Today's book and author interview hits rather close to home. Why? Because over the years I have produced documentaries on several individuals who were sentenced to Death Row and were exonerated by DNA Evidence. Dan Bright and Jon Thompson were two of those individuals. Thompson remained on Death Row for thirty-two years before his release and Bright for twelve. Their files were filled with erroneous errors. More recently, a very dear friend of mine is facing charges and awaits his trial. I believe he is 100 percent innocent. Those who know me, he's more than likely a friend of yours as well. I don't want to mention his name, because I absolutely will not have him tried and convicted in the media, and I don't want to assist in that.
This brings me to today's author, Lisa Babick, and her book "Guilt For the Guiltless: The Story of Steven Crea, A Government Target who was Wrongfully Convicted." As an investigative reporter, Babick followed Steven Crea's story and has now written a book on it. Please take the time to learn about the book and the author. Then, as a gift, Babick has offered a free download of the eBook and the audiobook.
Guilt For The Guiltless The Story Of Steven
Crea, A Government Target Who Was
Crea, A Government Target Who Was
By Lisa Babick
An in-depth look into the case of Steven L. Crea and how the Government wrongly won a conviction against an innocent man for a murder he didn't commit, participate in, or have any knowledge about.
Genre: Nonfiction – True Crime – Organized Crime
Published: June 14, 2020
WATCH THE TRAILER
Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
I've been a published journalist for the past 30 years, a writer my whole life. I was born in Los Angeles, California, but call Chicago my home, specifically the south suburban area. I have a Bachelors in Communications but got my start in journalism without a degree with the help of editors at various city newspapers who recognized I had something worthwhile to offer. I've written news and feature stories for the Chicago Tribune, Daily Southtown, The Star and The Times covering various beats, have published my own "zines" about music, written about television, and a myriad of other subjects. Currently, along with a colleague, I publish/write for two separate sites. One is about historical aspects of organized crime, and the other is about the justice system as it relates to Italian-Americans. I'm a big fan of Scooby Doo and Batman, and since I'm a Libra, hearing both sides of a story and seeking truth and balance is an ingrained trait.
What inspired you to author this book?
I conducted an interview with Dominick Crea, the son of the subject of the book, and I was intrigued by his father's case and decided to delve deeper. I was astounded and deeply disturbed at what I uncovered from just basic research into the case and decided to dive in. After learning all I did, I knew this was a story that needed to be told.
Where did you get the inspiration for your book's cover?
A litigation support firm named Justice Technology Professionals took great interest in the project as they were part of the defense team for Steven Crea. They worked with a graphic designer to have the illustration brought to life and truly capture the defendant being a government target.
Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?
Personally, my grandfather was the most significant influence because he always told me to follow my dreams no matter what anyone says or does to convince you otherwise. He was a strong and independent man who came from nothing but was able to make a life for his family despite all the obstacles he encountered in his life.
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
There weren't really any obstacles to get the book written, but the struggles were trying to understand how what happened in this case happened. Every aspect of my research was mind-blowing to me, particularly how the justice system is so out of whack.
Tell your readers about your book.
The book is called Guilt for the Guiltless: The Story of Steven Crea and the Murder of Michael Meldish and Other Tales. And that's what it is. It delves into the case of Steven Crea who was accused and eventually convicted of the murder of a man by the name of Michael Meldish as well as touches on some other accusations against Crea, one of which he was acquitted and another charge which was dropped by the Government before the trial. It truly is a case study on government corruption and how prosecutors and the FBI can use their "power" to basically frame a guy in court and convict him without any solid proof, manipulating the "evidence" and changing the story as they go along. How they use their "witnesses" to tell false stories and even use them to help "create" the story before an indictment even happens. How getting a case before the right judge can ensure the defendant doesn't get a fair and impartial trial. What happened here is really quite mindblowing... not only to Crea but to the other defendants in the case as well from the other three who were put on trial with him for Meldish's murder to some of the other defendants in the initial indictment.
And the corruption doesn't stop when the jury reads their verdict. Every day since the trial ended back in November, there's something new. Unfortunately for these men, it's the same judge and prosecutor who rule on different issues, and they still aren't given a fair shake on any issue that comes up. It's not only mind-blowing, but it's also scary as a freedom-loving individual that the Government can target someone and get away with what happened and is happening in this case. With the current dialogue on police corruption, this story is even more relevant.
Who is your target audience, and why?
My target audience is anyone who is concerned about their Constitutional rights as it relates to the justice system, who wants to read a true story about how justice isn't served for some people, and how you can't believe everything you read - that you might not be getting the whole story because sometimes you're being fed a certain narrative. You'd actually have to read the story of Steven Crea to believe it.
What do you consider your greatest success in life?
I lost my husband unexpectedly when my son was only five years old. So, my greatest success is raising my son to be fair, open-minded, and independent. He stands up for what's right and doesn't back down even if it puts him at odds with the majority. He's kind, conscientious, and patient - a lot more patient than I was at his age.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?
Well, I try to present a balanced and fair look at things. Most often in news stories about anything related to organized crime, you're only reading about one side. I delve deeper and try to show the complete story so readers can base their judgments on the whole picture not just one part.