Roger Tuohy's book, The Stolen Years, Chapter 21

Chapter 21
A Great Judge's Opinion

Chapter 21
A Great Judge's Opinion

John P. Barnes, if he hadn't decided to become a lawyer and a judge, would have been a fine, compelling, honest author, I believe. He had all the talents—a sense of timing, comedy, suspense, understanding and zest. His vocabulary was superb and his integrity was beyond question.
Convicts read hundreds of books in prison, and some of them become better than green hands as literary critics. Many of the men in my cellhouse studied Judge Barnes' written decision in my case. It kept them entranced for hours.
The opinion ran about 60,000 words, the length of the average book. It covered every facet of the Factor frame-up, including many long and involved legal precedents to back up his decision. Presented here will be Judge Barnes' words on the facts of my case and the personalities concerned.
The judge, a moderate man, refrained from bad names in summing up Jake the Barber. Instead, he used this scholarly, but piercing, language: "John Factor has an extraordinarily agile mind—certainly the most agile mind of anyone the court has observed in connection with this case. He has learned all that a boy and man can learn as a bootblack, wash-room attendant, newsboy, barber, high-pressure stock salesman, Florida land salesman, bucket-shop operator and confidence man—except to be honest. "So far as the so-called business morals are concerned, he is completely amoral"
Another section on Factor in the opinion read: "John Factor's appearance and demeanor on the stand and about the court room, and the testimony of all witnesses who dealt with him, all indicated that Factor was eminently well qualified by character, ingenuity, mental resourcefulness and experience to devise and perpetrate a kidnapping hoax.
"Furthermore, he had money which he was willing to spend. Finally he had a motive. He was in real trouble. He faced a long prison sentence when he went back to England."
After blistering Factor, Judge Barnes took care of another poisonous trial witness against me:
"The court is of the opinion that Isaac Costner was not in Illinois on June 30th, 1933, and did not come to this state until August, 1933; that aside from making telephone calls to Factor . . . Costner had nothing to do with the Touhy case until John Factor and Captain Gilbert contacted him in the Baltimore jail . . . and bribed him with the promise of a five-year sentence for robbery in North Carolina, to testify against Touhy.
"It is true the government did not keep the promise made to Costner, but that is not the point. The promise made by Factor and Gilbert was the payment for his perjury." [Author's Italics]
In commenting on me, the judge made no effort to mold me into a plaster saint. He pointed out that I was "in the business of violating the prohibition law" by peddling beer and running slot machines, but he gave me an even break:
"He had never been convicted of a felony. He was a family man, having a wife and two sons of whom he was very proud. He had a brother Tommy who had a criminal record with whom, in the public mind, Roger was sometimes confused."
The judge then went into the motive for railroading me:
"He [Touhy] had incurred the dislike of Captain Gilbert and the enmity of the Capone mob . . . principally because of his aiding labor union officials in their fight against the taking over of their unions by the Capone mob."
Judge Barnes reviewed the situation in the State's Attorney's office under Tom Courtney during my two trials. He stated that Courtney and Crowley were men of "relatively little experience," while Tubbo Gilbert had a long background as a labor unionist and a police officer.
"In 1933 and 1934, of the three men, Captain Gilbert, because of his age and experience in life, would be expected to be the dominant personality", the bearded judge observed.
Judge Barnes used gentle language when he dealt with Mrs. Sczech, but it was impossible for him to be gallant. Not with the fabric of lies she had woven on her busy loom. The judge remarked:
"As has been noted, Mrs. Sczech does not always tell the truth. The court is convinced that Factor went to her home [and not to the Glenview house] on the night of June 30th-July 1st, 1933, and remained there until the night of July 1st.
"Buck Henrichsen arranged for Factor to stay there, but did not tell Mrs. Sczech who Factor was. . . . Factor was not under restraint. He was free to use the telephone and come and go at will."
When Mrs. Sczech learned Jake the Barber's identity from newspapers, she insisted to her son, Eddie Schwabauer, that Factor be taken from her Des Plaines home, the judge stated, and it was done.
Regarding the testimony of Mrs. Sczech and Schwabauer, Judge Barnes said:"In the court's opinion, they only told the truth when they felt free of the State's Attorney's power and Factor's money. The court thinks that Mrs. Sczech and Schwabauer told the truth only in the affidavits which they made [at South Bend] in 1938."
