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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Paul's Birthday!

Paul's birthday is this month and I thought we could flood the prison mail room with cards for him! I'm sure he isn't happy about being another year older so if you decide to send him a card be careful about the message.  I'm looking for a card that says "Thinking of You" instead of "Happy Birthday" but that may be hard to find.  (He has no access to the Internet so if I can get some old photos of him I will post them!)     Posted by April 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Paul's Response to the Podcast - Part 4

Reply All never set out to produce a serious murder mystery story because there was no mystery. No one was looking for the one armed man. Bob Faraci admitted to being at the crime scene and the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrated he killed Dean Fawcett. Therefore, Reply All had to create the suspense and theater. There was the Palatine Massacre and a bizarre murder trial where the killer was acquitted while a teenager with autism was held accountable for his actions. What exactly was his involvement, if any? Sruthi Pinnamaneni ostensibly sets out to find.

An investigator from the "Crook" County States Attorneys Office testified to the grand jury that a mark was placed on a map book in my possession. That mark was very near where the body was found. Anyone who looked at that map would have known this was not an "X marks the spot" or that it was placed there with a pen.  It was simply a small line put on all maps of that area by the publisher. Before the trial, my attorney discovered the "mark" was on all the map books and the S.A.'s office claimed they just made an honest mistake.  However, John Robertson went on to testify falsely at my trial. He claimed I admitted knowing Bob Faraci intended to kill the victim and knowing this, I lent him my car.  Conspicuously absent was any audio, stenographed, or signed statements to support his contention.

John Robertson refused to speak with Sruthi Pinnamaneni, but his interrogation partner from the Palatine Police Department obliged. John Koziol said maybe I didn't want to sign a statement and if they were going to make up a lie, they would have made up a better one than loaning a car. Possibly, Mr. Koziol forgot that Robertson testified it was not that I ever refused but that he never sought any verification. As for why Robertson just didn't claim I confessed to the murder, Bob and Rose Faraci were hardly believable. They made numerous inconsistent, nonsensical, and patently false statements including implicating Brian Palasz who had an alibi.  Had I also had one, Robertson probably thought he would be in a pickle. It was not foolproof, but much safer for him to lie around the edges.

Sruthi Pinnamaneni grilled me about those alleged statements. It made me angry because the cop was lying, not about everything but the details.  Sruthi asked why Koziol would vouch for Robertson.  He was a part of the blue shield, I told her. His loyalty to fellow police officers was far greater than to me. As a staunch liberal, she retorted that cops would never fabricate evidence against a white person.  I thought that was absurd. The police didn't care what race I was. They are not pervasively racist as the "Black Lives Matter" movement claims and the political left embraces. Some police just arrogantly believe they are above the law and can act as judge, jury, and in rare instances executioner.

Assistant States' Attorneys Paul Tsukuno and James McKay prosecuted me under a theory of accountability, however, they flirted with the idea that I was the actual killer. There was no evidence of this and even trial judge Sam Amirante mocked their empty suggestions and rhetoric. At my sentencing hearing, he said being there in spirit was not actually being there and what they believed was irrelevant. The prosecution had not shown that Paul Modrowski was at the crime scene.  This did not deter James McKay from continuing to argue the matter and I assumed it was because my conviction was untenable. Although the killer was acquitted, I was condemned to an eternity in prison for lending my car which I can prove never occurred.

My trial attorney, William Von Hoene, didn't believe I could be held culpable for my co-defendant and therefore conceded the testimony of John Robertson. Mr. Von Hoene also refused to call alibi witnesses who placed my car approximately 50 miles from the crime scene. Rose Faraci's testimony at a prior proceeding was that I left alone in my car in the early afternoon that day but the jurors never heard that.  Likewise, they never learned that a blood stain was found in Faraci's car and nothing was found in mine.

When Sruthi interviewed James McKay he conceded that I did not loan my car. In fact, neither he nor the police believed I did. His theory of accountability was only a means to an end.  He said he believes I actually killed Dean Fawcett. His proof was the same dubious contention he made over 20 years ago and was rejected. In episode 3, McKay can be heard saying  that Faraci is a "nervous, lying weasel" and Paul was "one cool customer." My favorite was his statement that "the absence of evidence is compelling evidence."  It reminds me of Orwellian double-speak. However, despite how empty James McKay's rhetoric is, I know he says it with the conviction of a zealous prosecutor. It also gave Reply All an excuse to entertain the suggestion that I was at the crime scene.

