Monday, October 24, 2011


On Wednesday morning, Oct. 26, 2011, the Florida Parole Commission will decide whether I will be released on parole or remain longer in prison, after 33 ½ years of incarceration.

I don’t know exactly who will be making the long trip and standing up on my behalf. Attorney William J. Sheppard of Jacksonville will lead our presentation. He is a fine lawyer, believes in my case, and is well-prepared to briefly argue for my release. Our side only gets 10 minutes, and most of our evidence has been sent to the parole commission in advance. My dear friend, Libby, who has tirelessly worked for months to prepare the parole plan, photo exhibit, letters and other documents, at considerable personal expense, will be there with Bill, to provide answers to any questions that might be thrown at us. I ask that anyone who goes to the hearing let Libby and Bill know you are there. Bill will ask for everyone who is there on my behalf to please stand when it is our turn.

Since the “opposition” has gotten away with making false, malicious, and highly-prejudicial and improper statements at previous hearings, we will have a court reporter present to make an official transcript, if we need it.

Jack Murphy will be batting “clean up,” and will speak after Bill Sheppard presents the legal points. I met Murf at Raiford over 30 years ago, when I first came to prison, and I was there when Frank Costantino took him out of Zephryhills C. I. in November, 1984. He is standing up for me now. Gary Smigiel has been there for me all along, and I am sure better days are ahead for us.

A lot of people will be praying for my release Wednesday. Even were they to grant me a much-deserved parole, it would take a couple of months to actually get out. I have been accepted at the “Prisoners of Christ” residential program in Jacksonville , and hope to get out and get a job and make the most of every minute I live, in freedom, just as I have done these past 33 years in captivity.

If they decide against my release, we will deal with that with dignity. We are already preparing a court suit, “just in case.”

I ask that you keep my situation in your thoughts and prayers on Wednesday, and pray that those who are making that trip will return home safe and sound. I am thankful and grateful to all who have helped me, and promise not to disappoint you.


Sunday, October 2, 2011


Dateline: October 2, 2011

Wednesday, Sept. 21, I had a phone call with attorney William Sheppard in Jacksonville about my October 26, 2011, parole hearing in Tallahassee.

Bill hopes that some of my family and friends will attend the hearing, as a show of support, even though there’s not much opportunity to speak, with the ten minute time limit for our side. At my January, 2002, parole hearing, Gary Smigiel asked everyone to stand who was there on my behalf, and over twenty people stood. Since that time, people have grown older, become disheartened, or passed on, and the numbers have diminished. I’m not asking anyone to attend who doesn’t really want to, but we are praying that enough people will be moved to go there that it will have a positive effect on the commissioners. If few people care enough about my release to make the trek to Tallahassee, why would the parole commission care?

For those who do plan to go, I express my heartfelt gratitude. Your support and faith in me is not misplaced. The address of the hearing site is 4070 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, FL 32399. Visitors need to sign in by 8:30 AM the day of the hearing, and you can leave after my portion of the hearing is over, most likely well before Noon. I’d appreciate it if you let Libby know of your intentions. Sorry, but I won’t be able to attend. Unlike some other states, Florida doesn’t allow us to attend the hearings.

For those who do not support my release, I’d like to remind you of some of Florida’s famous attractions where you can spend the day and have some fun. Busch Gardens in Tampa is always a good choice, and Weeki Wachee Springs has live mermaids, or at least they did when I was last out there. By now, those mermaids are probably in their seventies or eighties, and long gone, but perhaps they’ve been replaced by the younger generation.

If you’re in the North Florida region, I hear St. George Island is nice, and so is Wakulla Springs State Park. For that matter, New Orleans isn’t that far away. Whatever you do, in the interest of justice, please leave Leon County off your itinerary on that date.