In evaluating the testimony of the mother and son in his court, Barnes said:
"...there is an obvious explanation for their conduct on the stand here—fear of reprisals from Captain Gilbert and the State's Attorney's office, and the influence of Factor's money."
Reviewing the sworn statements made by Stevens and Kator in 1938, Judge Barnes said he believed them. Both Kator and Stevens had sworn that Jake never was under restraint or, in fact, kidnapped-- the judge remarked, adding: “Roger Touhy knew nothing about the meeting on the proposed kidnapping of Factor.”
Of the so-called ransom money, Judge Barnes expressed this opinion: "That some financial institution or other responsible agency did not keep a record of the amount of money paid, the denominations of the bills and the [serial] numbers of the bills strikes the court as an extraordinary characteristic of this case."
The judge pointed out that Gilbert, immediately after the reported kidnapping, charged that the "Touhy gang" was responsible. It was rather extraordinary, the judge found, that none of my associates and I were arrested, questioned or charged until 19 days later, when Sharkey hollered "t-i-m-b-e-r" as the pole went down at Elkhorn, Wisconsin.
"The court is of the opinion that the incident of June 30 and July 1, 1933 was a hoax planned by, and executed under the direction of, John Factor in order to avoid extradition to England", Judge Barnes said.
As for who was responsible for Jake the Barber's success in beating removal to England, the distinguished Federal jurist pointed out: "The purpose of the hoax—the keeping of Factor in this country—was accomplished. The responsibility of State's Attorney Courtney for its accomplishment was admitted by Mr. Courtney, who testified that he went to Washington and talked to the President [Roosevelt]. "Factor is in this country today because of that intercession [by Courtney]."
Judge Barnes found that Factor had lied in his stories of having seen me partly concealed behind a blanket: "The court is of the opinion and finds that the only
reasonable inference is that the statement contained material unfavorable to the State's theory of the case. Every item of evidence that was produced on the question of identification by Factor (other than Factor's testimony of visual identification) tends to establish Factor's utter inability to identify Touhy and the prosecution's knowledge of this inability. Taken together these items are overwhelming, and establish to a certainty that Factor could not identify Touhy, and that the State knew he could not. The court is of the opinion and finds that Factor's testimony, elicited by the prosecution, of a visual identification was false and was known to be false, and a case of material subornation of
perjury has been made out."
He also dwelt upon the statements made by Jake the Barber to newspaper men, police officers and others in July that he could identify none of the purported "kidnappers:"
"Captain Gilbert and Factor have sought to explain Factor's many statements prior to the Touhy trial that he could not identify any of his alleged captors by saying the F.B.I. agents and Captain Gilbert told him to deny that he could identify any of his alleged captors.
"So far as the F.B.I. agents are concerned, this statement is impossible to be believed. The F.B.I, agents are thoroughly trained investigators and it is difficult to believe that any of them would ever tell a prospective witness upon whom they were going to have to rely to identify another person, to deny ability to identify that other person and thereby to lay himself open to successful impeachment."
"Captain Gilbert had 16 years of experience as a thief catcher and investigator when, according to Mr. Factor's story, he is supposed to have told Factor to lie in response to questions as to whether he could identify his captors and thereby to lay himself open to successful impeachment when he testified otherwise.
"Lawyers and investigators almost invariably advise witnesses not to talk, but good lawyers and good investigators never advise witnesses to lie."
Judge Barnes stated flatly that the State's Attorney's office knew in advance that testimony against me and my codefendants was false:
"The court finds that both with respect to Factor's identification testimony and Costner's entire testimony, guilty knowledge on the part of the prosecution was established ....The state is directly chargeable with knowledge that Factor actually stayed at the Wauconda, Bangs Lake house. Captain Gilbert suppressed important evidence on this point by directing Officer Miller to ‘forget the place, leave it alone’. . .
"The state is charged with knowledge that the actual place where Factor stayed the first night was in Schwabauer's [and Mrs. Sczech's] house in Des Plaines, not in Glenview, and with failing to disclose this information to the court and the defense."
In pointing out the changes in Factor's testimony in the second trial as against the first—on such important matters as the Glenview house basement and the lifting of the blindfold—Judge Barnes said:
"First Assistant State's Attorney Wilbert F. Crowley's methods of handling the evidence in the second trial demonstrates the state's own awareness of the deficiencies in Factor's testimony both in the matter of identification and location."
