Sunday, October 02, 2005

Another Challenge To MOVE


On Sept 27, 2002 John Gilbride’s bullet ridden body was discovered in front of his Maple Shade, New Jersey apartment only hours before he was to have his first unsupervised visit with his son. A visit that MOVE members vowed would never take place.

Three years have passed and no one has been arrested, but everyone has their justified suspicions.

As someone who spent years in the midst of the MOVE cult I have my own and have not been quiet about them.

When John was killed he was in the midst of a highly contentious custody dispute and was hours away from having his first unsupervised visit with his son. A visit that MOVE members and their loyal cadre of supporters vowed would never take place.

Seventeen days before John was killed his life was threatened by a MOVE member.

And as far back as January 1997, Gilbride was being told by MOVE members that "my attitude towards my wife was going to cause a situation that would involve my death."

During the custody dispute, MOVE members and their ilk attempted to get John fired from his job. They slandered him with fictitious allegations of child and spousal abuse. They protested judges involved with the case. And when all of these cheap shenanigans failed, they boarded up there house and threatened a re-creation of the events of May 13th, 1985. I know, because I was there, in the thick of the MOVE emanated muck.

And that is the climate in which John Gilbride was killed.

After John’s murder, a cloud of suspicion hung over the MOVE Organization, but the immediate danger of a war between MOVE and the police was at least, temporarily avoided. MOVE quickly switched from a group that was preparing to go the distance with the civilized world to a group that wanted nothing more than to fade into quiet anonymity.

The wooden slats that were placed over the windows at MOVE Headquarters were unceremoniously removed. The crude signs protesting the "oppression" of the sect disappeared almost over night. MOVE supporters were told not to speak or write about John’s death, because the "system" wanted to frame a MOVE supporter for the crime. We were told that the cops had done the deed in order to hurt MOVE’s leader and John’s ex-wife, Alberta Africa. We, MOVE supporters, were told lots of things, none of which I now believe to be true.

As suspicion continued to swirl around MOVE, the sect attempted to deflect uncomfortable questions with sad and convoluted conspiracy theories. Yet for many, certainly for me, it is clearly obvious that the only ones to benefit from John’s murder were his adversaries in MOVE.

Now, three years on and the question about who is responsible for John Gilbrides murder remains unanswered. For their part, the Burlington County Prosecutors Office tells us that the investigation is still on-going and active. And MOVE members continue to deny any role in the killing of Gilbride.

I, for one, think that it is about time that MOVE’s leaders put there money where there foul mouths are.

If they truly had nothing to do with the killing of John Gilbride than they should have no trouble taking a polygraph test to prove it.

And in the spirit of fairness I would be willing to travel to Philadelphia on my own dime to do the same.

So how about it Ramona, Sue, Alberta?. If MOVE members had nothing to do with the killing of John Gilbride why not take a few hours of your day and show the people of Philadelphia how honest and open that you really are. Show us how innocent you are.

I can't wait to hear your answer.


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