The Devil's Harvest: A Ruthless Killer, a Terrorized Community, and the Search for Justice in California's Central Valley

December 2, 2020
The Devil's Harvest: A Ruthless Killer, a Terrorized Community, and the Search for Justice in California's Central Valley

"Meticulously researched and tightly woven, TheDevil's Harvest is an important story because it tells us thatif [this] can happen in one place, then it can happen in any place.And that's damn scary."—Michael Connelly, New York Times bestsellingauthor of The Closers, The Lincoln Lawyer, andThe Night FireA page-turning, suspenseful story of a drug cartel hitman who got away with murder after murder in California's CentralValley for three decades, The Devil's Harvest reveals howthe criminal justice system fails our most vulnerable immigrantcommunitiesOn the surface, fifty-eight-year-old Jose Martinez didn't seemevil or even that remarkable—just a regular neighbor, good withcars and devoted to his family. But in between taking his childrento Disneyland and visiting his mom, Martinez was also one of themost skilled professional killers police had ever seen.He tracked one victim to one of the wealthiest corners ofAmerica, a horse ranch in Santa Barbara, and shot him dead in themorning sunlight, setting off a decades-long manhunt. He shotanother man, a farmworker, right in front of his young wife as theydrove to work in the fields. The widow would wait decades forjustice. Those were murders for hire. Others he killed forvengeance.How did Martinez manage to evade law enforcement for so longwith little more than a slap on the wrist? Because he understood adark truth about the criminal justice system: if you kill the"right people"—people who are poor, who aren't white, and who don'thave anyone to speak up for them—you can get away with it.Melding the pacing and suspense of a true crime thriller withthe rigor of top-notch investigative journalism, The Devil'sHarvest follows award-winning reporter Jessica Garrison'srelentless search for the truth as she traces the life of thisassassin, the cops who were always a few steps behind him, and thefamilies of his many victims.Drawing upon decades of case files, interrogation transcripts,on-the-ground reporting, and Martinez's chilling handwrittenjournals, The Devil's Harvest uses a gripping and oftenshocking narrative to dig into one of the most important moralquestions haunting our politically divided nation today: Why dosome deaths—and some lives—matter more than others?span