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Posted: Jul 14 2006, 01:18 PM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 3-July 06
Jury from outside Nashville to hear Perry March murder trial
By AILENE TORRES
A jury from outside of Nashville will be seated to hear the upcoming trial of Perry March on charges he murdered his wife and disposed of her body, a Davidson County Criminal Court judge ruled today.
But Judge Steven Dozier did not immediately decide from which county the jury would come from and even left the door open to the possibility of moving the entire trial to another jurisdiction.
The decision came in response to a motion filed by March's defense team seeking to change the venue for his third and final criminal trial. March, 45, was convicted earlier this year in separate Nashville trials stemming from his theft of money from an employer, and for a failed jailhouse plot to kill his missing wife's parents.
He is scheduled to go to trial in August on the murder case. March's wife, Janet, disappeared without a trace in 1996.
In requesting the change of venue, March's attorney, John Herbison argued that the potential jury pool was poisoned by the pervasive, extensive and inflammatory nature of the media coverage in Nashville. He suggested the case should be moved to Memphis, where two members of March's defense team have offices.
The judge agreed there had been extensive coverage, although he disagreed that it had been inflammatory. He said an impartial jury could be picked in Nashville but said he didn't want the venue issue to become the subject of a future appeal.
"I don't think it's worth being an issue," Dozier said. "Mr. March is entitled to a fair trial. I will grant the motion for change of venue."
Prosecutor Tom Thurman said the state did not have a position about what venue should be selected, but would prefer a more neutral location like Knoxville or Chattanooga.
For more, read tomorrow's Tennessean.
Posted: Jul 14 2006, 01:22 PM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 3-July 06
Janet Gail Levine March
Janet Gail Levine March
Above Images: Janet, circa 1996
Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Missing Since: August 15, 1996 from Nashville, Tennessee
Classification: Endangered Missing
Date Of Birth: February 20, 1963
Age: 33 years old
Height and Weight: 5'4, 104 pounds
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Brown hair, brown eyes. Janet's ears are pierced.
Details of Disappearance
Janet was last seen by her husband, former financial attorney Perry Avram March, on August 15, 1996 at their residence in Nashville, Tennessee. A photo of Perry is posted below this case summary. He claims they argued during the evening and Janet decided to take a twelve-day vacation. She packed three bags, her passport, and $5,000 cash, and left the home without telling Perry her intended destination. Janet has never been heard from again. She worked as an artist in the Nashville area in 1996; she illustrated children's books.
Perry called Janet's parents, Lawrence "Larry" and Carolyn Levine, at midnight and told them she had left. Photographs of the Levines are posted below this case summary. They believed she would call soon and were initially not concerned. When time passed and Janet did not contact anyone, Perry and the Levines searched for her and her car, checking airport parking garages and calling her friends and some hotels. They did not immediately report Janet's disappearance. Perry claims Janet's parents did not want him to report it because they thought it might cause trouble for Janet. The Levines say it was Perry who did not want to contact authorities. Perry and Lawrence eventually reported her disappearance to investigators together, two weeks after she was last seen.
Perry says Janet planned to return home within twelve days so she would not miss her son Samson's sixth birthday on August 27. However, the party celebrating Samson's birthday was planned for August 25, so it makes little sense that Janet would want to delay her return until two days afterwards. Investigators learned that Janet may have confronted Perry over a letter he allegedly wrote to a lover at the time in 1996. Authorities believe it is possible that Janet may have demanded a divorce on August 15 and an argument ensued. The day she disappeared, Janet asked Carolyn to accompany her on an appointment to see a divorce attorney the next day.
One of Janet's friends visited the March residence on August 15 and was told by their children's nanny that Janet was not home at the time. The witness reported seeing a large, rolled-up Oriental rug behind the nanny inside the home, blocking the doorway into Perry's study and Janet's art studio. Authorities believe the rug may have concealed Janet's remains. The rug disappeared from the residence shortly thereafter and has not been found. Perry denies that it ever existed.
