Sunday, May 11, 2008

Book Review - "The Framing of Mumia Abu Jamal"

"The Framing Of Mumia-Jamal" by J. Patrick Connor
Lawrence Hill Books 256 pages

Review by John Hayden

Americans in general, and Philadelphians in particular are fortunate indeed.

Author J.Patrick O'Connor has just published a book that solves the mystery that's been haunting us for the past 27 years:

Who killed Officer Danny Faulkner at 3:51AM, December 9, 1981?

O'Connor, the editor and publisher of Crime Magazine, after conducting a two decade investigation only rivaled in its brilliance by Chief Inspector Clouseau, has discovered that it wasn't the radio journalist/cab driver arrested at the crime scene sitting near his five shot 38 - with five spent cartridges in the cylinder.The "real killer" was Kenneth Freeman, a passenger in the VW driven by Mumia Abu Jamal's brother.

Wow! The editorial board of the anti-death penalty Philadelphia Inquirer now has the moral obligation to immediately urge DA Abraham to call off her homicidal hound dogs, stop persecuting Abu Jamal, and either unilateraly vacate the 1982 racially mixed jury's guilty verdict, or at least buy the book, ship a copy to the Manhattan based "Innocence Project," and urge them to spring the framed-up and railroaded political prisoner.

"The Framing of Mumia Abu Jamal" is a good read. It's only 259 pages. You can breeze through it in less time than it takes to recite "Free Mumia! Free All Political Prisoners! "a 1,000 times.

Plus, if you're fortunate enough to know nothing about the overwhelming evidence of the remorseless cop killer's guilt, or, if your UFO just arrived here from another galaxy, you might become convinced that the gun owning ex Panther really was framed by "the Philadelphia Police Dept. and District Attorney's Office" and that they railroaded Abu Jamal "by knowingly using perjured, coerced, and bribed testimony at his trial." (p.xiii).

Unfortunately the book starts off with a minor factual error that doesn't inspire confidence.

It's 1st sentence gives "July 2, 1982" as the date the jury voted for the death penalty. (p.x). That was the date of the guilty verdict. The sentencing trial took place July 3, 1982. The book, published on May 1, 2008, ends with this 100% confident prediction about the Abu Jamal's appeal to the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals:

"One way or another, a new trial is an almost certain outcome for Abu Jamal." (p.255)

Of course, that federal appeals court had already denied the convicted cop killer's new trial request several weeks before that Quixotic sentiment was published.

The quaint, major, premise of this latest pro-Mumia screed is that the passenger in the VW owned by Abu Jamal's brother, and Robert Harkins, "an eyewitness the prosecution did not call to testify are the keys to everything in this case." (p. 11).

The Framing quotes a 12/9/81 and a 12/18/81 statement from the cabbie-eyewitness (pp.13-14). It cleverly infers from some of its language that Robert Harkin's "description of the shooter...points directly to the burly Freeman" and "it also excludes both Abu Jamal and his brother, Billy Cook, from being the shooter." (p.14)

Of course, Inspector Clouseau's rival in solving mystery-murders never spoke to Robert Harkins. Author O'Connor never heard Harkin's August 2, 1995 testimony as Abu Jamal's own witness at the disastrous new trial hearing. He certainly never read - or just plain forgot - the transcript. The latter unambiguously indicates to any sane person that the person Harkins saw shoot the cop couldn't possibly be the passenger in William Cook's car.

Harkins responded to a question from the convicted cop killer's own lawyer, Daniel Williams, as to what happened after he saw the cop on the ground:

"A. Well, he (the shooter) leaned over and two, two to three flashes from his gun. But then he (the shooter) sat down on the curb.

Q.The guy that done the shooting walked and sat down on the curb!?!

A. On the pavement. (Transcript-8/2/95-p.210)"

Abu Jamal's flabbergasted lawyer immediately moved to strike the testimony he didn't want the hearing court - or the public - to consider. The Judge refused. This 1995 testimony corroborated the 1982 trial testimony of two eyewitnesses (pedestrian Cynthia White and cabbie Robert Chobert). White testified (without contradiction from Abu Jamal or his brother) that after she'd seen Mumia Abu Jamal shoot the cop in the back and the victim fell:

"Then he (the shooter) came on top of the officer and shot some more times. After that he (the shooter) went over and sloughed and he sat on the curb."(Transcript - 6/21/82, p.95)

Chobert testified -without contradiction - that after the shooter fired downward at the prone cop:

"Then I saw him walk about 10 feet he just fell by the curb."(Transcript 6/19/82, p.3.212)

That curb is the place where Officers Shoemaker and Forbes arrived about 15 seconds later and observed Abu Jamal sitting next to his 38 with five spent cartridges in its chamber.

