Labriola, Jerry

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Labriola, Jerry

PERSONAL:

Born in CT; married. Education: Received medical degree from Thomas Jefferson University, Jefferson Medical College, 1957. Politics: Republican.

ADDRESSES:

E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Physician, politician, and author. Practiced medicine for thirty-five years; Waterbury Hospital, Waterbury, CT, former chief of staff; University of Connecticut Medical School, assistant professor. Elected Republican Connecticut state senator, 1994; ran for governor of Connecticut and for U.S. Senate. Lecturer for the Cunard Cruise Line. Military service: U.S. Navy.

MEMBER:

Goshen Writer's Group, Mystery Writers of America, International Association of Crime Writers, Connecticut Authors Association (past president).

WRITINGS:

NOVELS

Murders at Hollings General, Strong Books (Avon, CT), 1999.

Murders at Brent Institute: A Dr. David Brooks Medical Murder Mystery, Strong Books (Avon, CT), 2002.

The Maltese Murders, Welcome Rain Publishers (New York, NY), 2005.

(With Henry Lee) The Budapest Connection, Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY), 2006.

NONFICTION

(With Henry Lee) Famous Crimes Revisited: From Sacco-Vanzetti to O.J. Simpson—Including Lindbergh Kidnapping, Sam Sheppard, John F. Kennedy, Vincent Foster, JonBenet Ramsey, Strong Books (Avon, CT), 2001.

(With Henry Lee) Dr. Henry Lee's Forensic Files: Five Famous Cases—Scott Peterson, Elizabeth Smart, and More, Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY), 2006.

Author of three other mystery novels.

SIDELIGHTS:

Jerry Labriola is a retired physician, former politician, and an author who has enjoyed writing all his life. After thirty-five years of practicing medicine in his hometown of Naugatuck, Connecticut, he retired. He told a writer for the Green Bay Press-Gazette that he already had "short stories scattered all over the house, none with the intention of publishing. It's difficult in tiny, short stories to make them in the mystery genre. I decided when I retired I would write mysteries." His mysteries, which include Murders at Hollings General and The Budapest Connection, as well as his true crime books have been well-received by critics and the reading public. He now writes full time, does book tours, and hosts writers' conferences.

When Labriola collaborated with renowned forensic scientist Dr. Henry Lee to write Famous Crimes Revisited: From Sacco-Vanzetti to O.J. Simpson—Including Lindbergh Kidnapping, Sam Sheppard, John F. Kennedy, Vincent Foster, JonBenet Ramsey, he was able to draw on his own background in forensic medicine, a field he entered while serving in the U.S. Navy. For this book, the authors researched seven of the most famous crimes of the twentieth century: the Sacco-Vanzetti case, the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, the Nicole Brown Simpson murder, the John F. Kennedy assassination, the JonBenet Ramsey murder, the Sam "the Fugitive" Sheppard case, and the Vincent Foster suicide. R. Saferstein, reviewing the book for Choice, commented that it "does an excellent job of providing readers with detailed overviews."

Labriola and Lee collaborated again to produce Dr. Henry Lee's Forensic Files: Five Famous Cases—Scott Peterson, Elizabeth Smart, and More. Lee chose five of the most highly publicized cases from the more than six thousand he has investigated and gave the inside story on the crimes, trials, and investigations connected with them. The cases include the murder of the pregnant Laci Peterson, the abduction of Elizabeth Smart, the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson, the arson/murder crimes of the Duntz brothers, the Michael Peterson "Stairway Murders" case, and the Myers/Fontanille murder case. Lee and Labriola illuminate the messy aspects of detective work in their accounts of these cases, and they explain how a slight doubt can cause a great change in the course of a trial.

Labriola, who studied creative writing at Wesleyan University, New York University, New School University, and Simmons College, has written several mystery novels. Murders at Hollings General centers on Dr. David Brooks—a charming physician who sports a floppy mustache, floppy bow ties, and a briefcase nicknamed "Friday"—who sleuths a string of murders committed by an impostor surgeon at a famous New England teaching hospital. Brooks is encouraged by his police detective fiancée to investigate the murders. Unlikely victims, professional rivalries, power struggles, foreign drug cartels, and a subplot involving the physician-sleuth and his fiancée make for a power-packed plot.

The follow-up murder mystery, Murders at Brent Institute: A Dr. David Brooks Medical Murder Mystery, finds Brooks preferring guns over medicine. His new client, head of a genome research institute, is murdered, and activity at the institute is suspect. Medical, biological, and technical research is under way and provides ample material for the plot, while genetic engineering, stem cell research, and bioterrorism become major threats to society. Rex E. Klett noted in Library Journal that the book is "short on subtlety and transition but long on action and adventure."

A reviewer for the Green Bay Press-Gazette commented: "Labriola is a master at plotting a complex, yet fast-paced mystery," and added that, in this book, the author creates more than just a "whodunit" by keeping the motive a mystery until the very end. Labriola has stated that he never makes up the facts. He has his protagonist explain embryonic stem cells, cloning, and DNA while answering questions from his detective fiancée. The Press-Gazette reviewer quoted Labriola as saying: "I feel it is important not only to tell a story and entertain, but also to share some of the knowledge I've garnered over the years."

Labriola and Henry Lee eventually worked together on a fiction project, published in 2006 as The Budapest Connection. The main character, Dr. Henry Liu, is based in part on Henry Lee. A forensic scientist, he works with an international law enforcement group, the Global Interactive Forensics Team (GIFT). GIFT members all have everyday jobs but are on call to investigate sensitive cases around the world as the need arises. GIFT is contacted when three young women are found murdered, and their corpses ritualistically posed, near the waterfront of a big city. Clues suggest that it might be a matter involving organized crime or Oriental gangs. It turns out to be even more complicated than it first appears, and Liu discovers that some officials would rather have him ignore the foul play he uncovers in his investigation. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly suggested that people interested in the real-life Harry Lee might be dismayed by his fictional counterpart, who is an "action hero and a babe-magnet," but added: "CSI fans will find plenty to savor."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

California Bookwatch, July, 2006, review of Dr. Henry Lee's Forensic Files: Five Famous Cases—Scott Peterson, Elizabeth Smart, and More.

Choice, October, 2001, R. Saferstein, review of Famous Crimes Revisited: From Sacco-Vanzetti to O.J. Simpson—Including Lindbergh Kidnapping, Sam Sheppard, John F. Kennedy, Vincent Foster, JonBenet Ramsey, p. 329.

Green Bay Press-Gazette (Green Bay, WI), September 29, 2002, review of Murders at Brent Institute, p. 5.

Library Journal, November 1, 2002, Rex E. Klett, review of Murders at Brent Institute: A Dr. David Brooks Medical Murder Mystery, p. 132; March 15, 2006, Deirdre Bray Root, review of Dr. Henry Lee's Forensic Files, p. 83.

Publishers Weekly, August 21, 2006, review of The Budapest Connection, p. 52.

Reference & Research Book News, August, 2006, review of Dr. Henry Lee's Forensic Files.

ONLINE

Jerry Labriola Home Page,http://www.jerrylabriola.com (April 11, 2007).

Washington Post Online,http://www.washingtonpost.com/ (August 28, 2006), transcript of chat session with Jerry Labriola.

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