As Ted Bundy was to the latter half of the twentieth century, so Carlyle Harris was to the latter half of the nineteenth. Harris, a brilliant, charismatic, handsome young medical student with an insatiable appetite for sexual conquest, left a trail of debauched women wherever he went. The trail came to an end with Helen Potts, a beautiful young daughter of wealth and privilege who was determined to keep herself pure for marriage. Unable to conquer her by any other means, Harris talked her into a secret marriage under assumed names, and when she became inconvenient, he poisoned her. The resulting trial garnered nationwide headlines and launched the careers of two of New York's most famous prosecutors, Francis L. Wellman and William Travers Jerome.
Conventional interpretation says that the execution of Jesus of Nazareth came on the heels of a series illegal trials before a number of different tribunals, and at the culmination of that series of trials a moral coward by the name of Pontius Pilate ordered Jesus’ execution despite being satisfied that he was innocent. Revisionist interpretation says that there was no trial at all, that Pilate simply executed Jesus because he was a nuisance, and that Jesus’ followers invented the story of his execution as a means of shifting the blame from the Roman government to a group of people whom they despised—the Jews.
Are the Gospels good history or bad propaganda? Does a fair reading of the Gospel accounts support either the conventional or the revisionist interpretation of the trial of Jesus? Who, if anyone, should shoulder the blame for the crucifixion of Jesus? The Case against Christ seeks to answer these questions by treating the matter as a forensic death investigation and answering the questions as they might be answered by a prosecutor attempting to determine who should be held criminally responsible for the death of Jesus.