Author O'Connor obviously picked the wrong person to establish The Framing of Mumia Abu Jamal.

Nevertheless for 259 pages he valiantly tries to force the round peg of Mumia's innocence into the square hole of Harkins description of the murder to prove that Abu Jamal was "framed."

With breathtaking verbal legerdemain he claims that "the first shot was fired by Faulkner himself at the oncoming Abu-Jamal"; that "Abu Jamal went down" and was "replaced by Freeman who...wrestled Faulkner to the ground and then shot the officer in the back and then in the face, just as witness Harkins had told the police in his two statements." (p.115)

The highly imaginative fiction book complains that the cops never tested the gun owning radio journalist's hands to prove that he'd just fired his weapon. But it dishonestly fails to give the reader any explanation whatsoever for the presence of five spent cartridges in Abu Jamal's handgun.

William Cook & Kenneth Freeman

The reality-challenged author never spoke to Abu Jamal's brother. He never had the oportunity to assess, much less test, his credibility. But he did take the time to read William Cook's 45 paragraph "Mumia's innocent!" affidavit of 4/29/01. From that strenuous investigative effort he concluded that the passenger in Cook's VW had shot Officer faulkner outside his VW while he was inside looking for his driver's license.

It never occuured to the investigative journalist to inquire why, if that's true, Abu Jamal's brother didn't testify to that scenario at the June-July 1982 murder trial, or to the Judge at the July-August 1995 new trial hearing based on "newly discovered evidence of innocence."

"The Framing of Mumia Abu Jamal" fails to tell the public why Cook waited 19 years to reveal that a dead man named Kenneth Freeman is "real killer."

J. Patrick O'Connor's new look at at an absurdly old murder case is highly recommended. It makes a valuable contribution to the ever expanding "Mumia's Innocent!" mythology. "The Framing of Mumia Abu Jamal" may be found in the Fiction Section of Barnes & Noble right next to Grimms Fairy Tales and a sensational, 100% true, unauthorized biography on Pope Benedict entitled Confessions of a Life-Long Athiest.

John Hayden is the author of "Mumia Abu Jamal-The Patron Saint of American Cop Killers" and is a contributor to the Anti-MOVE/Mumia Blog


At 9:42 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmm.... I just checked my copy of "Framing" and O'Connor does explicitly recognize Harkins' PCRA testimony (pages 212-214).

More deliberate lies and misrepresentation from the FRY MUMIA crowd... nothing new there.

This is an excellent book, and while he does apparently have the wrong date (July 3, not July 2) this doesn't take away from how he exposes the "Framing of Mumia."

At 11:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

With your insite on the inner workings and your own research it may be time for you to write a non-fiction book about Mumia and Move.

If Mumia and the Move 9 are released I believe Move would lose its funding from the supporters because the cause would be over. Maybe they should write a book with fake names to help show the Mumia guilty so they can keep their meal ticket. I guess Romana and Pam would have to stop taking all their overseas visits if Mumia was free and their money was gone.

All you Mumia supporters out there should be asking yourselves where does all the money go and who is benefiting from the money.

At 2:09 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

From what I have seen and heard, but not having personally read the book, if you are putting your bets on this new book and it's crack-pot author, you are more sad and desperate than ever.

I plan on doing my own review of the book and am curious as to see how it's author dances around the truth in what will sure to both be a literary cure for insomnia and a test of my intestinal fortitude.

It's the gun stupid! How did Freeman get Mumia's gun away from him, shoot Officer Faulkner, and than melt away without anyone knowing? He didn't, because this book, like the Mumia movement itself, is rubbish

At 2:49 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

agree or disagree with "The Framing of Mumia," but at least get the facts right and don't lie about his arguments.

Nowhere does O'Connor argue that Freeman took Mumia's gun from him.