"Under ordinary circumstances, no favorable inference could be raised from a prosecutor's change in the method of presenting the state's case in a second trial."
"Here the changes were so marked and so obviously designed and calculated to bolster a thin case on identification, that it having been otherwise shown that the identification was designedly false, the prosecution's awareness and knowledge of the falsity of such testimony appears.
Judge Barnes punched another hole in the cloth of my conviction when he wrote:
"One of the strongest single factors pointing to the inability of Factor to identify Touhy in July was the fact that he [Touhy] was not kept in Chicago. He was returned to Wisconsin . . . and later was sent to trial in St. Paul on what the government knew was 'a very weak case'."
Before Judge Barnes, Johnstone introduced scores of July, 1933 Chicago newspapers, quoting Jake the Barber as saying that he could recognize none of his "kidnappers." Also, there were quotes in the papers by lawyers for the British Crown that the kidnapping was a sham.
Prior to June 30-July 1, there had been headlines on the efforts to extradite Factor to England and about the disappearance of Jerome Factor. In this connection, the judge commented on testimony by Tom Courtney, indicating a belief that Courtney had been less than candid, at least:
"State's Attorney Courtney denied ever having heard about Factor before the date of the alleged kidnapping, but his later testimony, when asked about the incident involving Factor's son, indicated the contrary.
"In the 1949 hearings, Judge Courtney admitted he read the papers every day. In the 1952 hearings, he said first he didn't follow the case in the papers but later admitted that he did."
Judge Barnes dealt with Johnstone's charges that I was convicted as a result of a conspiracy by state and Federal authorities. The judge said: "With respect to the state's attorney's office, this has been abundantly shown . . . State's Attorney Courtney admitted that he was the motivating factor in getting the State Department to withhold execution of the extradition warrant and permit it to lapse . . .
"Secondly, the prosecution was appraised at all times of Factor's predicament, of the gaping holes in his story with respect to identification and location, and of the existence of the plot involving the 'railroading' of Touhy, both from the British authorities and from Father Weber . . .
"Finally, the state . . . indulged in numerous stratagems and artifices . . . consistent only with a design to bring about the conviction of Touhy at any and all costs . . ."
The proof of conspiracy by the Federal government was not so conclusive, Judge Barnes said, adding:
"However, the fact is that the Department [of Justice] did evince an astounding disregard for Touhy's rights and indulged in practices which . . . cannot be condoned. . . Keenan's assistance was indispensable in enabling the state to administer the death blow in the second trial through the use of the spurious witness Costner."
Judge Barnes ruled, therefore, that Factor, the State's Attorney's office and the Department of Justice "worked and acted in concert to convict Touhy of something, regardless of his guilt or innocence . . ."
One of the sternest criticisms of Captain Gilbert came in a section of the ruling which said: "Once Touhy was introduced as an actor in the drama, sinister motives of Captain Gilbert and the politico-criminal syndicate for wanting to remove him permanently from the scene of action, seemed to intensify the state's efforts to pin a conviction on him."
Regarding Jake's chumminess with Tubbo, the judge said: "With respect to Factor, all the evidence establishes that the relationship between him and the prosecution was far more than the ordinary relationship between prosecuting
witness and prosecutor. This will be more fully developed hereafter, but standing alone, it would justify charging the state with Factor's own guilty knowledge and improper motive in the case."
Pointing out that Courtney and Gilbert knew Jake the Barber's finesse as a swindler and liar, Judge Barnes said further:
"The state cannot deny knowledge of Factor's capability as an inventor and narrator of untrue stories and of his capacity for deceit and trickery."
The "timeliness" of kidnappings in the Factor family came in for discussion by the judge:
"The supposed kidnapping in his case was the second to occur in the family of the victim within a relatively short period of time, two and a half months.
"The supposed kidnapping of Jerome Factor took place at a time when the sympathy of the public for the victim of the supposed kidnapping and his family might be expected to be helpful to a member of that family in his enterprises.
"John Factor had given a bond for his appearance before the Supreme Court of the United States.
"It is certainly not a violent presumption that he did not want to appear in a jurisdiction [the District of Columbia] where the crime with which he was charged in England might be more clearly spelled out than it was in the statutes of Illinois."
Judge Barnes remarked: "The supposed kidnapping of his son furnished an excuse for his not going to Washington."