Perry reported Janet's gray four-door 1996 Volvo 850 with Tennessee license plates numbered 844-CBD was missing the same day she vanished. The car was discovered abandoned at Brixworth Apartments in Nashville on September 7, several weeks after Janet disappeared. There was no sign of her at the scene but her personal affects, including her passport, were found inside the vehicle. A pair of her sandals were in front of the vehicle; they appeared to have been carefully placed there rather than simply dropped. Janet's credit cards have not been used since her disappearance.
Perry replaced the tires on Janet's car shortly after it was found. He claimed he did so because the tires were worn out, but the tire company says they were sound and did not need to be replaced. The tire company says when they asked why the replacement was necessary, Perry told them he wanted a different brand of tires on the car. The hard drive to Janet and Perry's personal computer vanished shortly after she did. Perry has denied having anything to do with the hard drive's disappearance and suggested his father or Lawrence removed it. Both men deny having done this. Perry said Janet had written him a list of things she wanted him to do before she returned from her vacation and the list was on the hard drive. Police wanted to examine the hard drive and the list, which they did not believe Janet actually wrote, but the hard drive vanished before they could retrieve it.
Perry specialized in tax law in 1996. One of his former clients was indicted for money laudering and racketeering before Janet disappeared. Another former client, Bill Hemrick, owned the Hooper Building in Nashville in 1996. The structure was under construction in August of that year. A witness came forward and told authorities that he saw Perry and Hemrick arguing in the city shortly after Janet was last seen. There is speculation that Perry assisted Hemrick in tax evasion and he blackmailed Hemrick into helping him dispose of Janet's body by burying her underneath the Hooper Building. This theory has never been proven and Hemrick has not been charged in connection with Janet's case. He moved to Louisiana and sold his property sometime in the late 1990s.
Perry moved the couple's two children, Samson "Sammy" and Tzipora, to Chicago, Illinois in September of 1996, one month after his wife vanished. Lawrence and Carolyn were granted visitation rights to the children and Perry moved the family to Ajijic, Mexico in 1999, before the children's grandparents could see them. He has been disbarred by the state of Tennessee and has also been charged with various infractions unrelated to Janet's case, including embezzlement and contempt of court. He is not licensed to practice law in Mexico, but operated a legal and financial center shortly after relocating to the country. Perry remarried a year after his arrival in Mexico and has had another child by his second wife, Carmen Rojas Solorio March, a Mexican citizen. In 2000, reporters for a Tennessee television station traveled to Mexico and interviewed Samson, who corroborated Perry's statement; he said that when he last saw his mother, she kissed him goodbye and drove away, taking luggage with her.
The Levines won a $133 million civil lawsuit against Perry for wrongful death in Janet's disappearance in the late 1990s. The judge ruled against him when Perry failed to appear in court to defend himself. The verdict was overturned on appeal, however. Lawrence and Carolyn tried to gain custody of Samson and Tzipora but were unsuccessful. They did win visitation rights, but Perry refused to let them see his children. Perry produced a letter supposedly written by his children which stated that they did not want to see their grandparents, but when a television reporter interviewed Samson, he stated that he loved his grandparents and would like to visit them. The Levines persuaded the Mexican government to help them and were able to take Samson and Tzipora to Tennessee. After only a few days, Perry's attorney forced Lawrence and Carolyn to return the children to their father's custody.
In 2004, Perry sent a photograph to the prosecutor's office in Nashville. The picture was from a film taken of spectators watching the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece; he claimed his wife was in the crowd. Janet's parents examined the photo, however, and said the woman was not their daughter and looked much younger than Janet would have been in 2004. Perry and his new wife, Carmen, continue to maintain that the woman in the picture is Janet and that she probably left of her own accord.
