"True Crime" Storytelling

Our guests are the father and son team of John and Denver Nicks, who join us to duscuss their newly published, co-written book, "Conviction: The Murder Trial That Powered Thurgood Marshall's Fight for Civil Rights." This book tells the true and shocking but little-remembered story of a triple murder that happened in 1939 near Hugo, Oklahoma. An African-American farm-hand named W.D. Lyons was wrongly accused of this crime, and his lawyer was one Thurgood Marshall, who was then a young counsel with the NAACP's newly created Legal Defense and Education Fund.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Jayne Anne Phillips, the acclaimed fiction writer whose previous books include "Black Tickets," "Machine Dreams," and "Lark and Termite." In her newest book, just out in paperback, Phillips both explores and re-imagines a real crime that occurred in 1931, in a West Virginia town not far from where she herself grew up. Phillips tells us of this novel -- called "Quiet Dell" -- on today's program.