Bertram FieldsBertram Fields
is a Harvard-trained lawyer famous for his work in the field of entertainment law; he has represented many of the leading studios, as well as individual celebrities including the Beatles
, Warren Beatty
Cameron, Tom Cruise
, Dustin Hoffman
, and John Travolta
. He met his wife when she hired him to defend her when she was sued by Sylvester Stallone
. Fields has also written two novels, published under the penname "D. Kincaid": The Sunset Bomber
(1986) and The Lawyer's Tale
Having read English history for years as a hobby, and not satisfied with the books written about King Richard III, Fields spent four years researching and two years writing the non-fiction book Royal Blood: Richard III and the Mystery of the Princes (ISBN 0-06-039269-X), which was published in 1998.
Although he started with a "gut feeling" that Richard was innocent of murdering his nephews, the Princes in the Tower, Fields investigated the facts as he would for a client he was representing, and he structured the book like a lawyer's brief, identifying the evidence and then drawing the logical implications from the facts. Also like a brief, he discussed the weaknesses in earlier authors' treatments of the same subject, being particularly critical of Alison Weir and her book The Princes in the Tower:
- "Alison Weir . . . tells her readers that she, at last, has solved the mystery: Richard was guilty. What's more, he was a greedy, ruthless tyrant.
- "However, if Richard was guilty, nothing in Weir's book demonstrates it. Essentially, her 'proof' that he murdered his nephews consists of two skeletons discovered in the Tower of London in 1674, some inferences wholly unsupported by the 'evidence' she offers and the opinions and assertions of 'contemporary' sources such as [John] Rous and [Thomas] More, which Weir is inclined to treat as proven fact."
The conclusion Fields reached is that the probability that the princes were, in fact, murdered is about 50% to 70%, and if they were, the probability that Richard did it is in the same range, so the logical probability that Richard is guilty is 25% to 49%, which is less than 50-50. Fields says DNA analyses of the bones dug up in the Tower of London
in 1674 would change the odds on whether the princes were murdered but might not affect the odds on who did it, if anyone did, so this mystery may never be solved.