INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER BOOK AWARDS GOLD MEDAL FOR BEST REGIONAL NONFICTION OF THE SOUTH When an elderly couple is charged with murder in the drowning deaths of thirty-five bed-ridden residents of St. Rita's Nursing Home, an emotional edge-of-your-seat thriller takes off like a shot The players: a wily and profane defense lawyer, a ferocious prosecutor, devastated families of the victims, and a ravenous media that brands the defendants 'Monsters of Hurricane Katrina.' My advice--block out enough time to read this wonderful book in one sitting. --John Berendt, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil In August 2005, the world looked on in horror as thirty-five residents of St. Rita's Nursing Home perished beneath the rising waters of Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana's attorney general immediately targeted the owners of St. Rita's, Sal and Mabel Mangano, for prosecution. A national media frenzy erupted, labeling the couple as selfish, cold-hearted killers, willing to let beloved parents and grandparents drown--but the reality was much different. Flood of Lies tells the real story of the Manganos: a couple who sacrificed everything to save the lives of their beloved residents. Defending the Manganos was lawyer James A. Cobb, Jr., best known for prosecuting Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards for fraud in 1985. Set against the backdrop of a devastated New Orleans and Cobb's personal tale of loss, Flood of Lies is the revelatory story of Cobb's investigation into the truth of what happened at St. Rita's on August 29, 2005.
From the Back Cover
When an elderly couple is charged with murder in the drowning deaths of thirty-five bed-ridden residents of St. Rita's Nursing Home, an emotional edge-of-your-seat thriller takes off like a shot! The players: a wily and profane defense lawyer, a ferocious prosecutor, vengeful families of the victims, and a ravenous media that brands the defendants 'Monsters of Hurricane Katrina.' My advice--block out enough time to read this wonderful book in one sitting. --John Berendt, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil In Flood of Lies Cobb--a profane, hard-drinking New Orleans resident with a racy prose style--tells the story of what happened as he and his partners prepared to defend the Manganos in court. . . . While Cobb is hardly a disinterested narrator, he is an irresistible one. . . . Flood of Lies isn't an example of objective reporting; it is a passionate and personal book, artfully constructed to maximize suspense, and carried along by the compelling narrative voice of Cobb. Above all, it reminds us of how messy and imperfect are the processes of law, how chancy are the outcomes of trials, how outrageously costly, both financially and emotionally, the pursuit of justice can be. --Michael Dirda, the Washington Post Cobb's kaleidoscopic personality drives the momentum in what amounts to a war story of jurisprudence. . . . With Cobb's pugilistic legal tactics high-octane personality for plot fuel, Flood of Lies becomes a book you wish wouldn't end. --Jason Berry, the Daily Beast This is more than a story about Katrina. It is that, told from an original perspective, but it's also a story of abuse of power, of political ambition, of survival, and of a trying to make life ordinary again--when ordinariness amounts to triumph. --John M. Barry, Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America What Jim Cobb captures better than any writer I've read is how deeply the media's pre-trial feeding-frenzy shaped public perceptions about the St. Rita's nursing home tragedy. . . . Cobb's brash, brilliant storytelling takes you behind the scenes of an important test for the American system of justice. --Ken Bode, former national political correspondent, NBC News Front-jacket photograph (c) CARLOS BARRIA/Corbis
From the front Cover
Flood of Lies, Cobb takes us deep inside a horrific personal and professional journey. . . . a tale of personal sacrifice that often pitted responsibility to family against professional duty. Flood of Lies is one of those rare books that takes us behind the scenes of a gut-wrenching, international story. . . . It is a great . . . story of personal and professional triumph. Richard Angelico, retired WDSU investigative reporter In the media storm that followed Hurricane Katrina, one gruesome story captivated a horrified nation: thirty-five elderly residents of St. Rita's Nursing Home drowned when a wall of water hit the home like a bomb. Rumors abounded that owners Sal and Mabel Mangano tied residents to their beds and left them to drown, then bloat and rot in the Louisiana heat. News reporters and talk-show hosts spewed a constant stream of sensationalized reports based on incomplete information and hearsay. Almost no one believed that the Manganos could be innocent. Louisiana lawyer James A. Cobb, Jr., had made his career out of defending deep-pocketed corporate clients, easing his troubled conscience with martinis. When Hurricane Katrina hit, Cobb and his family lost everything. Amid the ruins, Cobb met the Manganos and was convinced not only of their innocence but also of their selflessness and courage on that fateful August day when they, too, lost everything. Cobb agreed to defend the Manganos against near-insurmountable odds. His decision was the start of an inner journey toward self-realization. In this true story of a family blamed for the wrongs of the government that prosecuted them, Cobb finds unexpected heroism, unrewarded devotion, and personal redemption. A trial lawyer since 1978, James A. Cobb, Jr., is a native New Orleanian. He graduated with honors from Tulane University Law School, and has since tried more than 130 cases to verdict across the Gulf South. Cobb has been a respected professor at Tulane Law School's trial advocacy program for more than thirty years and is a two-time recipient of the Monte M. Lemann Distinguished Teaching Award. He has been a visiting professor at many institutions, including Harvard Law School. He is a member of the bar in Louisiana, Texas, and Florida. Cobb earned widespread recognition after his involvement in the 1985 case against then-governor Edwin Edwards regarding nursing home approvals. Cobb lives with his family in New Orleans, Louisiana.