October 16, 2017 – This week, our time machine travels back to a date of infamy: September 9, 1971, when inmates seized control of Attica Correctional Facility in Western New York State. A four-day standoff resulted, ending when police and corrections officers stormed Attica, leaving 29 inmates and 10 guards dead and dying. In the immediate aftermath, newspapers and television reported the state-sanctioned version of events: The prisoners had murdered the hostages.
The medical examiner debunked that narrative the next morning, stating that police bullets had killed those held captive. From that point on, New York officials from Governor Nelson Rockefeller on down kicked into high gear to suppress the full truth — a truth that remained buried and scoffed at for half a century.
Malcolm Bell — hired by New York State in 1973 to prosecute any cases that might arise out of its investigation — reveals what really happened when the state retook the prison. His book is The Attica Turkey Shoot: Carnage, Cover-Up, and the Pursuit of Justice. While serving as a New York State prosecutor, Bell blew the whistle on the Empire State’s refusal to hold law enforcement officers accountable for the extensive torture and murder that they committed during the riots.
You can find our guest at Facebook.com/MalcolmBellAuthor