On April Fools Day, Sruthi Pinnamaneni met with Bob Faraci. After his arrest, Bob accused me of the Palatine Massacre, the Barrington murder, and nearly every unsolved crime he had heard of. In his interview he said what he told police was indeed lies, but his trial testimony was true. His trial testimony was just as preposterous but she pressed him to talk about the murder. Faraci said it was too traumatic for him to speak of. I realized he was not going to give a confession, especially to a reporter. He vividly recalled the media frenzy in 1993 and today a story like this could go viral ruining his reputation and much more. However, until he does, the prosecutor will always have an excuse to question my innocence. As will Pinnamaneni.

Months previously, Reply All had been sent several affidavits that demonstrate Bob Faraci's testimony was false. Two were from men who went to and from the court house with him. They stated Faraci admitted to killing Fawcett alone. Neither of those men knew each other but gave details only Bob Faraci could have provided. A very close former friend of Bob Faraci also provided another affidavit. They discussed the murder as well as the dismemberment of the victim. Faraci may not like talking to a news reporter about the murder, but seemingly he doesn't mind telling a number of other people. At the time, Sruthi thought these statements were highly significant, however, she no longer does. She told me "they are not evidence."  I replied they are sworn and notarized affidavits which can be submitted in court. She didn't care. She also claimed Faraci's own affidavit was no longer relevant. "No one thinks you loaned your car," she told me.

Not only were those dismissed by Sruthi but also my alibi witnesses' affidavits. She told me they were not credible because they were given by family members. She asked me if I had any other evidence to prove I was not at the crime scene. I asked how many witnesses did I need? Numerous times the police accept the word of a single person, including a girlfriend. The police also accepted Brian Palasz's alibi which was supported only with phone calls. Sruthi then became obsessed with getting the telephone records from my sister's house. They were not available, however. The phone company could not even provide them a year later when the prosecutor and my defense attorneys subpoenaed them.  For Sruthi, no phone records, GPS, or dated digital photos meant no alibi.

It is increasingly obvious to me the news reporter is prejudiced and believes I am guilty. After the first podcast, I simply asked her. She gave me a muddled indecisive response. I said I already knew and there was no purpose playing games. I will still continue to call and give her the in-person interview. Sruthi said she thought my trial was terribly unfair. She also could never come close to convicting me, but it was her opinion that I was involved in some way. The violence I exhibited as a teenager, my criminal associates, and my friendship with Bob was too suggestive to think otherwise.  I respected her honesty but what does her opinion matter anyway? Opinions are like assholes... everyone has one. However, I never suspected she would be so unprofessional to broadcast her opinion or buttress it falsely with a fraudulent source.

Since Sruthi Pinnamaneni had already discussed with me every facet of my case, there must have been a motive for her to meet me in person. What could she glean that she couldn't by phone? She wanted to assess my autism and if I came across as evil. She also wanted the theater of meeting me for the last episode. Furthermore, although I did not believe she would profess to know what happened, the angle was to attack my innocence. I prepared for the assault.

In the weeks leading up to the interview, I sharpened my social skills with a prison psychologist and a workbook she provided. On the morning of June 1st, I also drank a lot of instant coffee, possibly, too much. The caffeine would have the effect of not only making me more social and adroit, but aggressive. I was like a stick of dynamite just waiting to explode at the slightest provocation. When Sruthi Pinnamaneni mentioned King Diamond, I knew she was trying to insinuate I was evil. The band members were thought to be Devil worshipers and their music had eerie themes. I had a fairly good idea of who told her I was once a fan and wanted her to admit it. Her imaginative story of what occurred Monday night was also goofy but made me angry. She was accusing me of participating in Fawcett's murder.

A few days after the interview, I called her. I was baffled she could think I was guilty. There were alibi witnesses, affidavits, and other damning evidence that Bob Faraci committed the crime. His own wife testified at trial that she had seen him come home wearing blood soaked clothing and they conspired to frame me of the murder. He lived at one time blocks away from the crime scene and walked to Barrington High School on those same railroad tracks. He brought police back to the crime scene and pointed out exactly where the body was found and other evidence only the killer could have known. Not only were his statements to police preposterous and picked apart, his testimony was. All Sruthi had to say was when taken with Nadine Lenarczak's testimony there was plausibility. What?! That was like dumping two bags of garbage together and claiming to have discovered a treasure trove.

Nadine Lenarczak's testimony was the most ludicrous testimony the prosecutor proffered to the jury and I was not embellishing when I said that laughter broke out in the courtroom. The woman was a drug addict and a prostitute who was living out of a motel room with her pet raccoon. She was in and out of psychiatric wards for a myriad of mental problems. She testified to hearing and seeing things that didn't exist. She also had severe blackouts, once finding herself in a tree not knowing how she got there. When she was arrested for the murder, she began smashing her face and head into the metal grill dividing the front and back seat of the squad car. After being released from the hospital, she said she didn't know anything, but when pressed by police, she blabbered about the criminal thugs she associated with in many car insurance scams. Eventually, the police were able to get her to remember Dean Fawcett.

