As noted in a previous “clipping,” David Hendricks was scheduled to appear on my radio talk show one week after he was acquitted in the brutal slayings of his wife and children. But a few hours before airtime, he called to say he was emotionally unable/unprepared to do a radio show at that time. Just recently I came across questions I had prepared to ask Hendricks in the early part of the interview, but obviously never had a chance to ask. Here are the introductory notes I had written:
I’ve been doing this program for nearly 20 years and am frequently asked what program or guest has been the most memorable. Up until now, I’ve identified the time well over a decade ago when conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly appeared on this program alongside Betty Friedan, considered by many to be a founder of the women’s liberation movement. In fact, they met each other for the first time in this studio. But I have a feeling today’s program will supplant that program in memory. My guest is David Hendricks.
David, I believe there are four groups of people within our audience today. I’d like you to talk to or respond to each of them in turn.
First, people who are angry and feel certain our system of justice has made a major mistake, that a man who murdered his wife and children has been let loose on society.
Second, people who lack a strong feeling about your innocence or guilt and are willing to let our system of justice decide.
Third, those who have felt all along that you’re innocent and they now feel vindicated.
And finally, another group of people who are willing to let our system of justice do its work but will probably always have nagging fears about whether justice, in the end, has been truly done—unless someone comes forward to confess to the crime.
I planned later on to ask him why his family’s grave contains only the four spaces—and not a space reserved for him; whether he planned to pursue the murder investigation; whether he ever took a lie detector test; whether he would do so now? And finally—“Did you murder your family?” A little dramatic, to be sure, but I felt it would be compelling radio to hear the man directly deny the accusation.
Just for context: This interview would have occurred about 16 months after the first edition of Reasonable Doubt was published.
As also noted in a previous “clipping,” the presiding judge in both Hendricks trials became a substitute guest on my program that day. It was a very interesting interview—though perhaps not as gripping as a Hendricks interview would have been. I invite you to give it a listen on this website.