Fiction Imitating Life: “Vigilante Justice”

A Point of View

David H. Fauss, M.S.M.

On July 21, 2016

Category: Business personalities, Getting the Job Done, Life Outside of Work, Marketing your Business, Partnerships, Trial Consulting

Dr. Melissa Pigott of Magnus Research Consultants is featured as a character in a book by Dr. Linda Foley, Vigilante Justice. Dr. Foley is a social psychologist who, now retired from the University of North Florida, writes murder mysteries set in Gainesville, Florida, in and around the University of Florida. Vigilante Justice is Dr. Foley’s 3rd novel. The dedication page contains the following paragraph:

“My special thanks go to the jury and trial consultant Dr. Melissa Pigott who allowed me to use her persona to assist a defense attorney in a trial in Vigilante Justice. Despite stating “all characters and events are fictitious and any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author;” the character Melissa Pigott in the novel is based on the real consultant from Magnus Research, Inc. However, her words and the events involving her are works of my imagination.”

Perhaps it is no surprise that, when Dr. Pigott is hired to assist the defense during voir dire in a criminal case (as described starting in chapter 33) the trial goes well for her client. (Sorry for the partial spoiler, but what did one expect when Dr. Pigott was hired?)

It is interesting to see how Dr. Foley wove Dr. Pigott into the scene. But, Dr. Foley knows her subject matter and did so accurately. The story also covers some disturbing realities in the criminal legal arena – areas Dr. Foley knows well, based on her expertise in psychology and the law. If you are looking for a something new to read, check out Vigilante Justice on Amazon or in book stores.

At the time of this writing, I have known Dr. Linda Foley for 36 years. I met her when I was a psychology graduate student at F.S.U. and she was the Chairperson of the psychology department at U.N.F. At the time I met Dr. Foley, she was well established in her career, while mine had not begun. When I earned my Ph.D., I began working in Jacksonville, where Dr. Foley soon convinced me to join the U.N.F. faculty on an adjunct basis. Our working relationship resulted in numerous co-authored publications over the years. In addition, for a short period of time, Dr. Foley worked with Magnus, part time, as a trial consultant while she continued working full time as a university professor. We had some interesting encounters during her time at Magnus, to say the least. Now that she has retired from academia, Dr. Foley has established herself as a well respected writer of crime novels. Her vast experience consulting with attorneys and law enforcement personnel, combined with her research and teaching experience as a social/forensic psychologist, has provided her with a multitude of topics that provide the basis of her novels. Her latest novel mentions me! I don’t know about anyone else, but I am impressed about being mentioned in Dr. Foley’s latest book! I think it is pretty cool, to say the least! Not to mention the fact that, in a work of fiction, I am the only character who is an actual person. So, if you want to experience a taste of the world in which Dr. Foley and I thrive, read her book, Vigilante Justice.

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