Older women might be another key for the defense, according to Murphy, because they might be more reluctant to accept that "a guy like Neil could commit a crime … moms who forgive and justify that motherly instinct could work to his advantage."
As the weeks have passed into months since the murders, Neil Entwistle has passed his time in a jail cell in Cambridge, Mass., leaving only to attend the occasional court hearing. It is not known whether his family in England will come to Boston for the trial.
For their part, the family and friends of Rachel and Lillian Entwistle have not talked publicly about the murders, but they have created a Web site in their memory, RachelandLillian.org.
On the site, there are pictures of a pudgy Lillian, grinning in a Halloween skunk costume and photos of a beaming Rachel hugging her baby – a baby who never got the chance to blow out the candles on her first birthday cake.
There are dozens of messages on the site and most sound a familiar theme: "You are in our thoughts and prayers as the trial begins. May justice be served for Rachel and Lillian and their family and friends."
And as the trial begins, legal observers are weighing in with their thoughts too.
"If he gets acquitted, it will be a miracle," Whitfield-Sharp said.