Read Wicked Takes the Witness Stand: A Tale of Murder and Twisted Deceit in Northern Michigan by Mardi Jo Link Online


On a bitterly cold afternoon in December 1986, a Michigan State trooper found the frozen body of Jerry Tobias in the bed of his pickup truck. The 31-year-old oil field worker and small-time drug dealer was curled up on his side on the truck’s bare metal, pressed against the tailgate, clad only in jeans, a checkered shirt, and cowboy boots. Inside the cab of the truck was aOn a bitterly cold afternoon in December 1986, a Michigan State trooper found the frozen body of Jerry Tobias in the bed of his pickup truck. The 31-year-old oil field worker and small-time drug dealer was curled up on his side on the truck’s bare metal, pressed against the tailgate, clad only in jeans, a checkered shirt, and cowboy boots. Inside the cab of the truck was a fresh package of expensive steaks from a local butcher shop—the first lead in a case that would be quickly lost in a thicket of bungled forensics, shady prosecution, and a psychopathic star witness out for revenge.Award-winning author Mardi Link’s third book of Michigan true crime, Wicked Takes the Witness Stand, unravels this mysterious and still unsolved case that sucked state police and local officials into a morass of perjury and cover-up and ultimately led to the separate conviction and imprisonment of five innocent men. This unbelievable story will leave the reader shocked and aching for justice.  ...

Title : Wicked Takes the Witness Stand: A Tale of Murder and Twisted Deceit in Northern Michigan
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780472051694
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 448 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Wicked Takes the Witness Stand: A Tale of Murder and Twisted Deceit in Northern Michigan Reviews

  • Joanne
    2019-03-08 03:19

    This book was so disturbing that I had to occasionally put it down and find something else to think about! It is the true story of justice run amok in a small town in northern Michigan. When Jerry Tobias is found beaten and frozen in the bed of his pickup truck, there are no clues as to his assailant - actually it is not certain if he was murdered or froze to death! But did this stop a vindictive Prosecutor, Gaylord police, State Police, etc. from conducting an unfair and biased investigation? No way! Anchoring is a term used when the investigators decide who should be found guilty of a crime and make sure the evidence supports their charge. Prosecutor Norm Hayes, because of a personal grudge, decided that Laurie Moore should be held accountable, so he and his merry posse of incompetent detectives, police officers, assistant prosecutor, medical examiner, etc. made sure that Moore went to jail along with four other men who had no knowledge of the death and some did not even know Tobias or each other! How did these men end up in jail?One woman - a known drug user, sociopath, habitual liar, cheater - told the police what they wanted to hear. She was the sole witness! Time after time, several judges and subsequent prosecutors could have stopped the trials, but refused to. Enter 3 dedicated attorneys, who would not let these men spend their lives in prison for a crime (if it was a crime) they did not commit. (Cue Chariots of Fire, the theme from Rocky, and the Hallelujah Chorus) At a dire cost to their health and financial resources, they would not give up until justice was truly served. This is a fascinating, horrific, unbelievable story!On a personal note: I own a vacation home in Otsego County, Mi. By the end of this saga which spanned over 8 years, it had paid out over $6,000,000 for the trials and civil suit settlements. My tax dollars at work!!!!

  • Jim
    2019-03-12 05:34

    Sometimes truth is stranger and more wicked than fiction.Wicked Takes the Witness Stand tells the tale of a mysterious death in a small Michigan town in the mid 80s. The death is never really solved despite the murder prosecutions of 5 men.What we learn is about power and its abuse, about truth and its manipulation, about citizens who should be more critical of officials and about the heroic acts possible when a small group of lawyers dedicate themselves to pursuing truth at great personal and economic sacrifice.I picked up the book with low expectations and ended up with a 3 day reading obsession. Wicked Takes the Witness Stand is highly recommended to readers who enjoy courtroom drama and the pursuit of justice.It is a cautionary tale that reminds us that even dedicated public servants can make mistakes, that group-think is a significant enemy of justice and that we all have an interest in ensuring that law enforcement and the courts seek truth even when that means we won't have answers.Mardi Link's non-fiction account of justice in Northern Michigan is every bit as compelling as Anatomy of a Murder written more than a half century before.

  • Amy Smith
    2019-03-14 01:18

    Considering this murder and series of convictions happened in the town where I grew up and occurred when I was in high school, I found it intriguing to read. I knew a lot of the people or were friends with their kids. I never realized the depth of the lies and conspiracies and wrong-doings that occurred in my little town. It's really like a story that keeps you frustrated and wonder how all these small town people could let something so wrong happen and then just look the other way. I wouldn't be surprised if this ended up as a movie at some point. The book is primarily factual with a hint of subjectiveness from the writer, although I'd have to agree with her opinion. That woman (the key witness) was a total nut bag!

