GWM announces Saturday’s Crime & Wine guest author, McCracken Poston

Press release from the Georgia Writers Museum

Book by the defense attorney in the notorius “Zeneth man” murder trial

The tabloid headlines screamed: SICKO HOLDS HIS WIFE HOSTAGE FOR 30 YEARS, THEN KILLS HER, COPS CHARGE. When Alvin Ridley’s wife was discovered dead in her home, residents of the small town of Ringgold, Georgia, assumed the recluse, hoarder, and odd figure naturally murdered her.

Georgia Writers Museum is excited to announce the upcoming Crime & Wine experience with McCracken Poston, the defense attorney who represented Ridley in the notorious “zenith man” murder trial.

McCracken Poston

Poston is the author of a new book entitled, Zenith Man: Death, Love, and Redemption in a Georgia Courtroom. This special event will be held on June 22nd at 7pm (doors open at 6:30pm) at the Plaza Arts Center. Tickets are $40 and can be purchased at Georgia Writers Museum ( Contact the museum to register and preorder your copy of Poston’s book. This is no ordinary Crime & Wine. The crime has been solved, but come hear the crazy details. You’ll never believe your ears! Here is a bit of the backstory.

Idealistic young defense attorney McCracken Poston Jr., still stinging from a failed congressional run, had already encountered the eccentric Ridley—dubbed “Zenith Man” for his work repairing televisions—but still took his case. The court of public opinion would serve as judge and jury for Alvin Ridley, who created no shortage of bizarre problems for his lawyer. Belligerent, incomprehensible, secretive, he was a complete puzzle for his lawyer. Investigators would make assumptions about Alvin’s wife, Virginia, assuming the same biases that Ringgold townspeople held—that Alvin had been holding his wife captive for decades. The case seemed doomed to fail, until the diligent lawyer looked past the community’s biases, as well as his own, to reveal an astonishing truth.

“With the kinds of twists and turns that will make readers think it’s great fiction—except it all happened,” wrote Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Jon Meacham. This legal thriller, filled with courtroom drama, is a fantastical true crime tale that was over two decades in the making. Set in the Appalachian foothill’s town of Ringgold, the story spotlights a small town of prying eyes and devastating gossip that would push two people with disabilities behind closed doors. The story will keep you on the edge of your seat right up to its surprise ending.

McCracken Poston Jr. is a practicing criminal defense attorney and former state legislator in the Georgia House of Representatives. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, and received his law degree from the University of Georgia. He gained national attention for his handling of several notable cases that were featured on CNN Presents, Dateline NBC, A&E’s American Justice, and Forensic Files. He lives in Ringgold, Georgia. 

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