From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. John D. Voelker (June 19, 1903 –March 19, 1991), better known by his pen name Robert Traver, was an attorney, judge, and writer. He is best known as the author of the novel, Anatomy of a Murder published in 1958. The best-selling novel was turned into an Academy Award nominated film directed by Otto Preminger and starring Jimmy Stewart that was released July 1, 1959. Duke Ellington wrote the music for the movie. It is critically acclaimed as one of the best trial movies of all time.
Anatomy of a Murder is based on a real homicide and subsequent trial that occurred in Big Bay, in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the early morning of July 31, 1952. Coleman A. Peterson, a Lieutenant in the Army, was charged with murdering Maurice Chenoweth. The alleged motive was revenge for the rape of Peterson's wife by Chenoweth. Voelker successfully defended Peterson who was found not guilty by reason of insanity.
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