Wrong Guy, Good Cause

by longformphilly


Steve Lopez | TIME Magazine | July 2000

She has a story to tell and a permit to tell it at 6 p.m. next Tuesday in Philadelphia, but you are not likely to notice Maureen Faulkner in the crowd at the Republican National Convention. So here is her story in advance.

Faulkner grew up in Philadelphia and married a cop. She was only 24 when he was shot and killed on duty in 1981, and she had to get out of town and start over somewhere else. She ended up in California, and it was going fine until about six years ago. Suddenly, everywhere she turned, she saw her husband’s killer. She saw him on T shirts, on posters, on book covers, on television. He’d become an international celebrity, called a hero by some, compared to Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jr. by others. Maureen Faulkner’s crusade began then, and the next stop takes her back home.

“They have a right to protest, and I have a right to protest against them,” Faulkner, 43, said last week in Camarillo, Calif., where she manages a medical office. Given George W. Bush’s record on executions in Texas, protest groups were putting out the call to “Crash the Executioner’s Ball,” and thousands were expected to join in. Faulkner respects death-penalty foes. What she resents is that their poster boy is the man who murdered her husband.

Writer bio: Steve Lopez was a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer from 1986 to 1997. Lopez, generally considered one of the best writers in city newspaper history, joined the Los Angeles Times as a columnist in 2001.

Continue reading “Wrong Guy, Good Cause.”