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"48 Hours' offers a summer series of true-crime episodes

Yes, it's summertime _ time to curl up in a lounge chair on the beach and surrender to a best seller, preferably a true story about someone who commits a crime and then, finally, is brought to justice.

What's that you say? You're landlocked, your lounge chair is in serious need of rewebbing, and your attention span has been whittled down by years of exposure to MTV?

Rest easy.

For the next six Fridays, you will have an opportunity to sit down in front of your television and absorb an entire true-crime book in just one hour.

Whodunnit? CBS.

The network that broadcast Angela Lansbury's Murder, She Wrote will offer Murder They Wrote _ six consecutive episodes of 48 Hours, each inspired by a different true-crime book.

The first show will air Friday at 10 p.m., marking the launch of the newsmagazine in its new time period. It focuses on Garrett Wilson, who is either a loving father and husband or a greedy monster who killed two of his infant children to collect the insurance.

When Adrian Havill wrote While Innocents Slept, the story was spread over 272 pages. The television version covers much of the same ground _ the central character, aside from Wilson, is Wilson's third wife, Missy Anastasi, who gradually becomes convinced that her baby boy did not die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, but at the hands of his father.

_ Times wires