It was a brisk April morning in 1990 when a woman walking her dog stopped cold in her tracks. She reeled back from something strange and disturbing blocking the drainage tile: a human skull. Forensic examination showed that it was the remains of Joan Webster, the 25-year-old Harvard graduate student whose disappearance had rattled the community and stumped investigators for the past eight and a half years. The prosecutors had a suspect, Leonard Paradiso, who was tried and convicted for the murder of another local woman. The only similarity between the entangled crimes was that both victims had long dark hair. Assistant District Attorney Tim Burke was obsessed with proving Paradiso guilty of both murders. However, between the lack of evidence and ever-changing stories, the circumstances of Joan Webster’s death remains a mystery to this day.
Hope is not lost as Joan’s sister-in-law, Eve Carson, continues to fight for justice. Simple, Safe & Secret divulges the diabolical details and dysfunctional system that has denied and obstructed justice in solving Joan Webster’s murder case. The messy truth of the botched investigation and a wrongful conviction may be darker than the story of Joan’s murder itself. SIMPLE, SAFE & SECRET: The 1981 Murder of Joan L. Webster-Eve Carson
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