Dear Chicago Poetry Scene,
Norman Porter, the criminal who posed as a Chicago poet named JJ Jameson for nearly twenty years before being discovered as the escaped fugitive, is scheduled to have a parole hearing on Tuesday, October 6, at 12 noon, at the parole board headquarters, 12 Mercer Road in Natick, Massachusetts. This is a public hearing and anyone may attend.
If granted parole, it is possible this murderer may be released as soon as November 16.
I personally do not support the parole of Norman Porter. A group called "The Friends of Norman Porter" has created a great big fiction about Norman Porter. This fiction paints an absurd image of this man as the poster child for rehabilitation. They describe Porter's life on the lam in Chicago as the life of some angel. I personally knew Norman Porter as JJ Jameson for over fifteen years, and I am an eye witness, and I can tell you that I never saw that angel. I saw a drunk, belligerent, rude, drug addicted, manipulative person who often insulted people, who was borderline violent and who destroyed people's relationships. This terrible human being got away with it all because he lied about who he really was.
Because I have been an outspoken critic of Norman Porter, some of his "friends" have waged character assassinations upon me in order to make my views about Porter seem less valid.
But here I am, and they have failed to shut me up yet!
Anyone who wants to object to the release of Norman Porter may attend the parole hearing or write a letter of non-support to the parole board. Do not send your letter to Porter's attorney who will filter out any honest opinions, but instead address and mail your letter directly to:
Mark A. Conrad, Chairman
Massachusetts Parole Board
12 Mercer Road
Natick, MA 01760
You can also call the parole board::
The essential requirements for parole are these: A prisoner must have demonstrated that (1) he poses no danger to society and (2) will be able to live a law-abiding life outside prison. Norman Porter has not demonstrated either of these. Anyone who has seen him in the past, hopped up narcotics, driving a car, should think twice about putting this man back on the street. Let us not forget that this man blew a kid's head clean off with a sawed-off shotgun and then made a brazen escape from jail during which a guard was murdered. After that he was convicted and sentenced to two life terms in prison, and he escaped again! Norman Porter is most definitely a danger to society. That assumption that Porter committed no crimes while on the lam can be disputed; perhaps he simply never got caught. Whose identity did Porter steal when he chose his new name? Whose social security number was he using? When he was arrested for various things in Chicago and he gave the authorties his stolen idenity, wasn't that a crime? Norman Porter does not deserve to live a life, law-abiding or not, outside of prison.
Society cannot use Porter's alleged "good behavior" during his 25 years in prison as proof that he reconstructed his life, because he then used the trust he obtained from that good behavior as a means of escaping justice. He did not behave responsibly on his furloughs; he hid a sack of money in the woods and then used one of his furloughs to skip town. He also did not show any proof of rehabilitation during his 20 years on the lam in Chicago. Having "devoted friends" is not proof of anything. Even Charles Manson had "devoted friends". Norman Porter spent twenty years in Chicago partying and having a good time when he was suppose to be in prison.
Norman Porter refuses to take responsibility for his own crimes. He also refuses to take responsibility for the people he hurt in Chicago. Even in the movie Killer Poet, when he was interviewed, Porter claimed the only thing he lied about to his friends in Chicago was his name. Really? How about when he told us he had two daughters? How about when he told us he was in the streets protesting the Vietnam War in the 60s and 70s, when he was really behind bars for brutally murdering someone? How about not warning those who put him up for the night that they were aiding and abetting a fugitive cop-killer? It's not hard to see why Porter shouldn't be paroled. It's simple. He committed the crime, now he has to do the time.
It is also not about how much it costs to keep someone in prison. Yes, prisons are expensive and, yes, some people should be released to keep the cost down, like those charged with minor drug offenses, for example. But in Norman Porter's case, we are talking about a man who was sentenced to two life terms for two brutal murders, who received every bit of leniency and mercy the system could offer, way more mercy than most prisoners get, and who then cold-heartedly took advantage of that mercy to sign himself out of prison to go take a walk, only to betray those who trusted him with that right. If I had $48,000 to spare every year, I would personally fund Porter's imprisonment in order to keep this malicious, murderous, lying manipulator off the streets.
Let us not forget that when Norman Porter was on the lam he was not living a "law-abiding" life. Every minute of every day of every year he was free he was committing a crime by being a fugitive wanted by the law. This big fiction that the "friends of Norman Porter" are creating, about how he was such a generous and caring person who didn't get in any trouble while he was on the lam, is just hogwash. Norman Porter was nothing but trouble and for some reason we celebrated that trouble. We celebrated that trouble because we didn't know who he really was. I am wondering how many of us would have sat there and watched his final reading at Coffee Chicago, when he was so high on narcotics that he couldn't even speak, if we knew that he was really Norman Porter from Massachusetts. How many people at the church would have trusted him with their kids if they knew? We were not given the opportunity to decide whether or not he was a trustworthy person, because he sold us a great big lie. We were not given the chance to decide whether or not he was worthy of our friendship. His life in Chicago, the lies he told, the relationships he ruined, and his destructive behavior were all crimes that he shouldn't have been given the opportunity to commit.
Still fighting the good fight!
Note: I do not support the parole of Norman Porter. The Friends of Norman Porter are creating a fiction about this horrible man's life. The truth should be known.