In May of 1988, David Hendricks, Menard Prison inmate N-50478, distributed a news release to announce he was about to marry. Here’s the release:
NEWS RELEASE May 1, 1988 From: David Hendricks, Menard
My natural inclination is to keep this news private. I present it, however, with a two-fold purpose: 1) Out of respect for, and as a courtesy to, Central-Illinois reporters. 2) Because it is news which is likely to be discovered and reported anyway; so I want to present the facts accurately to avoid mistakes.
I am getting married later this month of May, 1988. My fiancee is Patricia Miller, a 37 year old woman from out-of-state. She is a medical transcriptionist by profession and a devoted Christian. Although we met through the mail, Pat has visited me quite often. The lady who introduced us (the mother of a fellow prison inmate) attends the same church as Pat.
Pat and I fell in love fairly early in our relationship but have resisted the desire to marry, hoping to wait until I was released from prison. Waiting for “justice” can be exasperating, however, and since we both feel our lives will be enriched by marriage, we have decided to wait no longer. We are deeply in love and committed to each other, come what may.
The ceremony will be held at the Menard Prison in a small room. The six guests will include Pat’s children, my parents, and my late wife Susan’s mother and sister. Prison rules allow the wedding party to visit in the visiting room for the day.
Pat and her two children plan to move to Illinois to be near me. Rather than seeking new employment, she intends to organize an informational campaign about my case. The facts are on our side. We, therefore, want to publicize those facts to try to correct the injustice done to me.
I am very happy. Pat is a wonderful woman, one who shares my Christian faith. After all that I’ve experienced during the last four and a half years, having someone love me and believe in me as Pat does has brightened my life and given me renewed hope. I love her two children: Ryan is seven; Rachel is two. Both are very lovable and have won my heart completely.
We do not want news coverage of the ceremony or, in fact, any coverage more than simple factual reporting of the marriage, which may be of interest to the news-gathering public. I have shown you the courtesy of this press release; please reciprocate by respecting our wishes for relative privacy. Thank you.
As it turned out, Hendricks’s announcement was premature. The prison warden denied permission for the marriage to take place, saying it could only frustrate Hendricks because there was no prospect he would ever be freed. In the meantime, Pat Miller moved from Toledo, Ohio, with her two children to a remote farmhouse near the prison. In October Hendricks resubmitted his request to marry and the warden gave his approval. The marriage was set for Dec. 20. A few weeks later the Illinois Supreme Court announced it would issue its decision in the Hendricks case on Dec. 21. The marriage occurred as scheduled.