According to most theories, Perry, who is a martial arts expert, may have attacked Janet the night she vanished and caused her death. He has denied any involvement in his wife's disappearance and suggested that drugs may have been involved in her disappearance or that Janet was having an extramarital affair, but Janet's friends say she was not using drugs or seeing anyone at the time she vanished. A contractor who was supervising the renovation of the March home in 1996 told reporters in 2005 that Janet's demeanor abruptly changed in the days before her disappearance. He also stated that during the renovations it would have been very easy to conceal a corpse.
In December 2004, Perry was indicted for second-degree murder, evidence tampering and abuse of a corpse in connection with Janet's disappearance. He was also indicted for felony theft for allegedly stealing $23,000 from his father-in-law's law firm in an unrelated incident in 1999. He was not charged with the crimes until August 2005; the indictment remained a secret until then while authorities worked out the arrangements for Perry's deportation from Mexico. He could face a total of 39 years in prison if convicted of all the charges against him, including 15 to 25 years for the murder charge. At his bond hearing, a police officer stated that while Perry was being transported to Nashville, he offered to plead guilty to Janet's murder in exchange for a five- to seven-year prison term. Perry denies having ever made such an offer, however, and stated he does not believe Janet is in fact dead.
Prosecutors stated they believed Perry had help in disposing Janet's body. They named Paul Eichel, a former client of Perry's who later pleaded guilty to money laundering; Morris Clinard, an acquaintance of Eichel's who died in 2000; and Perry's own father, Arthur March, as possible accomplices. A photograph of Arthur is posted below this case summary. He was in Mexico at the time of Janet's disappearance. In late October 2005, Arthur and Perry were both charged with one count of solicitation to commit murder and two counts of conspiracy to commit murder. Arthur was not actually arrested until January 2006. Authorities stated the Marches tried to hire Russell Nathaniel Farris, a former cellmate of Perry's with an extensive criminal history, to kill Lawrence and Carolyn. A photograph of Farris is posted below this case summary. In February 2006, Arthur pleaded guilty to the solicitation charge and agreed to testify against his son at Perry's murder trial.
Arthur told police that Perry told him he had killed Janet with a wrench during an argument at their home. About four or five weeks later, Arthur and Perry took Janet's body to Bowling Green, Kentucky and Arthur disposed of it in some brush while Perry stayed behind at their hotel. Investigators escorted Arthur to Bowling Green to look for Janet's body, but he was unable to remember the precise location where he had dumped it. He stated Perry had originally buried Janet's remains himself, but he called upon his father to help him move the body after he found out the first burial spot was going to become a construction site.
Perry was convicted of the theft charge in April 2006. In June 2006, he was convicted of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and solicitation to commit first-degree murder in connection with the failed plot to kill Janet's parents. Perry's lawyers had used a defense of entrapment on those charges. He was tried for Janet's murder in August 2006. Prosecutors theorized that Janet had been murdered because she found out Perry was going to pay $24,000 to settle a sexual harassment claim filed against him. Perry's defense attorney argued there was no evidence to prove Janet was even deceased, let alone murdered by her husband. Perry was convicted of all counts against him. He was sentenced to a total of 56 years in prison for Janet's murder and the attempted murder-for-hire of Lawrence and Carolyn. Perry will not be eligible parole until 2040. In September 2006, Arthur was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the murder-for-hire plot. The plea agreement recommended he get a maximum of eighteen months, but the presiding judge disregarded this, citing the seriousness of Arthur's crimes. He died in prison in December 2006, at age 78. Eichel and Clinard have never been charged in Janet's disappearance.
In 2007, Perry filed a lawsuit against Barry Armistead, who is currently serving a prison sentence for an unrelated crime. He claimed Armistead had an affair with Janet and then killed her with an overdose of drugs on the night of her disappearance. Perry seeks compensation for emotional and economic damages resulting from Janet's wrongful death. This is not the first time Armistead's name has come up in the March investigation; at the beginning of the murder trial, Perry's attorney's interviewed Armistead about a letter they believed he had written, which confessed to Janet's murder. Armistead denied writing the letter and the matter was not brought up again until Perry's lawsuit, months later.
