Journalist gets up close and personal with killer-quintet
Radio journalist Nancy Mullane has gone behind the walls of Californiaâ€™s infamous San Quentin state prison to chronicle how lifeÂ unfolds forÂ five inmates convicted of murder.
The five-year investigative effort byÂ theÂ freelance reporter and producerÂ who does a lot of work for NPRÂ is now chronicled in her book,Â Â Life After Murder.Â
Mullane followsÂ Don Cronk, Ed Ramirez, Rich Rael, Phillip Seiler and Jesse Reed as they work through the complicated system of obtaining parole, and tracks their travailsÂ once outside. Each of the men have been convicted ofÂ murder.
Mullane said she received unprecendented cooperation from the prison staff and the quintet of convicted killersÂ as they sought parole for good behavior decades afterÂ their crime.
The book sees life from the perspective of convicted killers but Mullane did not contact people close to the victims, a deliberate decision on her part.
â€śI really wanted to focus on who the people who commit murder have Â become, and thatâ€™s why I didnâ€™t go the victimâ€™s side,â€ť she added. “From 2000 to 2009,Â Â 57,000 people who were convicted for first and second degree were released from prison nationwide. We don’t know who they are.”
The San Francisco resident kicked off her book tourÂ and introducedÂ the five subjectsÂ at a pre-launch event at her friend and Andreessen Horowitz partner Margit Wennmachersâ€™ house recently. The event was attended by a lot of employeesÂ within the prison system, who noted Mullaneâ€™s Â tenacity and persistance in seeking access to both the prison and the prisoners.Â
The book, which will be released on June 26 by Public Affairs, has been submitted by the publisher for a Pulitzer prize. Now it remains to be seen if the Pulitzer board will be as impressed by her work as the CaliforniaÂ prison systemÂ officials are.