Sruthi had heard all this before and she even covered part of it in episode 3. However, she bafflingly says Nadine was as credible as me! After she told me this, I hung up the phone and quickly highlighted Nadine's statements that instantaneously agreed with the case police were trying to build. I knew the letter would never reach her before the final episode was released, but I did it anyway. Lenarczak abruptly changed her story from Brian Palasz bullied the victim at the mall to Paul bullied the victim. And then Brian no longer arrived with Bob Faraci the day after but Paul did. It was very conspicuous because Bob Faraci just the day before Nadine's last statement had admitted to falsely implicating Brian Palasz, and the police confirmed his alibi. I assume Lenarczak remembers very little of the events past and was coached and coerced by police. A month before my trial, Nadine was rewarded with criminal charges being dropped against her in a massive insurance scam, although I have no doubt they would be reinstated if she didn't cooperate in my trial.

On the day episode 4 was to be broadcast, I called Sruthi. She told me she had been digging around in my past and talked to various people who once knew me. I told her I was sure she did. "You are just one busy bee:"  For some reason she wanted to ask me again why I thought Bob Faraci killed Dean Fawcett.  I told her the same as I did before:  I was uncertain. It could be mafia related, or the check scam, and possibly paranoia from cocaine use. Then she wanted to do a little fact checking including a fight I had years ago with Scott Anderson.  Sruthi had spoken with him not long ago and what a story he had to tell.  She asked me if it was true that just before I stabbed him I said, "You have an appointment with death and all you need to do is meet it."  I responded sarcastically, "What do you think?"  She said it sounded like something I would say.  "No," I told her. I was tired of all her accusatory questions and my time on the phone was up. She asked if I could call back later that night. I said, "No" and that was the last time I spoke to her

I do not have Internet access, but over the weekend I called my parents. My mother was terribly upset. I inquired why she was so troubled. She said the podcast: Sruthi had stabbed me in the back. She stabbed all of us in the back. All this time we spent helping her put together the 4 part series and in the last episode she is horrible to me. My mother can be a bit overemotional and I asked, "How?" She was too upset to articulate herself well. My mother said she would just play the podcast for me to hear for myself. She placed her phone near her computer speakers.

I was not as upset as my mother. Possibly, I am just "one cool customer." Possibly, it was because I already knew how Pinnamaneni and her colleagues at Reply All felt about me. I also knew the podcast was going to take a negative turn. What has made me angry enough to write this 4 part reply, however, was the nerve of Sruthi to give her personal opinion and base it on deception. She has no source that places me at the crime scene.

The only person who could claim to put me at the murder site is Bob Faraci. And the only people who could claim to know what occurred later in the Faraci's apartment were the Faracis. Rose Faraci testified they framed me and it was her husband who came home with blood soaked clothing. Regardless, Rose would not know the difference between soccer and football. No one could remember a game from 24 years ago even a sport's fanatic and bookie like Bob. Neither of the Faraci's would know who King Diamond was, nor recognize his music. However, someone Sruthi spoke to recently would.

During my first year of high school, I occasionally wore a King Diamond T-shirt. Early in the year, I had a fight with Scott Anderson and just happened to be wearing that t-shirt.  A stoner friend of his came to his defense and jokingly said that I needed to cut down on my listening of the band's music. However, Anderson took him seriously and when I fought him again, he told police I tried to kill him. The police asked what my motivation could possibly be. Anderson claimed I was a devil worshipper and King Diamond fanatic. This is the same asinine story he told Sruthi and he conjectured was my reason to kill Fawcett. This is why I demanded she tell me where she got her information during our interview, but she wouldn't reveal her source.

Sruthi Pinnamaneni is biased and had an axe to grind. At every turn, she dismissed or ignored proof of my innocence. While she rejected solid evidence, she embraced the most incredulous sources. Yet, after episode 3, she was still stymied to present a satisfying case against me. For the grand finale, she needed a melodramatic concluding act. She fabricated a secret source and confronted me in-person with a silly scenario. I am both amused and angry. Proof positive I am guilty or guilty of something Sruthi narrated. However, it only proved her to be unprofessional and showed the lowly depths of tabloid journalism she had sunk to.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Paul's Response to the Podcast -- Part 3

In the lead-up to the podcast, I was in regular contact with Sruthi Pinnamaneni. Every week and occasionally twice a week, I would call her. She was very nice and engaged me in light chit chat or questions. At times, however, the petite and ostensibly friendly woman turned into a ferocious Chihuahua. She snipped and yapped at me in her high pitched voice attempting to undermine or discredit what I said.  I was impressed and understood the interrogation techniques she employed, but it was not necessary. I was innocent and my story was never going to waver, have holes in it, or conflict with the facts. I was fully transparent in talking with her as well as the documents I provided, even if they reflected poorly on me. My candor, however, became a means for Sruthi to impugn my character. She fixated on my criminal associations and juvenile behavior as if it was somehow probative of my guilt. Even if Sruthi could overcome her political and personal grudges, her opinion was still based on prejudice.

