Sunday, September 21, 2008

Beyond Reasonable Doubt - the new novel by Dennis Gelbaum

Beyond Reasonable Doubt
Written by
Dennis Gelbaum

Beyond Reasonable Doubt - a dramatic , character driven story that will engage you - with more twists ands turns than a double helix.

The deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecule is the genetic blueprint for each cell and ultimately the blueprint that determines every characteristic of a living organism. In 1953 American biochemist James Watson and British biophysicist Francis Crick, described the structure of the DNA molecule as a double helix, somewhat like a spiral staircase with many individual steps. Their work was aided by X-ray diffraction pictures of the DNA molecule taken by British biophysicist Maurice Wilkins and British physical chemist Rosalind Franklin. In 1962 Crick, Watson, and Wilkins received the Nobel Prize for their pioneering work on the structure of the DNA molecule.

To get his hands on his family fortune, Jason Warren has to prove DNA evidence convicting his stepfather of his mother's murder was wrong. With the help of research scientist and DNA expert, Dr. Jennifer Neal and a team of doctors and graduate students from the USCOM North American Research Center at UC Berkeley, he sets out to challenge the International scientific community and the American judicial system.

Hal Warren was convicted of killing his wife, Ruth, solely on DNA extracted from hair samples and bodily fluids found at the crime scene. The prosecution convinced the jury that the DNA Profile matched and identified Hal Warren as the killer. There were no fingerprints found at the crime scene. There were no eyewitnesses to the crime. In fact, Hal Warren had an airtight alibi. He was someplace else when the crime was committed. But he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole. This illustrates just how strong DNA evidence can be. But what if the DNA results were wrong? What if the DNA samples actually belonged to someone else? What if Hal Warren did not commit the crime he was convicted of?

Jason asks us to think about this - without the presence of collaborative evidence, how can we trust DNA - especially if he can prove DNA is not only not as accurate as we have been led to believe, but that DNA in fact, might just be the fabrication of scientists and is based more on theory than fact? DNA Profiling has become big business. Think about all those we have found guilty solely on DNA evidence - think about all those we have set free solely on DNA evidence? Think about it.

But what is Jason Warren really up to? What has he done? What is he about to do? What's his motive in all this? Is he as innocent as he wants us to believe or is he manipulating everyone and everything around him? Is he that smart, that clever, that ruthless? Will Senator Thayer and USCOM be able to control the damage as Jason jeopardizes his run for the Presidency of the United States? Is this the story of a really bad person who wins it all at the end?

Jason hired me to tell his side of the story. But I had one condition to accepting the assignment, I wanted to tell the entire story, the true story and I wanted complete access to all of the players. Jason promised me there would be no restrictions on where I could go, who I could speak to and what I could write. Jason would make all of the arrangements and coordinate all the introductions. I brought in two experts, a retired FBI Profiler and a Psychiatrist, to help me through the process. They warned me about Jason. I could not tell this story without them.

The ocean water was seventy-eight degrees warm. The emerald color, the shade of green that is particularly light and bright, with a faint bluish cast was breathtaking. The water was crystal clear. A forty-seven foot Catalina Yacht is anchored about two hundred and fifty feet offshore. The Yacht, registered in Newport Beach, California was named 'The Double Helix'. A Bayliner Runabout, registered in Fort Lauderdale, named 'Reasonable Doubt', is on shore.

On the secluded, powdery soft beach, a couple with their young child are enjoying a beautiful day in Antigua, away from their home in Montserrat. The woman wearing a soft, white and lilac lace summer dress turns to her male companion and embraces him. He kisses her, gently and them more passionately.

The young girl snuggles up between the couple. She reaches for her daddy. He lifts her up and turns her around so her back is facing him. He wants her to say hi to her grandmother who is sitting in a chair on a porch about one hundred and fifty feet away. The young girl waves to her
grandma and blows her a big kiss. She giggles as her daddy places her back on the silky sand.

Grandma waves back to her granddaughter and smiles. She reaches for a glass of lemonade and brings the glass slowly to her lips. The man lifts up his daughter and turns her upside down, threatening to dunk her in the ocean where she will be eaten by the fish. Grandma yells at her son-in-law to stop playing with his daughter like that. The man yells back to Grandma, not to worry. He has everything under control. Daddy, mother and child sit down on the beach, facing the ocean. It is a perfect day.

I walk in on Stuart, apparently unexpected. It's been some time since we last spoke. As I enter his office, I pick up an envelope off the floor. It is from the Lawyer's Club of San Francisco. I place it on Stuart's desk. Stuart is sitting in his worn, dark brown leather chair. He had been
packing. Boxes were everywhere. I knew he was moving to his new office in the Civic Center Courthouse on McAllister Street. He was headed to Department 622 that had been vacant prior to his appointment. Stuart looked right at me but didn’t say a word. He motioned to me to sit down in one of the two chairs opposite him. I picked the one closest to the door. I removed the boxes and papers from the chair and sat.

The blinds are closed, blocking out the sunlight. He is listening to his IPod, with his eclectic mix of music. The sound coming from the BOSE Sounddock is truly fantastic. Stuart has the black one. I have the white one in my study at home. Stuart is trying to find just the right song to play.

He finally settles on Jimmy Buffet's 'Margaritaville'. He is holding a postcard in his right hand. He offers it to me but I ask him to read it out loud. He does, speaking loudly over the music, "Wish you were here." Stuart offers me the postcard again and this time I accept it. I read the writing on the postcard. It is signed by Jason, Valerie, Morgan and Grandma Jennifer.

Stuart hands me a sealed, white envelope. I knew what was inside. It was the results of the fingerprint analysis on Jennifer Neal. I don't bother to open the envelope. I looked at Stuart. He looked at me. I looked at my watch. I knew that this was probably the last time I would ever see Stuart.

Stuart's cell phone rings. I got up to leave. He asks me to wait for a few minutes while he answered the call. I knew it was time to go.

I had a plane to catch.

1 comment:

Billius said...

Mr. Gelbam, haven't heard from you in a far long time. Good to see you are stil in the field of entertainment. This "blog" is actual amzaining! I want to discuss things with you. You are headed for the bigtime and that's what I do as well. Go for the bigtime!

Your story of Dolphin Boy is prime time! Dolphin Boy is the stuff of draems. Together we can take this storie and make it a reality. It's good to have fond a trustable realibility partner in yo.

I have talked about Dolphin Boy to all my major Entertainment Contacts. They all know abot it. If you wnat to join me, they have offer to set up developments meetings for us at Importint Movie Studios. Just say the word an' we're in there!

Email me so we cen discuss furthir...

Your Friand,

"Men who can dream see their hearts become the wings of a dove made of more dreams." - Warren Buffet