For immediate release January 21, 2021

New Book — True Crime

She's So Cold: The Stephanie Crowe Murder Case - A Defense Attorney’s Inside Story She’s So Cold

The Stephanie Crowe Murder Case
A Defense Attorney’s Inside Story

By Donald E. McInnis

In She’s So Cold, Donald McInnis reveals how police coerced false confessions from innocent teenage boys and spells out proposals for criminal justice system reforms that include a new Miranda warning specifically worded for juveniles, as well as a Children’s Bill of Rights.

Midwest Book Review: “. . . a powerful read. . . . Donald E. McInnis does an outstanding job of pinpointing the problems of juvenile prosecution methods. . . . No reader of true crime or juvenile rights should be without this outstanding book. . . . Law professors will find She’s So Cold holds much fodder for classroom discussion and debate.”

Release date: February 11, 2021 ~ publisher: J&E Publications
Genre — Nonfiction:

  • TRU002000 TRUE CRIME / Murder / General
  • LAW026010 LAW / Criminal Law / Juvenile Offenders
  • Trade paperback (second edition), ISBN: 978-1-7323-222-5-7;
    distributor: Ingram
  • Kindle ebook (second edition), ISBN: 978-1-7323-222-2-6;
    distributor: Amazon
  • Epub ebook (second edition), ISBN: 978-1-7323-222-6-4;
    distributor: Ingram

The ebook version of She's So Cold is available for pre-order online.


Full description:

Think this couldn’t happen to your family? Think again.

On January 21, 1998, the small town of Escondido, California, woke up to the breaking news that 12-year-old Stephanie Crowe had been brutally stabbed to death in her own bedroom. Her lifeless body had been discovered about 6:30 a.m. by her grandmother.

The Escondido police, finding no physical evidence that could lead them to the killer, began questioning Stephanie’s 14-year-old brother, Michael Crowe, and two of his friends, Joshua Treadway and Aaron Houser. Michael, then Joshua, “confessed” to the murder. Aaron maintained his claim of innocence.

Although the boys had been advised of their right to remain silent and to be represented by an attorney, they waived their rights. They and their parents naively believed that because they were innocent, they had nothing to fear. By the second week of February, all three boys had been arrested, charged with murder and were being held in juvenile hall, awaiting trial.

Despite being unable to find any physical evidence that could lead them to the killer, then-Assistant District Attorney Summer Stephan and then-San Diego District Attorney Paul Pfingst moved the case to from juvenile court to adult court in an attempt to condemn the boys to a life in prison.

She’s So Cold guides the reader through the twists and turns of a gripping real-life mystery that changed forever the lives of fifteen people and cost the San Diego District Attorney his job. The author’s reform proposals are detailed in the book’s appendices, and are the subject of two law journal articles written by the author.

This is the second edition of She’s So Cold. It has been edited by award-winning investigative journalist, author, and editor Larry M. Edwards. This edition has been substantially revised and restructured to highlight the relevancy of this case to current police and justice-system reform efforts and the Black Lives Matter movement. It provides a greater focus on the criminal-justice system, the inability of children to understand their constitutional rights, and the harm police officers and prosecutors can, and do, inflict upon impressionable and easily manipulated youth who are treated as though they have the experience and mental capacity of adults.

About the Author:
Donald E. McInnis Donald E. McInnis is a criminal defense attorney who represented Aaron Houser in the Stephanie Crowe murder case. He has specialized as a litigator trying criminal and civil cases. During his four-decades-long legal career, Mr. McInnis has served on both the prosecution and defense sides of criminal law. He has also served as a Superior Court Judge Pro Tem, been an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, and a referee/arbitrator for the California Superior Courts. Mr. McInnis lives in San Diego, California, and presses for reforms within the criminal justice system.

CONTACT: Donald McInnis