  • Anne S
    2019-03-10 22:14

    This was a great book. I saw Ms. Link when she was sharing her new book and thought that I would check it out. The book keeps you interested as it tells the story of a man who was found dead in his pickup truck in the middle of winter in Northern Michigan. What happens next is a travesty of justice when one person is convicted and then another four people are convicted of murder based on the sole testimony of a sick, vengeful woman! As I read, I got mad at the criminal justice system, the DA and state policemen who kept information from the defense and for those who knew that the witness was lying but wanted to see someone pay for the death of this man so they continued with the case.For anyone who likes reading true crime stories, this is one that I would heartily recommend.

  • Emily Wilmot
    2019-03-19 01:21

    I am so grateful that I was young enough to be protected from reading about the horrific events of this case while living in the city in which it happened. Rather, I've spent the last week reading this incredible story in shock, awe, and sheer disgust for the way this case was handled. Every citizen should read this book, especially those who have voted for some of the elected officials who played significant roles in it.

  • Jgfunk
    2019-03-23 22:39

    I originally picked up this book because it takes place in some of the towns I travel through on my way to my vacation place in Northern Michigan. I alternated between disbelief that something like this could happen and an anger at the destruction brought on by the prosecution and police behavior in this case. The power of one woman who was believable but lied just about everything was amazing.However to quote the author " The one small bit of redemption in this tragedy is that none were a match for three stubborn lawyers who knew a wrong when they saw one. With all its failings, that's what makes our justice system great. That three smart, hardworking men with right on their side can still trump manipulation, ego, and power. May it always be so."

  • Thilardiel
    2019-03-20 00:24

    A book detailing a miscarriage of justice in Gaylord, Michigan. Somehow, five innocent men go to prison for a murder that probably never happened despite zero physical evidence tying them to the death. How can that happen? Combine prejudice and assumptions against certain people in a small town, the inability to critically think about any evidence that comes contrary to confirmation bias, and a psychopathic "witness" willing to say or do anything for attention (and to remain on the payroll). This is not fine literature but it's very entertaining because this really happened and it was really awful. Also, the defense team are heroes, so there's that.

  • Bonie J. Miller
    2019-03-07 23:13

    IncredibleAmazing story about a true legal tradgedy. As a former journalist and now retired lawyer living within 30 miles of the site of this story, I appreciate the hard work and research that went into writing this saga of injustice and I am appalled at the conduct of the prosecutors, cops and judges who perpetrated this sham. And I am so proud of the three attorneys who never gave up.

  • Greg Jolley
    2019-03-08 03:24

    This is a brilliant work. A fine crafted and important story, made all the more amazing by Ms. Link's brave choice to take on a tale that doesn't have a clear solution (as if often found in the genre). Her voice and pacing are excellent.

  • Bonnie
    2019-03-24 23:29

    Behind the scenes story of the investigation of a death of Northern Michigan. The accounts of an eye-witness, along with the trials of those implicated due to the reports, should shock your sensibility to justice. COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!

  • Laura
    2019-03-23 05:30

    Great read, but incredibly frustrating. Makes me lose faith in our justice system.

  • Brenda Beaudoin
    2019-03-13 02:21

    Found it an interesting read as I was from the local area.

  • Joan
    2019-03-07 00:29

    Great book about the miscarriage of justice in a small town in Gaylord, Michigan. When Tobias is found dead in the back of his pick up truck, the law is determined to find the killer. They focus on the first man, Moore who seems guilty and throw out all the other clues. No clues that don't lead to Moore are investigated. Five men are tried and put in jail, loosing years of their life when the D.A. Norm Hayes and the State Police decide they are guilty. They don't provide the prosecution with many of the papers, investigations and clues the were needed to free the men. The people who supposed to protect the men, turn on them. This is a well researched, interesting book, but it is also chilling.

  • Robert
    2019-03-18 23:32

    I liked this book, but I was expecting more because to some extent it is a 'true' story. It is difficult to give all my thoughts without using 'spoilers'.A man is found dead in the bed of his pickup truck in December in northern Michigan. Five people are ultimately accused of taking part in his death (three are convicted by separate jury trials and two pled guilty of lesser charges). As the book unfolds, it is apparent that the prosecution had a poor case against the five. One big piece of evidence, perhaps the biggest, came from a nutty/crazy witness who seemed to makeup things as she needed or was told.Then at some point in my reading it struck me that the book was very biased for the defense (v-e-r-y). As I read through to the end, it was difficult not to notice the continuing bias of the author. Although there were over 200 pieces of evidence entered into the record against the defendants, hardly any of that evidence is discussed to any real degree in the book. Why did three juries find them guilty? Why did a judge (pg 395), after all the appeals, etc., continue to feel the defendants were guilty? Why did the various prosecutors (e.g., pg 403) involved in the case continue to feel they were guilty until the very end?I would like to think the author got it right and justice was finally served for the defendants. That is what I thought the book was going to be about . . . but I had a nagging feeling by the end that I had only heard one side to the story . . . i.e., the side that benefited the defense.Hope justice was served. If nothing else, this is an easy, interesting read about my neighborhood.

