Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Lloyd Cork Murder Trial

A few days ago I received the Lloyd Cork court transcripts in the mail.  Lloyd Cork is the man who murdered my grandfather, Booker Wright.  The murder was committed in 1973 and Cork is still in prison today.

I thumbed through the file when I received it Monday night.  There were two documents in there that contained copies of handwritten notes from Cork.

I found myself studying his handwriting.  It didn't look like the handwriting of a murderer.  I guess I thought it would be sloppy with each letter a different size than the one next to it.  Maybe I was expecting his writing to be sinister and scary like random letters pulled together in a ransom note.  Instead it was slanted.  His penmanship seems slow, deliberate, and somehow effeminate.

I woke up early this morning so that I could read through the entire file before my day got going.  There were some things about this file that really bothered me.  Here's the email I sent to David, the producer, after reading it.

"A few things about this case are giving me pause.  

The defense didn't call a single witness.  After the state was finished with all of their witnesses, people who actually saw Blackie shoot Booker, the defense made a motion to have the judge declare Blackie Not Guilty on the grounds that: 

'the State has failed to make out a case against this defendant and there is no evidence in the record from which to sustain a conviction on the charge for which the defendant has been indicted, and that the evidence adduced in this Court does not show that the defendant is guilty of any charge whatsoever.'

Really?  

I wonder if Blackie had Atticus Finch defending him if anything would've been done differently.  Is he also a "victim" (it turns my stomach to use that word) of the times.  My dad said about Blackie that he 'came from a family that had let him down.'  Is it possible that his attorneys just have phoned it in.  I know that's a huge accusation, and I know so little about law.  Should I even care about this?  He did kill my grandfather.

On Sunday when I met with my mom we spoke just briefly about Blackie.  I told her that he was coming up for parole again, immediately she said that he needed to stay in jail for the rest of his life.  

I don't know why, but the more that I read this the sicker I feel. "

19 comments:

  1. After seeing your grandfathers story on Dateline tonight, I wondered why they didn't investigate his murder/murderer at all? I was left with a lot of questions about this. Would it be possible for you to talk to Lloyd Cork in jail?

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    1. I'm meeting him this October. I'll keep you posted, via this blog, on how it goes.

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  2. Booker waited on me many times at Lusco's and was always courteous. Of course, our table was young adults, not the old fogies he spoke about. We never abused any waiter and certainly not Booker.

    I find it curious that Dateline did not pursue the issue of his murder. Who was this Cork person. Who were the two white men he was seen talking with at Booker's Place. It occurs to me that they were not local people.

    The man who aired the old film clip was grossly irresponsible or extremely stupid if did not know this would have an extremely negative impact. How he sit there all teary-eyed and discuss it and say that Booker did not want to prevent it being aired. A responsible journalist would have made sure Booker had legal representation in the matter. That man was alien to the culture of the South in those days and had no business there except to aggitate and Booker was his victim.

    I realize that Booker was probably not killed because of the film but NBC could have elaborated a little more on the fact that he was killed by another Black man and delved into WHY. I'm sure that someone could have divulged to NBC whether the two white men were local.

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  3. Did you ever speak with Cork? I'm sure he has something to say. He committed the crime in 1973 and was sentenced in 73, was it a speedy trial. What Cork did was wrong but did he have an option to plead not guilty and receive a number of years instead of life. Like so many today can plea and receive 25 years for a murder. It is quite confusing.

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  4. Wow, lots of thoughts here. Okay, I can't speak for why Dateline included or didn't include certain material. I was a subject, not a producer. I couldn't disagree with you more about Frank De Felitta's choice to air Booker's statements. He warned Booker multiple times about the danger. Frank even gave Booker his direct phone numbers and told my grandfather that he had up until a week before the broadcast to be able to ask for his piece to be pulled.

    For centuries, blacks weren't allowed to do what they wanted because a white person stopped them. I think Frank would've been acting disrespectfully had he NOT followed Booker's wishes and aired the piece.

    There's a lot written here about Cork. He and I have exchanged letters and I'm planning to sit down with him in the fall.

    Thank you for your interest!

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    1. I think that Mr. Booker knew exactly what the dangers were. This was his calling to let everyone know how it felt to be black....a servant...during a time when so many still remained quiet. He didn't pull it because he had a bigger goal in mind. That took great courage. Courage that many of us to this day do not have. It's a shame that it is apparent that he was murdered by on of his own.....who was possibly used by others to do their dirty work.

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  5. This is a great documentary. I wasn't born when this took place, but I am very interested in history..."OUR" history. I am glad that this was made, because many people today don't know where they have come from. They don't know to take pride in their history....to take care of their families...to uplift and not to destroy. Thank you for sharing your family's story.

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  6. Your grandfather was a good man, and a wise couragious man. May God bless you.

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    1. I'm so happy that you see what I see when I look at him. Thank you!

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  7. I'm so Glad to have found this film about your Grand Father Booker Wright. I fell in Love with you as well , your spirit radiated through the flim. I will share this flim with my Grand kids. They are mixed but I feel it's our responsibility to help them know their past generations history. I'm so Grateful for your Grand Father's life. He was a Libra all about Love and Fairness . I'm so glad he got the chance to meet his Mom.

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  8. I finished watching the documentary on Booker. I can't imagine having to repeat the menu throughout the evening & then go home and still share your day with family. I would want to rest my voice. The Lord our God must be using Bookers voice in heaven. What ever the reason "why we suffered" the way we did, in history, has to be to help save souls in this world full of hate & to transform lives for the better.

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  9. Did you have the conversation with Cork?

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    1. Keep reading. I tried to visit but he wouldn't come out of his cell. :(

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  10. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and this is mine. It's very likely Cork was paid to kill Mr. Wright, told he wouldn't do jail time for it (thus the smug behavior in court), and threatened never to reveal who paid him.

    So, the fact that Mr. Wright was killed by a Black man does NOT absolve the community that fostered such poor treatment of fellow human beings because of the color of their skin.

    I take my hat off to Booker Wright...

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  11. This film had me in tears..Mr.Booker was so brave and his smile stayed on my mind..Thank you for telling his story..very powerful. .

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  12. I am very sad and inwardly outraged at what happened in the aftermath of the original documentary to Mr. Wright. Injustices occur every single day in our country and yet we as a nation proudly exclaim our freedoms and values to the world and one another. Makes a sane person almost insane trying to equate that. Peace somehow be with you Wright family decendants.

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