As a child, I was in many fights. At the time, I just thought it was a right of passage. Boys were regularly rough housing and scrapping. In retrospect, however, I realize I was in more physical conflicts due to my lack of social skills. During junior high school, I tried my best to fit in and to excel socially. It was a losing battle. I was never going to be popular. I could be on the honor roll, be the best athlete, imitate the "cool" kids or be their friend, and it did not matter. I was an outsider even if an insider. What I noticed, though, is what I lacked in charisma, I more than made up for in strength, valor, and sense of purpose. I learned the "riddle of steel" and I would use this sword to dominate and crush my enemies. At Westmont High School, my main adversary was a clique of "stoners" and they would reap the whirlwind.

On several occasions, I spoke with Sruthi at great length about the fight with Scott Anderson. She thought violence of any sort was unacceptable. As a liberal, she rejected the notion "boys will be boys" and condemned me for having a weapon. To villainize me in episode 4, she did not provide any background or give my version of events. She just says that at age 14 I just walked up to this kid, pulled a knife, and stabbed him. This kid was an 18-year-old senior who was a part of a pot smoking group of students I was at war with. We rumbled in and out of school, with and without weapons. They attacked in a group, sometimes with pipes and tire irons. I regularly wore riot gloves and Doc Marten boots. Occasionally, I would carry nunchucks, an extendable baton, or a knife.

In the spring of my freshman year, the stoners and I were set to battle at a school bus stop. However, before Scott Anderson had an advantage in numbers, I met up with him. He was no match for me alone and I pummeled the stoner with fists before a spinning back kick that sent him reeling to the ground. While he was stumbling to get up, I pulled out the butterfly knife. My intention was merely to scare him, but when spinning it I accidentally grazed his arm. He fled and I was not even aware of the cut until later. Sruthi spoke to Anderson who claimed I intentionally cut him and to this day he was still traumatized. Well, I expect nothing else from my former foe who was at heart a cowardly sissy. However, a few weeks after the fight, I was told Anderson and his friends met at a local magazine shop. The boys were all laughing as Anderson showed them the small band-aid on his arm and gloated about how he got me in trouble.

At least Sruthi allowed me to respond to the break-in at the Spiess residence. However, she lied in her narration and edited out important information. Melanie never said our photo was removed and put back on her bedroom mirror. She testified the photo was simply moved from where she had placed it. Unlike myself, Harry Adams was charged and plead guilty to making harassing phone calls, including a recording made the day after where he said, "Star light, star bright. I killed your @#%ing dog last night" followed by maniacal laughter. He was also secretly recorded admitting to the break-in and stabbing the dog to undercover ATF agents who were investigating him for a series of burglaries where guns were stolen. In the same tape recording, he went on to say he was looking for something to steal but there was nothing of value and he left empty handed. With Harry ransacking the place, I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of things were moved along with the photo.

The transcript Sruthi read is a small and inaccurate excerpt from my conversation with Melanie. It also did not proceed from the break-in, but some quarrels I had with her parents and sister. I may have a dark and wry humor, but I was only joking. In fact, I was reciting the Joker in a Batman movie. She knew I was playing and we continued dating after that phone conversation. After Harry broke into her house, I attempted to apologize for my friend's actions and sent her a dozen roses. I cannot blame Melanie for harboring a grudge and being less than truthful at my sentencing hearing. Not only were my friends mean, I was as well. I also refused to go steady with her and ceased dating her altogether for other girls.

Yes, I like movies: Gladiator, Braveheart, Conan the Barbarian, etc. However, when I brought up the origin of my alias "Viktor" to Sruthi, it was not a nonsequitor nor was I nervous and blurting out a weird story as she suggested.  Long before we met, I had already told her the story. In fact, almost everything we spoke about in person was spoken about previously. I intentionally went into the theme of the film "The Highlander" where immortals beheaded one another because I knew she would use the excerpt. This was showbiz and the story made good theatre. The purpose of the podcast was not to create a serious documentary, but to entertain the audience and I aim to please. Gladiator: "Are you not entertained?!"

