Monday, December 4, 2017

You Have the Right to Remain Silent: Guest Post by Clark Lohr and Timothy W. Moore

Clark Lohr & Timothy W. Moore:You Have the Right to Remain Silent….

There’s a display in the Phoenix Police Museum devoted to Ernesto Miranda, the man whose arrest led to the Miranda Decision, handed down in 1966 by the United States Supreme Court. Booking photos show a slender, well-muscled young man with pale skin, black hair, and full lips. In some images, Miranda wears black horn-rimmed glasses.

Ernesto Miranda had been in trouble since he was a teenager. He joined the Army at age eighteen, only to be dishonorably discharged on a Peeping Tom conviction.

When Phoenix PD reviewed Miranda’s RAP Sheet (Record of Arrests and Prosecutions) and then arrested him, he had already created a criminal pattern of behavior as a serial rapist, robber, and kidnapper.

Flash forward to 2014. Phoenix Police Detective Timothy W. Moore knew that 2016 would be the fiftieth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Miranda Decision. He also knew that no one had actually taken the time to write the story down in detail. Moore set 2016 as his deadline to produce a true crime book about the hunt for Ernest Miranda and the court actions leading to the Miranda Decision.

Moore had read thousands of suspects their Miranda Warnings in his nearly thirty-year career. He’d started as a patrol officer, and he’d worked a wide range of detective assignments in order to round himself out by learning the many aspects of various police investigations. He’d earned a bachelor’s degree along the way and, in 2014, he was working the Violent Crimes Bureau’s Crime Gun Intelligence Squad.

Moore was also an associate director on the board of the Phoenix Police Museum, along with a host of current and retired Phoenix police officers and detectives, one of whom was Carroll Cooley, a tough, square jawed man with wide set eyes who’d retired from the Phoenix PD in 1978. Cooley and another detective named Wilfred Young had arrested Ernesto Miranda on March 13, 1963, kicking off a chain of events that resulted in the most famous Supreme Court decision in United States history.

Cooley was open to being interviewed and Moore set about getting the Miranda story right. His work with Cooley opened a door leading to many retired officers and detectives who were involved in various aspects of the Miranda story from 1962, including the detectives who investigated Miranda’s murder in 1976.

In follow-up interviews, Moore learned about Miranda’s trial, the appeals, his re-trial and his sentencing. But there was more to it. Newspaper accounts and Freedom of Information Act requests led to original documentation and court records.

Moore did additional interviews, which included a Miranda family member— retired Phoenix Police Detective David Miranda, the nephew of Ernesto. Using these interviews, coupled with Phoenix Police Department reports, court records, and the volumes of Supreme Court documentation, Moore did a draft of a book written with a unique structure.

Mirandized Nation is largely a scary true crime book that shifts points of view between Miranda, his victims, and the detectives who search for the answers that will lead them to a sick, dangerous, and persistent predator of women.

We follow Detective Cooley’s successful career, which paralleled Miranda’s criminal career. Cooley retired with the rank of captain. Miranda’s career ended in true outlaw fashion by way of a violent death.  

Mirandized Nation is also a book that uses an accessible, fast moving narrative to detail what the Supreme Court was doing at the time. They were, in fact, examining multiple cases like Miranda’s, all of which had to do with suspects’ rights, and the Miranda Decision was so named only because his was the first case of that type to arrive on their court calendar.

Moore fictionalized some of the dialog and some of the characterization of the players to facilitate the story and made use of close third person, quoting Miranda’s thoughts. Names of victims and witnesses were changed, but nothing else was invented—which, again, makes it scary. We’re with Miranda when he’s pulling out of his driveway at night to find and assault women and we know what day it is and we know what time it is—and we know it’s true. Every chapter of the book is furnished with a list of references.

With his draft completed, Tim Moore solicited the assistance of Clark Lohr, a crime novelist living in Tucson, Arizona, who possessed what Moore did not have—a degree in Writing and Literature and another in English. The two men were able to combine their research and expertise, leading to a lasting friendship and a revised draft of Mirandized Nation.

After professional editing done by Lisa Anderson, and a final editing by Deborah J. Ledford, a novelist and owner of IOF (Ice on Fire) Productions, Ltd., Mirandized Nation was published in May of 2015.

Clark Lohr lives in Tucson, Arizona. He is the author of two crime novels, Devil's Kitchen and The Devil on Eighty-five.

Timothy W. Moore retired from the Phoenix PD after a thirty-year career, most of it as a detective. Moore has an enduring marriage and two grown daughters.

No comments: