Sonny Liston, heavyweight boxing champion in the early 1960s, died near the beginning of 1971. The reason listed on the death certificate: natural causes. But nearly 50 years later, the question of whether he was murdered is an open one for some. It’s a question Shaun Assael set out to answer with his book, The Murder of Sonny Liston: Las Vegas, Heroin, and Heavyweights.
Lennon Lacy, a 17-year-old West Bladen High School football player was found dead, hanging by belts from a swing set four years ago. Local authorities determined Lacy’s death a suicide. But family members and the NAACP alleged it was murder in the style of a lynching. Shaun Assael set out to investigate the story. Two years after Lacy’s death, the U.S. Justice Department issued its own determination – affirming the conclusion of local officials.
Just last month, Glamour Magazine published a story entitled, The Secret Fight to Save Confederate Monuments. The byline: Shaun Assael. There are a few threads here with which one could weave a theme, but we’ll leave that bit of business to Shaun Assael himself, award-winning investigative journalist, reporter for ESPN for 20 years, author of four books, and a man who describes his instincts as always leading to crime and politics, despite his twenty years in the investigations unit at ESPN.