Janet was officially declared dead in 2000. Lawrence and Carolyn have been appointed to administer her estate, worth an estimated $500,000. Samson and Tzipora are living with them, although Perry's brother has been fighting for custody of them. Janet's remains have never been found, but foul play is suspected in her disappearance due to the circumstances involved.
Above Left: Perry March;
Above Center: Arthur March;
Above Right: Russell Nathaniel Farris;
Below Left: Lawrence Levine;
Below Right: Carolyn Levine
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Metro Nashville Police Department
Metro Nashville Police Department
The Nashville Art Museum
Crime News 2000
The Child Seek Network
WSMV Nashville Channel 4
WTYF Nashville, TN
The Nashville City Paper
The State of Tennessee vs. Perry March
Updated 16 times since October 12, 2004.
Last updated March 8, 2007; details of disappearances updated.
Charley Project Home
It has been nine years since Janet Levine March disappeared from her Forest Hills home. Here are important dates and major developments from the police investigation and various court battles:
Aug. 15: Janet March disappears from her Forest Hills home she shares with her husband and two young children. Perry March tells relatives he and his wife were having marital problems, that she packed several bags and left home because she wanted a vacation from him and the children.
Aug. 29: Perry March calls police to report his wife missing.
Sept. 7: Residents at Brixworth Apartments on Harding Pike find Janet March's car in their parking lot.
Sept. 12: Police announce they are treating the Janet March case as a homicide after searching her car. Her purse and personal belongings were still in the car when it was found.
Sept. 17: Metro police obtain a search warrant for the March's No. 3 Blackberry Road home in Forest Hills, surrounding property, Perry March's law office and an apartment he rented.
Police find that the hard drive from Perry March's computer has been ripped out and label him a suspect in the "disappearance and/or homicide."
Janet March's parents, Lawrence and Carolyn Levine, obtain an emergency court order barring Perry March from taking his two children, Samson and Tzipora, out of Tennessee. March already had sent them to Chicago with relatives.
Sept. 24: An Army helicopter with a heat-sensitive searching device scans for any signs of Janet March's body. The search focuses on the March home in Forest Hills, the terrain around Radnor Lake and an area in an adjoining county. It turns up nothing.
Sept. 26: The Levines ask Nashville Juvenile Court Judge Andy Shookhoff to order Perry March to let them visit the children every weekend beginning Oct. 4, but Perry March had joined his two children in Chicago, his hometown.
Oct. 15: In a videotaped court deposition, Perry March refuses to answer questions about his wife's disappearance, his financial affairs and his mental health.
Dec. 11: An Illinois judge orders Perry March to give the Levines regular visits with their grandchildren. He also appoints a Chicago attorney to represent the interests of the children. The judge rules that the Levines can visit the kids two hours that night, but Perry March is not home when the Levines arrive. Perry March's brother, Ron March, says Perry has taken the children out of state.
Jan. 16: Metro detective David Miller is replaced as the lead investigator on the Janet March case after an article appears in the Nashville Scene. The article purported to lay out a police theory that March had killed his wife in a fit of anger on Aug. 15 and disposed of her body, "most likely in a dumpster."
Feb. 26: Mark Levine, Janet's brother, appears before a state legislative committee studying ways to revamp child custody laws. He proposes a bill that would help grandparents get visitation regardless of the wishes of the parents.
March 19: A judge rejects Perry March's effort to block the sale of the Forest Hills house and approves a contract for $726,000 to sell the house to retired attorney Roger Schecter and his wife, Carina.
July 15: Davidson County Probate Judge Frank Clement Jr. says Perry March has shown a "troubling and consistent pattern of contemptuous conduct," which has made it harder to resolve the dispute with his wife's parents over Janet March's property.