At 5:20 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

Ok. Read this slowly. I have not read the book. However, if the premise is that Freeman shot Officer Faulkner, than how is it that Mumia has still, to this day, failed to explain how his gun, registered to him, that was carried in a concealed holster, ended up on the ground next to him with all rounds fired?

The gun that killed Faulkner was a .38 as was Mumia's gun, a point even Jamal's own ballistics expert conceded at trial. The defense has never even attempted to construct an excuse for Jamal's empty weapon, all rounds fired, being next to him. What was he doing with it out of the holster? Was he going to throw his revolver at Officer Faulkner.

If you add the irrefutable proof of the ballistics with the eyewitness testimony and a shred of common sense, the evidence points directly at Jamal's gun being the murder weapon.

So again I ask, if the murder weapon was that of Mumia's as the jury and courts agree it was, how did Freeman get it? And how did nobody see him get it?

If Freeman killed Faulkner than there would be evidence of a ballistics nature to show it, but that is not the case and it is not the case because Freeman is a contrivence as much as Singletary, and Arnold Beverly.

"Anonymous" let it go, you will feel better. You are akin to somebody arguing that the earth is flat.

At 7:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

so tony, your wife still cheating on you with 15 year old boys and how sthe tumor doing?

At 7:26 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...'s comments like this that make it so I don't need to go out and find examples of how MOVE/Mumia supporters, instead of debating the issues, go out of their way to make ad-hominem attacks and to not even have the guts to do anything behind hide behind their anonymity. No wonder they have no qualms about supporting a guy who shot someone in the back and a cult who rapes children as a matter of offical "MOVE" buisness

At 5:54 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm. If you can't beat 'em, slam 'em.

I find it sooooo interesting that Mumia's brother says little about what happened that night. If someone other than he or his brother shot Faulkner, he would be screaming about it. Why let his brother rot in jail if he knows different?

At 12:52 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

Mumia's brother is the 800 pound gorilla standing in the "Free Mumia" psych ward.

He didn't testify because if he perjured himself and attempted to refute the massive amount of eyewitness and physical evidence, that he would possibly face charges for perjury.

On the other hand, had he told the truth, he would have had to deal with MOVE and Jamal's other fanatical devotees, not to mention the wrath of the Cook family itself. He was not in a fun position, however he has a moral obligation to tell the truth and I for one, hope he does one day.

At 2:10 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

you racist americans!

At 3:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, ck, I love comments like this!! You have no clue as to the race of any of the posters here, instead you throw out the usual Leftist/socialist drivel when you have nothing of value to add to a conversation.

Now run along, us "big kids" have work to do.

At 9:45 PM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

Personally, I think the true bigots are the white supporters of MOVE who turn a blind eye to the rape of mostly black children who are treated little better than farm animals.

I guess the two black jurors who convicted Mumia were "Uncle Tom's", that Joey Grant, a fine Prosecutor from the DA's Office who is black hates his won people.

I suppose Priscilla Durham who heard Jamal confess is another self-hating black, and so too must Cynthia White be who saw Jamal shoot Officer Faulkner.

And I am certain you think Officer Faulkner was a racist, despite the fact that Jamal supporter and witness called him a "good cop". A cop who the night of his death stayed with a young black rape victim at the same hospital where he himself would be brought after being shot by Mumia.

And I am sure Maureen Faulkner is a racist too as she, instead of courting bigots, returned money sent to her by a racist group. Meanwhile, Jamal supporters court racist groups and provide a platform for known hate groups.

Get a grip

At 12:55 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me see...hmmm..ALL of the District Attorneys Office(100's), all of the Police Department (thousands) all of the State judges and Justices, All of the Federal Courts conspired to frame Mumia Abu Jamal. As Mr. Allen stated...get a grip on reality

JD retired, Stakeout Unit

At 8:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


you said "The gun that killed Faulkner was a .38 as was Mumia's gun, a point even Jamal's own ballistics expert conceded at trial"

mumia abu jamal did not have a ballistics expert at his initial trial. he could not afford one. it is interesting that you cannot name this imaginary ballistics expert.

At 8:26 AM , Blogger Tony Allen said...

Mumia did have a ballistics expert. He was the same expert that was at the '95 trial. His name is Fasschanact (sic). He was consulted throughout the first trial and testified during the PCRA hearing and he was paid both times.

Please learn the facts from the trial transcripts before commenting.


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