I don’t think of myself as traveling in a rowdy or criminal crowd, yet there are two killers I’ve known in my life.
One was a friend from college, George. I lost touch with him only to receive a letter years later after I had appeared on Good Morning America. He was watching from prison.
George did his wife in and then buried her under a freshly poured cement basement floor. Considering the crime, and considering he was convicted of manslaughter and not murder, there must have been extenuating circumstances.
This seemed very out of character for George. I had never known him to be threatening or violent – ever.
The other killer in my life is a little more notorious, Mumia Abu Jamal.
I knew Mumia on the late ’70s when he was a newsman and I was a disk jockey at WPEN in Philadelphia. I remember him as being very soft spoken with a beautiful deep voice. His copy was very well written. He was lacked any knowledge of sports. For heaven’s sake, he was asking me for sports pronunciations and background.
Because of the station’s format and our “naming convention”, Mumia was forced to have a more Anglo first, middle and last name and became “William Wellington Cole.”
You can’t make this stuff up! In retrospect, that was embarrassing.
I have no idea whether he killed the policeman he was convicted of shooting, but my guess is, he did. He had become more radical over the years and, I suppose, angry.
This is all brought to mind since he was made an honorary citizen of Paris today.
I believe the French have really honed their revulsion toward us and our society to a fine, sharp point. This is just another way to tweak us.
It must be sad for them to live in a country that is no longer an important member of the international community. I’m not saying we have foreign policy geniuses running the show, because we don’t, but our opinion, muscle, and money still count for something. France, on the other hand, is a marginal player at best.
C’est la vie.