A true crime narrative about the first rabbi ever accused of murder.
On November 13, after forty hours of deliberations, 12 jurors told a judge in Camden, New Jersey, they were hopelessly deadlocked - and Rabbi Fred Neulander walked away from the courtroom, not quite guilty, but not quite free, either. Neulander's mistrial prolongs the climax in this case, which has been simmering since he returned home one night in November 1994 and found his wife dead on the living room floor.
But it doesn't change any of the particulars. This is still a book about the misuses of a pulpit, about the excesses of passion, about the self-delusions of power. It is still a book about a man who went into the rabbinate not because of any great passion for the pulpit, but as a savvy career move he made in his last year as an undergraduate. It's still a book about a man who used his temple as a hangout to meet women.
This is also a book about a woman - Neulander's wife - whose father turned to her just before escorting her down the aisle and said, "You know, honey, you can still back out of this." But she didn't and she ended up dead.