Featured Interview With McCracken Poston Jr
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
My full name is McCracken King Poston Jr. I live in Ringgold, Georgia, where I also work. I am a criminal defense lawyer licensed in Georgia and Tennessee. I will also go to other jurisdictions on a case-by-case basis.
My first book, “Zenith Man: Death, Love, and Redemption in a Georgia Courtroom” (Citadel, Hardcover, February 2024), is about a murder case in which I was the defense lawyer.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I enjoyed reading as a student, but I didn’t start writing until the obsession set in to write this story. My publisher wants me to write more books, but I am thinking I may have to fictionalize the future ones.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I always enjoyed the stories of H.G. Wells and the poems of Robert Frost. and I like humor as well. But my first love was historical nonfiction.
Pete Earley, Jon Meacham, Jonathan Karl,
Tell us a little about your latest book?
“Zenith Man: Death, Love, and Redemption in a Georgia Courtroom” (Citadel, Hardcover, February 2024)
“Was this small-town TV repair man “a harmless eccentric or a bizarre killer” (Atlanta Journal Constitution). For the first time, Alvin Ridley’s own defense attorney reveals the inside story of his case and trial in an extraordinary tale of friendship and an idealistic young attorney’s quest to clear his client’s name—and, in the process, rebuild his own life.
In October 1997, the town of Ringgold in northwest Georgia was shaken by reports of a murder in its midst. A dead woman was found in Alvin Ridley’s house—and even more shockingly, she was the wife no one knew he had.
McCracken Poston had been a state representative before he lost his bid for U.S. Congress and returned to his law career. Alvin Ridley was a local character who once sold and serviced Zenith televisions. Though reclusive and an outsider, the “Zenith Man,” as Poston knew him, hardly seemed capable of murder.
Alvin was a difficult client, storing evidence in a cockroach-infested suitcase, unwilling to reveal key facts to his defender. Gradually, Poston pieced together the full story behind Virginia and Alvin’s curious marriage and her cause of death—which was completely overlooked by law enforcement. Calling on medical experts, testimony from Alvin himself, and a wealth of surprising evidence gleaned from Alvin’s junk-strewn house, Poston presented a groundbreaking defense that allowed Alvin to return to his peculiar lifestyle, a free man.
Years after his trial, Alvin was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, a revelation that sheds light on much of his lifelong personal battle—and shows how easily those who don’t fit societal norms can be castigated and misunderstood. Part true crime, part courtroom drama, and full of local color, Zenith Man is also the moving story of an unexpected friendship between two very different men that changed—and perhaps saved—the lives of both.”
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