May 1999: Perry March moves to Ajijic in the Mexican state of Jalisco, taking his two children with him. The town is about 30 miles from Mexico's second-largest city, Guadalajara. March's father, Arthur March, a retired pharmacist, has had a retirement home in the lakeside town for several years.
May 28: The Tennessee Supreme Court suspends Perry March's license to practice law.
Jan. 14: A judge in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Janet March's parents rules that Janet March is dead and that Perry March was responsible for her death. The judge based his decision on allegations about the Marches' troubled marriage and on Perry March's repeated failure to return from his new home in Mexico for questioning in the lawsuit.
March: Perry March marries Carmen Rojas, a Mexican citizen.
March 27: A Probate Court jury orders Perry March to pay $113.5 million in damages to the Levines in their wrongful death lawsuit.
June: The Levines use a visitation order from an Illinois judge to take Samson and Tzipora from Mexico and bring them back to Nashville.
April 21: The Levines return the children to Perry March after a federal judge orders them to do so.
January: The U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear an appeal by the Levines of a federal judge's decision to send their grandchildren back to Mexico.
March 17: The state Court of Appeals reverses the wrongful death verdict against Perry March and throws out the $113.5 million judgment to the Levines.
March 29: Samuel Chavez, who worked with Perry March in Ajijic, Mexico, gives a Metro detective the laptop computer hard drive that he said March used for years for business matters.
May: Davidson County Circuit Judge Randy Kennedy rules that Janet March is legally dead. Two months later, the judge puts the Levines in control of Janet March's estate.
December: Davidson County grand jury indicts Perry March on charges of second-degree murder, abusing a corpse and theft.
Janet Levine March
Posted: Jul 14 2006, 01:23 PM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 3-July 06
March, father charged with plot to kill in-laws
They tried to hire Metro Jail inmate as hit man, authorities say
By SHEILA BURKE
An east Nashville man with an extensive criminal history is the linchpin in the latest charges against former Nashville lawyer Perry March, who now stands accused of plotting to kill his former in-laws.
Perry March and his father, Arthur, have been indicted on charges that they tried to hire Russell Nathaniel Farris, also known as Bobby Givings, to kill Lawrence and Carolyn Levine.
March is accused of killing the Nashville couple's daughter, his wife, Janet Levine March, who disappeared in August 1996. Her body has never been found.
He has been jailed since August when he was deported from Mexico, where he had been living with his two children and new wife for the past six years.
While in the Metro Jail, authorities said, March "provided written information to Russell Farris that would assist him in committing the murders of the Levines."
"His father, Arthur March, agreed to pick up Mr. Farris from the Guadalajara, Mexico, airport and to provide him with housing and money after the murders were committed," Davidson County District Attorney General Torry Johnson said at a news conference yesterday.
"Finally, on (Thursday), after receiving a phone call from Russell Farris indicating that the murder of the Levines had actually occurred, Arthur March went to the airport in Guadalajara, Mexico, to pick up Mr. Farris," he said.
A Davidson County grand jury yesterday charged father and son with one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and two counts of solicitation to commit first-degree murder.
Arthur March, 77, still lives in Ajijic, Mexico, about an hour from Guadalajara.
Local prosecutors said they encouraged the elder March to surrender voluntarily.
"If Mr. March fails to do so, we will undertake to have him arrested and extradited back to the United States to face trial," Johnson said.
Reached yesterday in Mexico, Arthur March denied knowing anything about the plot. "I don't know anybody by that name," he said of Farris. "I don't know. I have no idea what you are talking about.
"I'm in Mexico and I haven't been out of Mexico in several years and what they're talking about I don't know. My response is, talk to my lawyer, no comment."
Nashville attorney Dan Alexander, who represents Arthur March, said he would review the facts of the indictment and consult with his client. "We'll address it head-on," he said. "I'm going to make contact with Mr. March, gather as much information as I can, have a talk with him and maybe contact the prosecutor."
