Author Harris to recount more ugliness in Luskin case

February 11, 1997|By Stephanie Shapiro | Stephanie Shapiro,SUN STAFF

The last time we heard from Arthur Jay Harris, he was convinced that no one had tried to shoot Marie Luskin in a celebrated Baltimore murder-for-hire scheme gone bad.

In a 1991 Baltimore Sun Sunday Magazine piece, he outlined the attempted murder of Luskin, wife of Baltimore-born Paul Luskin, a prosperous Florida businessman and member of the Luskin electronics dynasty.

Marie Luskin, Harris maintained, was hit in the back of the head as part of an almost comically botched murder plot carried out by someone posing as a flower delivery man.

The Luskins, at the time, were in the midst of a vicious and high-stakes divorce. But Paul Luskin was wrongly convicted as an accomplice in his wife's attempted murder, Harris surmised.

Now, Harris is back with new evidence outlined in his book, "Flowers for Mrs. Luskin" (Avon, $5.99). That evidence, he suggests, points definitively to Luskin's father, the late Joe Luskin. The senior Luskin, who also had a lot to lose in the divorce agreement, was "very, very angry" at Marie Luskin as well, Harris says.

Based on his own research, Harris also now believes that Marie Luskin was indeed shot, furthering his contention that the wrong man went to jail for this crime.

Tonight at 7: 30 p.m. at Borders Books & Music in Towson, Harris speaks about the sleuthing that led him to federal records suggesting that a star witness for the prosecution had perjured himself, tainting the outcome of Luskin's trial.

Harris, a Pikesville High graduate -- as was Paul Luskin -- is billed in publicity releases as a Luskin family friend. That friend has written a strange amalgamation of true crime story and memoir. His appearance tonight is a chance to learn more about a sleazy tale that doesn't make anyone look particularly good. Bring your high waders.

Pub Date: 2/11/97

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