Saturday, August 08, 2020
No One Is Perfect: The True Story Of Candace Mossler And America's Strangest Murder Trial by Ron Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
When I first started reading this book, I was completely lost. Each chapter seemed to be about different people and different families, with no real clear connection. Upon further reading, it seemed like they were somehow connected, but the connection wasn't clear, and some of the people, like the main character's mother or Jacques' relatives from the old country really had no bearing on the story at all. The pre-story details almost made me stop reading.
However, I didn't stop, and it was a very interesting story. True story. Candance Mosler, a platinum blonde bombshell from Georgia, marries the much older, very wealthy Jacques (Jack) Mosler. Jack was a self-made man who started as a mechanic and moved up the auto world. He made it big in the auto financing and banking industries. Candace, who was a pathological liar, would later claim she had a modeling agency, a modeling career, and a number of other businesses. One thing she actually did have was good business sense, because when she took over as chairman of some of Mosler's businesses, they continued to thrive. But "Candy" never fit in with the River Oaks Society Crowd even though she donated to many charities.
There were two problems with Candy, other than being a golddigger. One was her lust for fame, or even infamy. The second was her relationship with her nephew Melvin Lane Powers (her sister's son). He even lived with them in the mansion in River Oaks, Houston, before Jacques finally had him evicted. But the affair didn't stop. And not much later, Jacques ends up dead in his apartment in Key Biscayne where he lives when he is in Florida for business. Candace and Mel are arrested in Houston and extradited to Florida for the trial. They would be tried at the same time.
I won't ruin any of the juicy details for you, and there are plenty of them! Ron Smith researched, not only the trial, but every aspect of the lives of the major players in the story including Powers' attorney Percy Foreman, the man who defended James Earl Ray against charges of shooting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The reason I was drawn to this story is due to all of the ties to Houston where I live. The couple moved to Houston in 1950 and took up residence in a mansion in River Oaks which to this day is still full of palatial homes and upscale boutiques and eateries. I loved coming across names I knew such as Roy Hofheinz (former Mayor, Judge, and State Representative), John Connally (former Texas Governor and later US Secretary of the Navy), Marvin Zindler (former newscaster - also famous from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas - he broke that story), Price Daniel (Texas Attorney General, State Senator, and Texas Governor twice), and even Chuck Berry who was a guest at the Mossler home from time to time. I found all of the ties to my hometown fascinating!
If you like true crime, especially a salacious trial, you'll probably like this book.
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