He would not say whether Arthur March would surrender.
Perry March was booked yesterday on the new charges and is expected to appear in court for an arraignment in the coming weeks.
Lawrence and Carolyn Levine declined to comment yesterday.
Perry March and his father are accused of soliciting Farris to kill the Levines during September and October of this year.
The Levines and the March family have had a bitter history full of legal battles and child-custody fights since shortly after Janet March's disappearance. The Levines have custody of Perry March's two children, Samson, 15, and Tzipora, 11, but their father is appealing the decision to place the pair with the grandparents.
The link that prosecutors say exists between Farris, 28, and Perry March could have begun in the Metro Jail, where both spent several weeks together in maximum security.
Prosecutors declined to say where Farris was yesterday, except that he was "safe."
But last night, an official with the Williamson County Sheriff's Department confirmed that Farris was being held in protective custody at the Williamson County Jail.
"We're holding him for Metro," said Williamson County Sheriff's Department Capt. Mike Dobbins.
The indictment offers no details about the written instructions that Perry March is accused of giving to Farris, or whether they were given at the Metro Jail.
Farris, of the 900 block of Russell Street, was booked into the Metro Jail on April 23, 2005, on several charges including three counts of attempted murder. He was released from jail on bail Oct. 7, Davidson County Sheriff's Office spokesman Rick Gentry said. Police records show he has been arrested in Metro dozens of times for a variety of crimes ranging from thefts to possession of drug paraphernalia, evading arrest, and assault.
Most recently, Farris has three open cases in Davidson County Criminal Court unrelated to his alleged involvement with Perry March. He is accused of shooting two people, robbing an Inglewood market and robbing a man at gunpoint in a home business.
Perry March's lawyer, John Herbison, described the latest allegations against his client as "bizarre."
Posted: Aug 29 2006, 04:15 PM
Member No.: 2
Joined: 3-July 06
Description: Female/White, 5'4", 104 lbs., brown hair, brown eyes
Date of Birth: February 20, 1963
Drivers License #: Tennessee 53097502
Janet March has been missing since August 15, 1996, and foul play is suspected. The last person reportedly seeing her is her husband Perry March. There has been no contact from Janet March to her relatives or family including her children. Janet March's vehicle was also reported as missing but was located in Nashville, TN on September 7, 1996. The vehicle, a 1996 gray Volvo 850 4-door, license # 844-CBD was located at 131 Brixworth Lane, The Brixworth Apartments.
The family of Janet March is offering a reward of $50,000.
There is also a Crime Stoppers reward of $1000.
If you have information about this individual, please contact us at (615) 862-8600
You can also call the Nashville Police Department's Crime Stoppers Division at (615) 74-CRIME
Posted: Jan 4 2007, 06:35 PM
Member No.: 2
Joined: 3-July 06
March case becoming a book; is movie next?
Local writers strive to give tale proper sensitivity, Nashville flavor
By JONATHAN MARX
The disappearance and murder of Janet Levine March captured Nashville's attention like no crime since the still unsolved 1975 murder of 9-year-old Marcia Trimble.
For Michael Glasgow and Phyllis Gobbell, the March case had all the makings of a book. The two Nashvillians have penned a true-crime account of the case, An Unfinished Canvas: A Story of Love, Family and Murder, to be published as a mass market paperback this fall by Berkley Books, a division of Penguin-Putnam. And they're exploring possibilities for a film adaptation.
March's story is captivating on a number of levels, and chilling in its details, beginning with the Nashville mother's unexplained disappearance in August 1996. As events unfolded, police zeroed in on her husband, Perry, as a murder suspect.
Eventually, he was extradited from his new home in Mexico and convicted in 2006 after his father, Arthur, testified that Perry admitted to the murder.
