Once Upon a Time


IMPORTANT. . . RELENTLESS. . . A many-faceted and accomplished study. . . MacLean has taken a gruesome story and retold it with considerable sensitivity. . . A lawyer himself, he give an account of the trial that is comprehensible yet suspenseful, enriched by his insights into the tactics and emotions of the opposing lawyers. His understanding and clarity with regard to psychological issues is exemplary.

– The New York Times

Maclean has a unique ability to take a high profile case, dig up new and interesting facts, put it together with a detailed and thought-provoking narrative that doesn’t come out sounding like a bunch of hype. . . It is so well written, so very intense that to not read it, would be to miss a true crime classic.

True Crime Book Revews

Did Eileen Franklin suddenly remember a 20 year-old murder? Or did she suffer from “False-Memory Syndrome?”

By Harry N. MacLean

In 1989, Eileen Franklin, a young California housewife, claimed to recover a repressed memory of her father killing her playmate 20 earlier. In a landmark trial, the father was charged and convicted of first-degree murder, based solely on his daughter’s testimony. This book chronicles the trial, explores the remarkably dysfunctional Franklin family, and delves into the reliability of repressed memory as evidence in court.

This version contains a 2011 Epilogue, which details the reasons for the reversal of George Franklin’s conviction and the refusal of the district attorney to retry him for murder.

Missing Child - Susan Nelson

Once Upon a Time was selected as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. The New York Times called it a “deceptively important work. . . a many faceted and important study. MacLean gives an account of the trial which is comprehensive yet suspenseful, enriched by his insights into the tactics and emotions of the opposing lawyers.”

Steve Martini, author of Compelling Evidence, wrote: “A tragic but gripping story, and expertly crafted. Mr. MacLean has a positive talent for detail, and an obvious knowledge of the law. I congratulate him on a masterfully told story”.

Nancy Taylor Rosenberg, author of Mitigating Circumstances, wrote: Once Upon A Time is a well-written and meticulous account of a true human drama. . The author’s objective viewpoint in presenting these facts makes for a compelling and challenging read. . The uncharted terrain of the human mind and its ability to repress as well as deceive are fascinating food for thought.


MacLean gives us a fascinating look at a fascinating crime. No one will be bored reading this one.

– Tony Hillerman, author of Talking God and Coyote Waits




Click to Purchase Kindle Edition at Amazon

Crime Rant
Click to Purchase ebook at CrimeRant.com