Of Factor's personal kidnapping story, the ruling stated:
"The Supreme Court of the United States, by its order of May 29th, 1933, foreshadowed the final order that it did render." [The final order was that Jake be sent back to England, although the order never was carried out.]
"Within five weeks after the order of May 29th, 1933, John Factor was himself supposedly kidnapped. This supposed kidnapping furnished an excuse for his not going back to England." [Author's italics]
The judge said he thought it unusual that Factor, soon after the presumed kidnapping of his son, would visit the Dells, "known to be run by members of the so-called Capone syndicate, located outside of the city of Chicago ... along a lonely road ..."
Judge Barnes remarked that the Capone mob operated gambling and other rackets in Cook County, and commented:
"The relationship between the State's Attorney's office, under Courtney and Gilbert, was such that during the entire period that Courtney was in office no syndicate man ever was convicted of a major crime ..."
"To put it mildly, Roger Touhy was not an acceptable person to Captain Gilbert. Touhy and the opposition with which he was identified was an obstacle in the drive of the politico-criminal Capone syndicate to control and dominate the labor unions . . .
"That criminal syndicate could not operate without the approval of the prosecutor's office . . . They did continue to operate and thrive without interference from Courtney
or Gilbert . . .
"That the arrangement between Gilbert and the syndicate was closer than a mere tolerance is evident from his function as a go-between in the Horan and Wallace surrenders and from the fact that his men were put in key posts in the Capone-dominated unions, as well as from his ability to place Henricksen with the Skidmore-Johnson outfit."
The opinion pointed out that the F.B.I. or the State's Attorney's office obtained signed statements from Factor's wife, from F.B.I. agents, from employees of the Dells and
from other witnesses. Certainly, the judge commented, a statement was taken promptly from the most important witness—Factor, himself. Barnes went on:
"That the F.B.I. had a complete statement of Factor's testimony is clear from Factor's testimony. . . . The relator [Roger Touhy] and the court did everything possible to secure production of this statement in this case without success ..."
"The question persists, why wasn't any statement of Factor ever produced by the
"The court is of the opinion and finds that the only reasonable inference is that the statement contained material unfavorable to the state's theory of the case."
In other words, Judge Barnes deduced that a statement was taken from Factor sometime soon after July 12, 1933 —and that it was held out because Jake the Barber said officially, perhaps under oath, that he could describe or recognize no kidnappers. Such a statement would have had much more weight in my behalf, of course, than did quotes by Factor in the newspapers.
An element of humor entered the ruling when Judge Barnes recalled a deposition by Herman Becker, a convict who had driven a garbage truck in the Federal prison at Sandstone, Minnesota. Jake the Barber was a helper on the odorous, untidy truck. The judge reviewed Becker's sworn statement with these words: Becker said that a lot of fellows over there [in Sandstone] wouldn't talk to him and when he inquired they said they didn't like him because he was hanging around with that rat, meaning Jake, who framed Touhy . . .
"At the incinerator, Becker asked Factor whether he was the guy they called Factor and Factor said: 'Roger Touhy, I ain't worried about him, let him and his family take care of him; to tell you the truth, the man ain't guilty.'. . .
"Becker then said: 'What did you put him in for?' and Factor said: 'Well, if I didn't go along with the [attorney] general, the lawyer, the state's attorney—otherwise I would be deported back to England because me and my friends took $5,000,000 over there'. . .
"And Becker said: 'Why put another man in jail?' and Factor said: 'Well, I am looking out for my own skull, I have got two sons and a wife on the outside'."
It seemed pretty wonderful to me that multimillionaire Jake—welcome in the finest hotels and flossiest night clubs—would be shunned as an outcast in prison.
Judge Barnes made a few remarks that were genuinely pleasing to me and to my family about the testimony of my wife's girlhood friend, Emily Ivins. Said the distinguished judge of Miss Ivins:
"She testifies unequivocally that Roger Touhy was at home with his family [on the front porch] at the time of the alleged kidnapping. If what she said is true, Roger Touhy could not have been guilty of kidnapping John Factor.
"Emily Ivins seems like a responsible person and one who would not intentionally tell an untruth. The court believes she is worthy of belief and does believe her."
The judge said he also believed testimony by our aunt, Mrs. Morgan, and by my wife and two sons. All of them said I was at home practically all of the time when Jake the Barber claimed I was negotiating with him for ransom.
