Man Accused of Killings Says Book Taken

Associated Press/April 16, 2004

Fresno, Calif. -- A man accused of killing nine of his children told a newspaper that he wrote a book about his life, and that copies of the unpublished manuscript were confiscated by police.

In a letter to the Fresno Bee, Marcus Wesson said he wrote a book titled "In the Night, of the Light, for the Dark," the paper reported for Friday's editions.

Wesson's letter, which was not published in full, was in response to several requests from the Bee seeking comment. Wesson told the paper he could not comment further on the advice of his attorney.

Wesson said one printed copy and one handwritten copy of his book were kept in a yellow school bus parked outside his home at the time of his arrest. Police took the bus and its contents into custody, he said.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Egan declined to comment on whether the book was part of evidence gathered by police.

Wesson said he had sent a copy of the manuscript to Vantage Press, a New York-based publishing company that specializes in publishing books by authors who have been unsuccessful selling their work to other publishers.

Vantage editors said they rejected the manuscript because it was unintelligible.

Wesson, 57, has pleaded innocent to shooting his 25-year-old daughter and eight of his other children, ages 1 to 17. His attorneys have suggested his oldest daughter shot her siblings before turning the gun on herself. Wesson will also stand trial on 13 charges of sexual abuse dating to 1988.

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