The court convicted Noel and Knoller because the jury believed the couple knew their two Presa Canarios, each weighing over 100 pounds, were capable of killing and did nothing to prevent a deadly Jan. 26, 2001, attack on their neighbor, Diane Whipple.
A new book, "Red Zone," provides an in-depth account of the case. Best-selling crime writer Aphrodite Jones, says, "Animal behaviorists tell me that when animals decide on a particular prey and they go for that prey for a kill, they enter what they call the red zone, and there's no stopping them. There's no holding them back."
She tells The Early Show's co-anchor Hannah Storm that Whipple was "a sacrificial lamb who was slaughtered at her threshold.
"Can you imagine? On a Friday afternoon, you go into your locked apartment building and then get into an elevator and go up to your sixth floor and you are at the door with your keys and groceries on the floor you think you are at home and suddenly out bounds 240 pounds of muscular massive dogs and they attacked her."
At that point, Jones says, Whipple knew what was coming. "Diane Whipple had been bitten on the wrist by Bane, the one dog, the male dog, six weeks before. I think she knew her death was going to be inextricably bound with these dogs."
In the book, Jones talks about these dogs and notes they didn't belong in a city, certainly not in a small apartment. She says, "The presa canario is a mixture of a presa, from Spain, and a mastiff. They were used in Roman times to take down bulls. They were using these in Spain to take down bulls. That's how powerful they are."
One of the interesting elements that takes up a big bulk of her book is how the attorneys became to be in possession of these dogs, taking car eof them for a man in jail running a dog-breeding ring.
Jones explains, "He was not just in jail, but in prison, 24/7 in lockdown, up in Pelican Bay, in northern California, and he's like a Hannibal Lector. He used lawyer after lawyer to do his bidding. These two lawyers, Noel and Knoller, brought those dogs down from the mountains in California into the city of San Francisco at the bidding of Paul Schneider, who is the head of the Arian brotherhood. They were sold to Mexican mafia affiliates and Mexican drug cartel affiliates in the L.A. area and southern California area for the purpose of guarding methamphetamine labs."
Click here to read an excerpt from "Red Zone."
Jones had written five true crime books. Her bestselling book "Cruel Sacrifice" profiled Brandon Teena and inspired the movie "Boys Don't Cry."