Long before Sruthi visited me, I also knew she made up her mind. She couldn't look past how I acted as a teenager, the innuendo, or my criminal associations. Once again, I was trying to show her it was irrelevant to my guilt or innocence. Did she really think a modus operandi was established from a quasi-crank phone call and a movie? The victim was dismembered by Bob Faraci to prevent police from identifying the body. It was a practice of the mafia in the 70's, not that of immortals.

Bob Faraci studied the practices of the Costa Nostra and other organized crime outfits. He sought to be in the Italian mafia and his marriage to Rosalia Rugo was purely a "business decision". Rose was born in Sicily and Bob wanted to exploit her family's connections. By the 1990's, the syndicate in Chicago had mostly broken up and only a loose network of organized crime existed. Much to my dismay, Bob began to work with some of the remnants of the mafia. I refused to be involved, but met and was around these people. What bothered Sruthi Pinnamaneni even more, however, was the friendship I had with Bob himself and circle of other men.

I playfully called this group "The League of Shadows." Sruthi pressed me to tell her all about the mysterious band of men. I told her it was classified. Eventually, I told her I was joking and it was actually called "The Apple Dumpling Gang" which again went right over her head. There was no nefarious and clandestine group or gang, only a loose group of friends who sometimes worked in concert for a sports book, select heists, and other profitable ventures. Sruthi knew prosecutor James McKay was being ridiculous when he exclaimed I was the ring leader and had committed crimes since age 12. In actuality, I had 2 juvenile convictions. One was for the fight I had with Scott Anderson and one was for backhanding a girl with a book at Lincoln-Way. However,  she thought my mere association, especially with Bob Faraci, was incriminating. After all, I lived with him when Fawcett was murdered.

Lincoln-Way was an excellent high school. They had very good teachers and athletic programs. There were many attractive girls and few degenerate drug users to clash with. The student body was predominately white middle or upper class preppies. However, the high school was extraordinarily overcrowded. In the 1994 yearbook, Chrissy Laning wrote an article entitled "Getting Lost in the Crowd" where she compared the crowded hallways to a mosh pit at a Pearl Jam concert.  With my ubermensch mentality, I had no tolerance for the herds of rambunctious students. I could be very aggressive inside as well as outside those cattle chutes. Apparently, my menacing demeanor, size, and striking appearance led some students to call me "Satan" behind my back. I probably deserved their scorn, however, I was not evil as the prosecutor portrayed me or Sruthi would entertain in the podcast for dramatic affect.

At trial, I was deprived of sleep and under tremendous stress. While Bob Faraci actively engaged his jury and acted like O.J. Simpson, I felt and probably looked like a zombie. After 5 weeks, not including various pre-trial motions and jury selection, I was unable to show much if any emotion. I also knew if I tried to express myself or connect with my jury, it would come across poorly. Daily Herald News reporter John Carpenter is heard saying in episode 4 of the podcast that I looked cold and indifferent at my sentencing hearing as well. Part of this was due to the fact I was indifferent. All had been lost after my conviction and I cared little about the sentencing proceedings. I preferred execution rather than suffering and languishing in prison for decades. Despite the killer being acquitted and I being deemed accountable for his actions in the most peripheral way, I was aware the judge was going to give me the harshest penalty.  Months before the trial began the judge told my lead attorney what I was facing if convicted. The sentencing hearing was a farce and I doubt if autism was presented then it would have mattered. However, I still appreciate former trial judge Sam Amirante's recent comments to Sruthi Pinnamaneni that he may have ruled differently. It could be helpful on appeal.

Sruthi Pinnamaneni looked at my case backwards. She began talking to me about my blog which quickly led to biases against my politics and personality. Then she delved into my juvenile history which is irrelevant to my guilt or innocence. There is a reason why sentencing issues are not permitted at trial. It is because they may prejudice a jury. I know very well Sruthi had already made up her mind long before getting into real evidence. From the beginning, she may have sought to malign me. Because in the end, she simply made up a secret source to validate her opinion. The Illinois States Attorneys Office in concert with an enormous multi-jurisdictional police task force spent several million dollars and thousands of man hours searching for evidence that put me at the crime scene and failed. Yet, alakazam! Super-sleuth Sruthi finds the smoking gun. More about this amazing discovery in my final response to Reply All.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Paul's Response to the Podcast -- Part 2

After their arrest in 1993, my former roommates Bob and Rose Faraci conspired to frame me of not only the murder of Dean Fawcett but also the Palatine Brown's Chicken Massacre. Although Rose eventually admitted their accusations were false, the Cook County States Attorneys Office craftily used their chief deputy's lies to prosecute me under a theory of accountability. My lawyer basically conceded my guilt at trial and I was convicted by a jury that was oblivious the killer had walked free. Without mercy, I was condemned to spend the rest of my life in prison. For over 23 years, I have suffered in captivity for a crime I had nothing to do with. Every day I awake increasingly angry and simmering in hatred. However, my bitter ruminations are not the reason Reply All decided to make my criminal conviction the focus of their podcast as Sruthi Pinnamaneni suggested in her narration.

