By Susan Campbell
Alice Sebold has apologized to the man exonerated by DNA testing after being convicted of her rape and murder in 1997, Susan Campbell of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports.
Last year, Michael Christopher Flowers was released from prison after DNA tests made it impossible to prove his guilt in the 1985 rape and murder of Aubrey Latta, who was found beaten and stabbed on a bridge in Greenwood.
Sebold, now an English professor at the University of Arizona, and her 2002 bestselling book, “The Lovely Bones,” shed considerable attention on the case of Latta and her family. One scene in “The Lovely Bones” depicts Latta’s sexual assault, and for years, she was often compared to the fictional character Susie Salmon.
The case was prosecuted by Dale Wiles, who went on to be elected state attorney general in 1996 and then to resign in 2017, after an examination by a colleague showed that a number of pornography images were never allowed in court because of the influence of Wiles and a longtime friend and political ally.
“I have repeatedly and sincerely apologized to Mr. Flowers and Latta families,” Sebold said in a statement. “I take full responsibility for what I wrote in ‘The Lovely Bones.’ I was a 19-year-old psychology major at the time of the crime. I’m deeply sorry for the pain I caused everyone involved in this case and their loved ones. I never intended to hurt them.”