Last Chance for Justice

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On the New York Post’s
“Books You Should Be Reading” List

Last Chance For Justice:
How Relentless Investigators Uncovered New Evidence Convicting
the Birmingham Church Bombers

Birmingham, Alabama, September 15, 1963—A bomb set outside an African American church explodes on a Sunday morning, killing four young girls … and changing the world. Thirty-seven years later, the FBI reopens the case, though the only person convicted won’t talk; key witnesses have died; and there is little hope of finding evidence on the last two suspects.

Last Chance for Justice is the story of that investigation, told from the perspective of police detective Ben Herren and FBI Special Agent Bill Fleming, whose initially chilly relationship evolves into a close partnership. For over a year they analyze in secret the thousands of documents in FBI files on the bombing and the Ku Klux Klan before conducting their first interview. That interview—with Klansman Bobby Frank Cherry—breaks open the case … but not in the way they expected. With tenacity, humor, luck, and dedication, they encounter the worst and best in human nature on their journey to find justice.

Thorne, a retired Birmingham Police Department precinct captain, spent countless hours interviewing Flemming and Herren to craft an authentic record of conspiracy and murder.  Facts from FBI summary reports, informant sources, internal memos, covert recordings and trial transcripts lend accuracy to Last Chance for Justice, along with quotes from suspects and an extensive bibliography.  Flemming and Herren worked diligently to recover forgotten evidence and identify new witnesses, bringing forth the evidence to charge and convict two criminal s and ultimately bring closure to one of the most recognized Civil Rights era cases in our nation’s history.

A comprehensive and fascinating reexamination of an unforgettable event on the Civil Rights timeline, Last Chance for Justice is a true crime narrative told by the heroes themselves.

You will learn:

  • How unlikely heroes stepped forward to break open the case

  • How secretly recorded tapes were discovered at the 11th hour

  • The untold inside stories of the investigation

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