The prosecutor showed the jury grisly photographs of the victim, whose head had been severed with a hook. He looked each juror in the eye, his voice quivering with emotion, and urged them to do the right thing and convict the defendant of murder. Meanwhile, the defense attorney read blankly from his notes, never glancing up.

“One of the best actors I’d ever seen,” is how Michael Souveroff, a juror and a veteran of “All My Children” and “Unsolved Mysteries,” described the prosecutor. “When we got to the jury room, there were people who said, ‘I don’t like that defense attorney. He never looked at us. I don’t think his client can be innocent.’ ” (The jury eventually convicted, but Souveroff says the verdict was based on the facts, not a spell cast by the prosecutor.)

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