Early in the year, the Netflix podcast "Making of a Murderer" had gained a great amount of media attention. Because I am isolated in a maximum security penitentiary and have no Internet access, news of it was slow to reach me. Eventually, however, I learned some details through television, newspapers, and a People Magazine article. Apparently, a Wisconsin man was framed by police in a murder. After serving 17 years in prison, Steve Avery was exonerated and sued law enforcement. Oddly, not long after his release, he along with his mildly retarded nephew Brendan Dassey were arrested for another murder by the same cops who set him up previously. Netflix investigated the case and made an in-depth 10 episode broadcast. The series was very successful and brought Netflix worldwide attention.

As a small start-up podcast, Reply All sought to copy the success of Netflix as well as other murder mystery broadcasts such as Serial. However, they did not have the resources, experience, or skill sets to make a quality production. After sending Sruthi numerous police reports, transcripts, and affidavits, she still wanted more information. In detail, I had to explain to her how she could order transcripts from the circuit clerk of the court. I also taught her how to get police discovery under the Freedom of Information Act. Still having troubles and wanting confidential reports, my frail mother spent hours searching through boxes, making copies, and sending the packages to New York until finally learning she could simply scan and send the documents electronically. My attorney also spent many hours talking with Sruthi, providing her documents, and even meeting with her a couple of times to show her police evidence.

At the time Jennifer Blagg was working with Reply All, I was in the midst of finding an attorney to assist her in my appeal. After 6 years had passed, it was obvious she needed some help.  However, despite her struggles working on my appeal, she was a very good public advocate. She went well beyond her professional duties to assist Sruthi Pinnamaneni to create a podcast she hoped would be similar to "Making a Murderer". She strongly believed that public attention of my case would show how grossly unjust my conviction was and pressure the states attorneys office to drop the charge of murder. After Anita Alvarez lost reelection under a swirl of police cover-ups, prosecutorial misconduct, and other malfeasance, I thought there may be a slight chance a little media exposure could be beneficial, but I was still highly skeptical.

Reply All was not Netflix and their audience reach was minuscule. It was difficult for me to see how this tiny audio-only podcast could catch widespread media attention. Then, I know how corrupt to the core the Cook County States Attorneys Office was. Many prosecutors did not care about truth or justice, only convictions, and preserving those convictions. The Conviction Integrity Unit created by Anita Alvarez was a fraud and I don't know how much better it will be under Kim Fox. Plus, before the S.A. will even consider a prisoner's innocence, an appeal must be docketed. Jennifer Blagg was still a long way away from filing a post conviction petition, thus why I was seeking other counsel.

Completing and filing the appeal has been my focus since former Governor Quinn rejected my 5th Clemency Petition and I ceased blog postings. A podcast by Reply All would not have any effect on my legal proceedings or hasten them. Despite the strength of my issues, the Cook County States Attorneys Office will delay and fight the appeal tooth and nail for years. By the time the court vacates my conviction, I will be 50 years old and have suffered in prison more years than the statutory maximum I was eligible for. Even if released this very day, there is little I can do to piece together the shattered fragments of the life I once had. A decade from now there will be only dust. The only motive I had in a podcast was to give my obituary. I am dead and have been since I was 18 years old.

Up until Spring, dialogue with Sruthi Pinnamaneni seemed to have the intent of creating an eulogy. She was impressed by the blog but sought information about my life before I began writing and even as a child. I did not speak until I was 5 years old, but quickly overcame most autism symptoms. I excelled in sports as well as academics. She asked me what my dreams and aspirations were before my arrest, including what university I sought to attend. It was not until prison, I earned a degree with a perfect 4.0 GPA and she asked how the classes were conducted. She inquired about my early experiences in jail and prison. They were life shattering and extremely violent, however, I spent more time protecting other men from being prey to gangs. Sruthi wanted me to articulate the oppression and misery of maximum security, but this was a subject I didn't like thinking about. She asked me what was my happiest moment then, and because they are so far and few between, I was able to quickly answer. Meeting the girl I had romantically courted overseas by mail was the highlight of my afterlife. The topics covered were positive, praise worthy, and inspiring if not also heartbreaking. However, there was a turning point when Sruthi was critical and antagonistic.

