Last night I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Maureen Faulkner, the widow of Officer Daniel Faulkner. For those of you living in a box (*ahem*), Daniel was shot in the face while on duty in Philadelphia and killed by Mumia Abu-Jamal (aka Wesley Cook) in 1981. Jamal has since become a Cause-Celeb for all the usual suspects.
Local radio talk show host (and guest host for Bill O'Reilly) Michael Smerconish and Maureen Faulkner wrote a book detailing the her struggle for justice over the past 25 years. From being spit at during the trials and appeals to the pain of having celebrities throw their money to the man that murdered her husband in cold blood.
The line in Barnes and Noble was unbelievable. Cops from all the surrounding areas showing up in droves to support a man killed 25 years ago -a man they never knew. Living in an area like this you feel like you're the only sane one, but an event like this is heartening. I thought I might be one of only a few to show up, but I have never seen so many people packed into a store in my life...
This book comes at an important time in the never-ending Mumia saga. "New pictures" have miraculously surfaced that don't dispute evidence but are being used to elicit yet another appeal. Smerconish was the first person to make the entire court transcript available online and has tirelessly offered his legal services and voice to Maureen.
Even for those of us who have always upheld Jamal's guilt...this book offers new insights that cement those feelings. Smerconish does a flawless job of presenting the case succinctly and with no hyperbole...using the transcripts, eye witness accounts and Mumia's own words.
I read most of the book waiting in line last night (I was there for almost 4 hours and drank three large Starbuck's coffees...) and was honestly riveted. I have read so much about this case over the years, but never like this. Never so personal. Never so tightly worded that even the most devout Mumia supporter would have trouble finding something to rebut.
I strongly recommend you read this. This isn't a "Philly issue" -it's taken a life of its own. Smerconish's forward is superb and I wish The Beastie Boys and Susan Surandon would read just that if nothing else. I have read 'the other side' and I wish they'd do the same... All monies from the sale of this book go to the Daniel Faulkner fund which is used to combat all the money coming in from Jamal's Hollywood cache.
You can Read Chapter One here
And Buy the Book here.