"This story has an almost Shakespearean complexity to it," Glasgow observes. "Family was very important, and not just from the standpoint of Janet's parents, Lawrence and Carolyn Levine, but also from Perry March's standpoint. You had a father, Arthur March, who did what he felt he needed to do for his son, and you had a brother and a sister who stood by Perry for years and years."
As many Nashvillians recently learned, the story has taken on an added wrinkle with the Dec. 21 death of Arthur March, who was in prison in Forth Worth, Texas.
Idea emerged over a year ago
An Unfinished Canvas had its beginnings in a writers' group to which both Glasgow and Gobbell belonged. It was upon the suggestion of a fellow group member, Doug Jones, that the two authors decided to try their hand at writing a full-length book about the Janet March case.
"Doug thought there was a story there," Glasgow explains, "but he didn't have time to work on it, so he asked us if we'd be interested in thinking about it. We'd followed the story like everybody else, so we decided to give it a shot."
That was a little over a year ago. In late December 2005, Glasgow and Gobbell put together a book proposal and sent it to several literary agents before settling on Los Angeles-based Sharlene Martin.
"I saw this as a film, and Sharlene had some background in the film industry," Glasgow says. "Phyllis and I worked diligently on a very long and detailed proposal. We sent it to her, and we heard back from her the next day. As it turns out, she received it about a week before CBS aired one of its many installments about the March case on 48 Hours Mystery."
The CBS news magazine will focus yet again on the March case in a broadcast scheduled for Saturday.
After Martin agreed to take on Glasgow and Gobbell's project, she began shopping the book around to various publishers. Initial response was strong, except for one thing, Glasgow explains.
"We heard from five or six publishers who expressed some interest before the trial, but their legal departments had advised them that until the trial was over, they should wait."
When the case finally reached its resolution with the sentencing of Perry and Arthur March in September 2006, Martin again circulated the manuscript, and several publishers again expressed interest. The agent held an auction, and "Berkley was the one we decided to go with," Glasgow says.
"They're a major publishing company, and our editor, Samantha Mandor, has an excellent track record in true crime," he says.
At that point, the two authors had to buckle down and start writing. Berkley set a Dec. 15 deadline, giving them three months to turn in a finished manuscript.
"It's been a lot of work," says Glasgow, who holds a law degree and works in real estate investment. "We had to squeeze this in, but it was a priority.
"Back in September, three months seemed like a long time out, but when we got to mid-November, early December, it seemed awfully tight. The manuscript was over 400 pages, so it was quite an endeavor."
Few involved in case could talk about it
If the Janet March story seems perfectly suited to a book or film, the question remains how Nashvillians will react to An Unfinished Canvas. There are those who, like Glasgow and Gobbell, followed the case with rapt attention, while others may consider the idea of turning a real-life tragedy into a book distasteful or even exploitative.
As far as the authors are concerned, they felt they could handle the subject with care and sensitivity.
"We talked about the fact that this story was going to be written, so if someone was going to write it, it might as well be us," Gobbell says.
"First of all, we've lived in Nashville. We're not coming in from outside and just trying to get a peek at the court files and going back and writing a book. We've been here throughout the 10 years (since Janet's disappearance), we've followed the events and the gossip, and I think we have a sense of the case and how it has played in the community."
Through their colleague Doug Jones, the authors had the chance to make the acquaintance of cold case detectives Pat Postiglione and Bill Pridemore, who took over the investigation in 2002.
"The judge put a gag order on all the parties and all the attorneys involved in the case," Glasgow says, "so we weren't able to talk to the March family. But Postiglione and Pridemore are the ones who went to pick up Perry in Los Angeles when he came back from Mexico, and they're the ones who went to Houston to pick up Arthur March.
"They probably know more about the case than anybody, except possibly Deputy District Attorney General Tom Thurman, who tried it. We met numerous, numerous times with them, and of course we did our own research through the court files and public records. We went through volumes and volumes of stuff."
Glasgow points out that he and Gobbell labored to provide a context for the March case, exploring in depth the ways it played out in the life of the city.
