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She’s so Cold
Murder, Accusations and the System that Devastated a Family
Donald E. Mcinnis

J & E Publications
June 9, 2019 / ISBN 1732322244
Nonfiction / True Crime

Reviewed by Nicole Merritt

This is a story that you have heard before, called injustice. There are many cases of the wrongly accused, convicted, and sentenced to life behind bars with no chance of parole. The innocent sit behind bars hoping beyond hope that someday they will enjoy freedom once again.

She’s So Cold is almost that story but not quite. It is the story of a twelve-year-old girl named Stephanie Crowe, murdered in a random act of madness, or was she. Murdered in her own home, in her own room, in her own bed, while her family slept only feet away and yet never heard the violence that took place just before midnight on January 12, 1998 in Escondido, California. Her discovery that morning by her grandmother as she woke to Stephanie’s alarm buzzing was more than just a murder of a young girl. It would set the wheels in motion for the devastation of three young boys, their families, and the system itself. When the Detectives arrived, her family was distraught, but as an Officer noted, her brother Michael quietly played a video game apart from his parents and appeared to be apathetic to what had taken place. With no sign of a break in, FBI training manual says the family are prime suspects. This set the wheels of injustice in motion for Michael and two of his friends, Joshua Treadway and Aaron Houser.

This is the story of presumed guilt and the fight to regain innocence lost.

Donald Mcinnis was the defense attorney for one of the accused boys, Aaron Houser. He has assembled countless pages of court documents, video-taped interrogations, testimonies, and transcripts into a true chronological story of the Crowe murder case.

What sets this story apart from the rest is that the victim and accused are all children. Mcinnis highlights the interrogation method, the Reid Technique, as being unfair, unethical, and so terrifying that it led to coerced false confessions. He hopes through the telling of this tragic story to propose new Children’s Miranda Rights and a Bill of Rights for children who are suspects in a crime. The unethical psychological and emotional manipulation of three young boys that coerced false confessions establishes groundbreaking need for change. If you are interested in true case studies of the wrongfully accused or an advocate for children’s rights, maybe even a newly appointed attorney, this is a must read. It changed the lives of fifteen people and it might even change yours.

Reviewed 2019