  • Gary Street
    2019-02-27 04:14

    This is a very sobering book. It is a non-fictional account of a legal system that has gone totally out of control. Several men are convicted of a murder they could not possibly have committed by a vindictive prosecuting attorney and an inept, but very biased State Police force. Their case is almost entirely based on the testimony in court by a woman that everyone knows is totally whacko. Yet the prosecution, and the judges let her testify and even defend her totally absurd statements The fact that all this happened within 45 minutes of where I live is not relevant. Unfortunately it could happen anywhere.I have read two other books by Mardi Link. She does a great job. While her books are generally located in Northern Michigan (they have to be located somewhere!), their message is ubiquitous. I look forward to reading another of her works.I am sure that this is a book I will remember forever. It reads like something from Kafka. Scary, sobering, and educational. A must read. The account is also about a team of very dedicated attorneys that would not be intimidated nor give in, and men who went to prison rather than "confess" to a crime they could not have committedThe book has led me to be more willing to look of the claims of the accused. They are not always guilty, despite the media, public opinion, law enforcement, and the position of the prosecutors. All of these agencies may be biased and very wrong in their judgment, with horrible consequences.

  • Jennica
    2019-03-05 23:30

    I cannot even imagine the amount of research that went into this book. There are so many twists and turns and so much detail. At times I had difficulty remembering who was who as so many people were involved. The cast of characters that the author included was very helpful in keeping them straight. I feel terrible about the injustice of this case and the innocent men that were charged and their lives ruined. It is also appalling seeing how much money was spent to put them away with no evidence and how much was spent housing a pathological liar. And not one other lead followed up on? It doesn't put much faith in the justice system.

  • Beth
    2019-03-02 23:33

    Once again Mardi Link writes an exceptional, well researched book. It was a very difficult story for me to read because this was the town where I was raised, I attended high school with some of the people and grew up admiring some of the key players. It reminds me that everyone has feet of clay and to be grateful for the three attorneys who worked so diligently to see that real justice ultimately prevailed.

  • Sharon
    2019-03-19 23:14

    I highly recommend this book to fans of the true crime genre. Mardi Link is a former crime reporter and does an excellent job of researching this crime and all the players. Her books are real page turners. I discovered this Michigan author by accident. She has also written two memoirs, Bootstrapper and The Drummond Girls.

  • Stephanie
    2019-02-24 04:39

    Very journalistic style, but that was actually refreshing for a true crime tale - especially one that needed to concisely convey so many varied facts. An honest retelling of how the system failed to bring justice to five men.

  • Marilyn
    2019-03-24 00:22

    As the other review said, truth is stranger than fiction, and Mardi Link does an excellent job of recreating the unbelievable story that played out over nine years in my hometown. How the accused finally were vindicated is one of the best nonfiction books I've read in a long time.

  • Micki Gee
    2019-03-03 21:16

    Once I got the many characters straight and the legal jargon down, I absolutely LOVED this book but the story pissed me off! It's very similar to the recent Netflix hit, Making a Murderer. Innocent people's lives ruined due to crazy people and botched investigations & prosecution.

  • Riva Wharton
    2019-03-09 23:16

    Great book. It's a true crime story that is unbelievable. Although I wanted to read it right through, I was so appalled by the behavior of the prosecutor, police and witnesses, I would put it down to catch my breath and regroup. Amazing story.

  • Marion Cornett
    2019-02-24 22:36

    Mardi Link is an investigative reporter with an eye for detail and a writer that knows how to weave a story with all of the facts. This book is excellent.

  • Terri
    2019-03-27 05:37

    Hard to believe this really occurred!!

  • Jean
    2019-03-04 23:22

    Well written book, but very hard to read at times because the situation for the accused individuals is so unbelievable.

  • Kate
    2019-03-07 03:32

    Excellent journalism, written in a good, readable way, about a complicated situation of wrongful conviction thanks to a mentally ill woman. Read it, if social justice interest you.

  • Mary Keroson
    2019-03-07 05:13


  • Heather Jordan
    2019-03-16 21:16

    This was an AMAZING book. I don't usually read non-fiction but this account of a Northern Michigan murder trial hooked me. I ended up reading it in a weekend because I couldn't put it down.

  • Ryan Kelly
    2019-03-20 00:23

    One of the best true stories I have read. All the more interesting to have it happen in Michigan. Looking forward to reading her other books.