Sruthi did not like me and it went beyond my support of Donald Trump. As a bleeding heart liberal, she had compassion for those with autism, however, I was not a sympathetic retard. I have concealed, overcome, and compensated for any weakness with strength. As a child I learned the ways of "The Lord of the Flies". Sruthi hated the Nietszchean philosophy I identified with and my bullying in high school. She thought my aggression was abhorrent and was appalled rather than entertained when I told her an amusing story where I KOed "The Beer King" at a party. Although I was very romantic and chivalrous with girls I dated, Sruthi was aghast that I could ever reprimand them. She also disdained my use of the word "slut". The feminazi apparently thought women should not be judged for their promiscuity and men should act as effeminate eunuchs. Because I refused to associate with the uneducated and stupid prisoners from the ghetto, Sruthi thought I was arrogant and rather than heroic for defending other white prisoners, she accused me of being a racist and a hater.

I was becoming not only annoyed but bored with the interviews. I was nonsocial and took little enjoyment talking over the phone. In fact, during my incarceration, I have went nearly a decade without using it. A few times I was asked if I felt excited being on the show. No, it was just another grim day in the penitentiary. How much did I really care if Reply All produced a podcast about the blog I wanted shut down? My life? Death? And how fair would it be considering Sruthi disliked me? After she seemed to be angry again, I simply didn't call her back for our next scheduled interview. Instead, I sent her an angry letter that began:  "Dear Megyn Kelly:"

Sruthi Pinnamaneni was very defensive when I eventually did get back in touch with her. She insisted that despite our political discord, it would not affect her reporting. I said, "What about your Marxist overlords?"  Since I began talking with Sruthi, I had finally been sent some background information about the people at Reply All. A few of them were further to the left than her. In fact, I imagined they idololized the likes of Lenin, Trotsky, and Karl Marx. On the phone, I was disparaging in other ways and Sruthi warned me not to say such things when she was in the studio, although part of what I said was in jest.

Sruthi very much wanted to do a podcast on my case. I had already assumed she did:  the Palatine Massacre, a double murder trial, one man freed another condemned to an eternity in prison for purportedly lending his car....  It would be a much more captivating story than my blog or obituary. I agreed to continue to be candidly honest and open to any questions. I assisted her in gaining documents and contact information of both friends and foe. Reply All also had my approval to be as racy and melodramatic as they wanted. Make a riveting story, I told Sruthi. However, I just ask three things: be fair, objective, and truthful. In episode 4, all these ground rules were broken.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Paul's Response to the Podcasts - Part 1

Reply All was a small upstart podcast program that premiered in 2014. The ratings were poor and producers struggled to increase the show's audience. I received overtures from the podcast as well as a few others and ignored them until Sruthi Pinnamaneni sent me a letter in mid-2015.  I appreciate people who take the time to write me directly at the penitentiary and will almost always respond. Sruthi initially came across as a genuinely nice person seeking an interview about my life and blog. The blog was supposed to be extinguished as my life had been long ago yet many people continued to express an interest in hearing those death knells. Thus, for blog readers and to some extent myself, I thought an obituary was in order. Although I was aware Reply All was produced by amateurs eager for media recognition, I did not expect the podcast to slip into tabloid journalism nor a malicious attack on my innocence.

Towards the end of my blog writing, I was informed a few radio broadcasts were interested in speaking with me. I inquired if any of them were Rush Limbaugh.  No, none of them were my favorite and most listened to conservative talk show in America. Unfortunately, they were all liberal news programs with niche or minuscule audiences. I had no interest in being a guest caller or the subject matter of a left-wing radio broadcast that I had never heard of. Eventually, however, I was told National Public Radio wanted to interview me for a show.  NPR is a station which can be heard across most of the country. It has a liberal slant, however, due to public funding has some programs which are objective and or just meant to be informative. Under those circumstances, I was open to being on their show.

In July of 2015, I received a letter from Sruthi. She introduced herself as a reporter for Reply All. She mentioned that a couple of people who work with her formerly worked on another show at NPR. She provided a phone number and said a prepaid account had already been established. I rarely listen to NPR and spent the next couple months trying to find the time her program was being broadcast so I could assess the quality, subject matters, and slant of the shows, if any. I tuned in days and nights at various hours, but found nothing. My cellmate stayed up very late watching television and I asked him to tune in periodically. He told me none of the shows introduced themselves as Reply All or were hosted by any of the names I gave him. I began to wonder what obscure time or day this broadcast was transmitted and if it ever was transmitted on the Chicago area affiliate.