The testimony of Mrs. Ruth Mullinux and other Knoxville witnesses proved beyond doubt, of course, that Costner and Banghart had been in Tennessee during the period of Jake the Barber's Alice-in-Wonderland caperings, Judge Barnes found.
I sort of think the judge was grinning in his beard when he commented on the adventures of Basil the Owl and Ice Wagon in trying to collect the additional $50,000 on the deal with Jake to make his kidnap story look good. The judge said:
"That when the two police officers . . . drove out in the country ... to deliver the supposed 'supplemental ransom' their firearms were stored underneath the seat of the cab so that they had to stop the cab, remove the seat and reassemble the parts of the machine gun before they could go into action, strikes the court as being a rather extraordinary thing." [The judge kept using the words "rather extraordinary thing" for what I would call just plain damn foolishness. But he had a better vocabulary than I.]
The judge evidently placed full credence in Harry Geils' testimony of having entertained Jake in the Bangs Lake house in Wauconda. His Honor's comment was: "Geils saw Factor . . . Factor was sitting at a table in the basement ... he had dark glasses on. They were drinking down there. Factor was not tied in any way. Witness [Geils] did not see him under restraint. Witness did not see any guns there. He was in Factor's presence for about half an hour. There were no guards at the doors, there was no unpleasantness of any sort while the witness was there, everybody was happy, laughing, kidding, and telling stories, there was a quart of Johnny Walker whiskey on the table and there was some beer in cases."
Discussing an appearance of William Scott Stewart before him, the judge wrote in the opinion: "Mr. Stewart's testimony makes it clear that serious differences had arisen between him and Roger Touhy and that he did not want to represent Roger Touhy in his second trial and that Roger Touhy did not want Stewart to represent him.
"Mr. Stewart's testimony also makes it clear that Roger Touhy desired to testify in his own behalf but that Stewart forbade his testifying."
In his summing up, Judge Barnes pointed out that no one bit of proven perjury by Gilbert's witnesses, and no single piece of evidence uncovered by Morrie Green and Bob Johnstone could absolve me of guilt and establish the Factor kidnap story as a hoax. As the judge commented:
"No one of the foregoing facts, or supposed facts, nor all of them together, without other facts and circumstances . . . would warrant the court in overturning the work of the state courts, but all of the foregoing facts, or supposed facts, are in the background of the case at bar and help to make the climate of the case."
The eclat with which the Federal government accused me of having kidnapped William Hamm, Jr., at St. Paul also came in for some discussion:
"That Touhy was indicted at all on the Hamm matter is something for which the Department of Justice should answer. They knew it was a very weak case. The only identification witness was . . . completely spurious. . . . The state has admitted that Alvin Karpis was guilty of this particular crime."
Of the public officials who tried their best to put me in prison or sit me down in the electric chair, Judge Barnes had some kind remarks for Wilbert F. Crowley:
"Mr. Crowley, who tried the two Touhy cases, twice testified in this court in this case. He was and he is still a highly respected judge of the Superior Court of Cook County, Illinois. He made an excellent impression as a witness. He was frank and told the truth as he remembered it. "
When he slammed into a resume of the Factor frame-up, Judge Barnes left no possible doubt of my innocence:
“In the opinion of the court, Costner was a completely spurious witness. He was in Tennessee during the entire kidnaping period of June 30th, 1933 to July 13th, 1933 ...”)
"The court finds that Touhy was at home after midnight of June 30th, 1933, which is when the kidnapping is supposed to have occurred ...."
An overly dramatic Jake Factor surrounds himself with a small army of guards.
"The court finds that John Factor was not kidnapped for ransom or otherwise on the night of June 30th and July 1st, 1933, although he was taken as a result of his own connivance ...."
"Roger Touhy did not kidnap John Factor and, in fact, had no part in the alleged kidnapping of John Factor."
Then came the clincher of the ruling, on a point which Bob Johnstone had stressed throughout the Barnes hearings: "Perjured testimony was knowingly used by the prosecutor to bring about Touhy's conviction—this being the case, his conviction cannot stand, regardless of the motive [of the prosecution]."
Thus did Judge Barnes knock out every vestige of legality in my conviction in the Factor sham. His words proved me innocent, over and over again. He next attacked my conviction and sentence of 199 years for aiding and abetting the escape of Darlak.
