Letter to Judge MacBride
Regarding Jess Bravin's book,
Squeaky: The Life and Times of Lynette Alice Fromme
July 12, 1997
I am prompted to write you after reading Jess Bravin's recently published book Squeaky. I did not contribute to this book; while I can't complain that Bravin was out to get me, some of those interviewed for the book gave distorted or ficticious stories. When the Sacramento federal defender's investigator approached your bench one day during my trial, without asking permission or stating his purposes, you rose up on him and said something much the same as I had said when he was brought to the jail to see me: "Who are you and what are you doing here?"
Twenty years later Philip Shelton seems to be trying to get back at me for knocking him off the case. This is a person who at best I tolerated until finding out that he was being paid to drive all over the state seeing psychiatrists about a brainwashing defense. The elaborate story he says I told him he must have fabricated in the intervening years. It is more of a con than I've seen from many of the people in prison, and is a perfect example or the type of lies I asked you to prevent in court. Yet, I wonder if you would chuckle at his story and say that he was very clever.
In the section of the book entitled "The President's Button" Shelton says that he often visited me at the jail by himself and soon established a rapport, after which I broke down emotionally and related, with his perspicatious provocation, this detailed, intimate, symbolic experience about the assault, about my reason for going to see the President and then deciding not to fire on him, or being unable to do so. He made it all up.
Philip Shelton had been paid to lie for a lifetime. As long as people like him legitimately represent your justice system, you're working counter to any kind of justice I could go for. A defendant has a hard enough go without a diabolical federal employee inventing lies.