It was autumn when I eventually spoke with Sruthi Pinnamaneni. Unbeknownst to me, the business card she sent had her own cell phone number on it and she asked if I could call her back at the studio. I informed her that this would necessitate having the new number approved and then entered into the prison's collect call system provider. She then would have to set up a new prepaid account with Securus. Instead, we just spoke on her cell phone and this is when I first learned she was not a reporter or host of a NPR program. In fact, her show was not even broadcast on the radio but the Internet. I had never heard of a podcast before and she had to explain it. Later, I asked a guard if he ever heard of a podcast. He said yes, but never listened to any. They were a low budget way for anyone to gain a public audience. My cellmate commented that the "news reporter" may actually be a pretender operating out of her basement. Maybe, he jested, she was just a blog fan.

In my subsequent conversations with Sruthi, I did sense she was intrigued by my blog. We spoke at length about how it was created, some of the posts and why I wrote them, as well as why I ceased to write them. She was very friendly and I liked to occasionally joke with her although she often missed my flat humor. I sensed the host of Reply All was an amateur and did not quite know what would be the focus of her narrative. I agreed to work with her to produce one half-hour program about the blog that would also lightly cover my life and injustice. Somewhere along the line, she or her colleagues at Reply All had different ideas. Possibly, their objective was malicious from the beginning.

With a name like Sruthi Pinnamaneni, I knew she was an East Indian before I called her. I was surprised when she didn't have that unique accent I encountered before my arrest when 7-11 employees took my order and inquired if I wanted a Slurpy. She said the reason she was without an accent was because she wasn't an East Indian but a South Indian. Sruthi was from Hyderabad, India. I never heard of anyone claim to be a South Indian and it amused me. In the U.S. there are only American Indians or Eastern Indians. This is how Americans distinguish between the natives and those actually from India. In jest, I inquired if she was a South American native. Maybe, I mused, she was a descendant of the Inca peoples. From then on I referred to her as a South Indian and that is where the short clip of me saying she was a South Indian socialist and Gandhi supporter in the first episode came from.

Most of our conversations occurred during the early part of the tumultuous Republican presidential primary. Much to Sruthi's displeasure, I spoke glowingly of Donald Trump. The style and messaging of his campaign was phenomenal.  It was not that of a polished career politician, but unfiltered, bold, and nationalistic. He exuded strength and leadership. His business acumen was also in dire need in the U.S.  Barack Obama's 8 year tenure had doubled the debt and led to anemic economic growth. America had the lowest workforce participation rate since the Great Depression and those with jobs had seen wages decline. In contrast, Donald Trump had turned a million dollars into over a billion dollar real estate empire. He also had a unique and brilliant prescription for decreased employment and earnings. All the Republican candidates supported lower taxes and government, however, Trump saw how international free trade agreements were harmful. He advocated for better trade agreements which put America and American workers first. The disaster of a Obama-Clinton foreign policy was obvious to all Republicans. Yet, again, Donald Trump deviated from the pack. He sought a policy where America's military and alliance network served real politik interests. Finally, Trump unabashedly rejected an open-borders cosmopolitan state overrun by foreigners, drugs, and terrorism. To me, the most dangerous existential threat to the U.S. is not Russia, China, N. Korea, or ISIS. It is the crumbling of the racial and cultural center of America. A house divided cannot stand. "Make America great again" is a powerfully appealing motto.

Sruthi Pinnamaneni loathed Donald Trump. She is a left-wing liberal who had spent most of her career advocating when possible for socialist and humanitarian causes. She was born in India but had traveled a lot eventually finding comfort in the polygot metropolis of New York City. She is a globalist and fails to see the importance of national sovereignty or U.S. exceptionalism. In fact, she once told me she thinks of all borders around the world as lines in the sand. Compare this with "I'm building a wall!" or Donald Trump's immigration stance which the East Indian reporter could be directly affected by. She is not a U.S. citizen and has two anchor babies. The podcast briefly mentions our political discourse, however, there were a number of heated arguments which at times led to her bitterly ending the conversation.

Considering Sruthi Pinnamaneni was creating the podcast, people may think it was unwise or even foolish for me to have such abrasive debates. However, I am not good at being anyone except my authentic self. As is mentioned in episode 1 of the podcast, I find most people as duplicitous. In contrast, I don't put on facades. Sruthi wanted a story about the blog and the blog is me and a quintessential part of me is my politics. I grew up fondly in the era of Ronald Reagan and quickly became a staunch paleoconservative. I believe strongly in rugged individualism, liberty, and nationalism. In my first and only election, I voted for the anti-establishment businessman Ross Perot over George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton because of his economic and America 1st messaging including his vehement opposition to NAFTA. Jeb Bush has been rejected and Americans have a chance to choose another Clinton or a new path. It is a monumental decision in the fate of this nation and more important I thought than my blog. Later, however, Reply All would change its focus to my criminal conviction.
To be continued.....