He stated that my constitutional rights had been violated all to hell when I got 199 years and Darlak's brother—the real aider and a better—was let off with only three years. It was a violation of the sound, sacred principle of law that offenders must receive like punishment for like offenses. Out the window, therefore, went the second conviction and the 199-year term. Judge Barnes ordered me freed—and it was done. But I knew freedom for only 47 hours.
Assistant Attorney General Schwartz appealed Barnes' finding to the U.S. Court of Appeals. Schwartz didn't deny that I was innocent of kidnapping Jake the Barber—in fact, he later admitted that perjured testimony had been used against me. He didn't really contradict Barnes' ruling that the 199-year sentence was unconstitutional. But he insisted that I hadn't exhausted state court remedies before taking the aiding and abetting conviction to Federal court. The Appeals Court agreed with him. The technicalities of the law, no matter what hardships might be inflicted, must be met. I was ordered back to prison, pending a review of the case.
Johnstone telephoned me the bad news. I got a cab and went at once to the U.S. Courthouse. What a reception awaited me there! Sheriff John Babb was waiting for me. He had lined up a dozen squads of deputies and city police. On went the handcuffs, along with chains and an escape-proof belt.
I went back to Stateville with the effects of a desperate criminal captured in a gun battle, rather than as a man who had surrendered voluntarily on a court order. I didn't care much, since I was optimistic for an early release. My optimism was as ill-advised as the hope of a man condemned to the electric chair that electricity might go out of style. The U.S. Court of Appeals reviewed my case —but the decision was against me. The finger of fate was leaving me bruised all over.
There was no question involved about my innocence of the Factor charges. The 199-year term for the escape was the hitch-bitch. The Court of Appeals agreed with Schwartz that I hadn't used up my sources of remedy in the Illinois courts.
In order for me now to go free on a court order, I would have to carry the 199-year conviction all the way through the state courts, probably getting turned down, and return to Federal jurisdiction. It would take years, not because Judge Barnes was incorrect, but because I had to unwind the red tape of the law.
Bob Johnstone and others filed appeals for me in both state and Federal courts. Johnstone was joined by Frank Gagen, Jr., Daniel C. Ahem and Kevin J. Gillogly, all capable, hard-working lawyers.
Legal technicalities blocked me at every door to freedom. Judges, in their zeal to follow the letter of the law, seemed to forget that the evidence showed I was innocent. My best bet was to appeal to Illinois' Governor William G. Stratton and to the Illinois Pardon and Parole Board.
The board granted me a hearing in 1957. I was allowed to tell my story, and I thought the board members were sympathetic. The hearing room in Stateville was crowded with newspaper people and many of them held up two fingers in a hopeful V-for-Victory signal for me.
Camera flashbulbs flashed. I answered the board's questions and then sat down, thinking it was all over. And then a dark, youngish, compactly-built man stood
up in the audience and asked to be heard.
I recognized him from his newspaper photographs. My hopes sank. He was Benjamin S. Adamowski, State's Attorney of Cook County, in the job Tom Courtney had held. His words could condemn me.
Adamowski spoke softly, but firmly. I jittered. He said he did not know the minute details of the Touhy-Factor case, but that he had consulted with people who did. He did not believe, he said, that I was guilty of kidnapping Factor. The prosecutor paused for a moment, said he would have no objection to my release from prison and added quietly: "In fact, I would urge it."

(John William Tuohy Note: Thomas J. Courtney, who was also the son of a Chicago cop, died in December of 1971 of natural causes. He never varied from his belief that Roger Touhy was guilty of kidnapping Factor.)

A great feeling of relief surged through me. At last, for the first time, an important Illinois state official had come over to my side. My happiness was almost as great as when I heard Judge Barnes' decision or when I saw Clara and the boys in the visiting room after ten years.
The board recommended to Governor Stratton that he commute my sentences. He agreed—cutting the kidnap term from 99 years to 72 years, making me eligible for parole on that one, since I had served 24 years, or one third of the sentence. He reduced the 199-year term to three years.
The upshot was that I became eligible for release late in 1959. By that time, I would have spent more than a quarter of a century in prison for a crime that never happened. This is the end of my story.
I am thankful for the opportunity of telling it—for the sake of my family and, also, to set the record straight. It was my privilege, thank God, under the American way of life, to tell my story.
I have no bitterness, no enmity toward anyone. Instead, I have the deepest sense of gratitude toward the many people who have befriended me. My hope is to live out the few years remaining to me in peace and quiet—and freedom—with those I love and respect.