provocative look at Provincetown, on the tip of Cape Cod.

And there is no lack of controversy surrounding the one he is writing for Simon & Schuster about the high-profile murder of Christa Worthington, a fashion writer who in 2002 was raped and murdered here, just south of Provincetown.

The book, Mr. Manso keeps promising, will be a “bombshell” exposing a corrupt and inept justice system riddled with cronyism and corruption. He has been feeding tabloidy morsels to the press and trashing local law enforcement officials by name, saying they run this exclusive seaside town like “a suburb of redneck Mississippi.”

But Mr. Manso has now run afoul of those same law enforcement officials. Last week a Barnstable County grand jury indicted him on 12 charges, including felony counts, the most serious of which — possession of an assault weapon — carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

The charges stem from a search last December of Mr. Manso’s Truro house by the police. He was initially charged in local district court, but the case was ratcheted up and transferred to Superior Court.

“When’s the last time you heard about someone facing 10 years in prison for not renewing a gun permit?” asked Mr. Manso, who contends he was “overcharged and selectively prosecuted by the very D.A. who is the focus of my book.”

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