"There's a lot of Nashville in the book," he says. "There are a lot of people discussed who aren't related to the case, just to give the audience a sense of what Nashville is."
Part of that context involves discussing the 1975 murder of Green Hills schoolgirl Marcia Trimble.
"That case haunted the city for a long time," Glasgow says. "So I had a lot of interest in the fact that Nashville got the reputation that it couldn't solve the real big cases. (But) when we got to know the cold case detectives, we learned of all the other cases that they had solved.
"There's a lot of discussion in the book about the inner dynamics of the investigation that the public has probably never heard before. Things were not always rosy in the police department.
"To be honest, we could have written a 600-page book. We had a hard time cutting things, and the book still may be really long compared to what Berkley had in mind."
For now, the authors are content to wait and hear back from their editor, while Martin works with the New York/ L.A./Nashville-based Agency for the Performing Arts to explore the possibility of a film deal.
When asked whether they have any other projects in the works, the authors let out a collective sigh.
"I think we're just reeling from having done so much this fall," Gobbell says.
Adds Glasgow, "We've done an insane amount of work in three months. This involved a lot of midnight oil."
Posted: Feb 12 2007, 01:44 PM
Member No.: 16
Joined: 13-July 06
Posted: Nov 24 2008, 10:01 PM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 3-July 06
Perry March Maintains Innocence, Hopes To Go Free
Posted: Nov 17, 2008 07:29 PM EST
Video Gallery <1>
Perry March Maintains Innocence, Hopes To Go Free
Arthur Wayne March
Metro detective Pat Postiglione
MOUNTAIN CITY, Tenn. - Perry March is a former Nashville attorney who was convicted of killing his wife.
Her body has never been found. The case was one of the most notorious in Nashville history.
In 2006, he was found guilty and sentenced to 56 years in prison for killing his 33-year-old wife, Janet March in 1996. He was also convicted of plotting to kill her parents.
"You' were in trial. You were convicted. Do you now admit killing your wife?" asked NewsChannel 5 reporter Nick Beres.
"No, because I didn't. Just because you repeat a lie over and over and over again doesn't make it true," March said.
"It was obvious very fairly early on that I was going to be convicted," he said.
March always denied killing his wife. He is serving his sentence at Northeast Correctional Complex in Mountain City. When asked if after the trial and conviction, is he delusional, March said, "I know the fact that I had nothing to do with her demise or disappearance. And I'm at a loss just like anyone else."
But prosecutors convinced a jury he murdered the mother of his two children.
"Do you think it's time to tell where Janet's body is?" Beres said.
"I would be the first to jump at the opportunity if I knew," March said.
Circumstantial evidence presented at trial built a strong case against him. Metro detective Pat Postiglione testified that the former attorney approached him on the plane after his arrest in Mexico.
"He wanted me to get in touch with the district attorney that weekend because he wanted to plead guilty to the murder of Janet March," Postiglione said.
"The conversations I purportedly had with Pat Postiglione on the airplane are just Pat claiming that I had those conversations with him," March said.
March also was caught on audiotape trying to hire fellow inmate Russell Farris to murder his wife's parents Lawrence and Carolyn Levine.
There were dozens of incriminating taped conversations.
"It's something I can't explain here on camera to you," he said.
About his father, March said, "I just feel horrible about what happened to my father."
Arthur March was arrested after his son asked him to help in the plot to kill the Levines. Arthur cut a deal and testified at trial that Perry admitted to him that he had hit Janet in the head with a wrench during an argument killing her.
Arthur March later died in prison.
When asked how he felt about what happened to his father, he said, "Mortified. I'll never lose my love for him or feel sad feeling about what happened to him," he said.
He is focused on his appeal. He also talked about his relationship with his children and why he thinks he'll get a new trial and someday walk out of prison a free man.
The second part of NewsChannel 5's exclusive interview with Perry March airs at 6 p.m. Tuesday.