The granddaughter born two years after C.O. George Motchan was slain 25 years ago writes the Parole Board on behalf of the family. Kelly Dory, a speech terapist, addresses the letter "To Whom It May Concern" letter and recounts the impact that the murder has had on her family's history. The text is reproduced here with her permission.
New York State Division of Parole
97 Central Avenue
Albany, New York 12206
July 11, 2000
To whom it may concern,
I am writing on behalf of my family, which most directly includes my grandmother, Dolly Motchan. Her husband, Correction Officer George Motchan was killed in the line of duty in September, 1975.
Unfortunately I was born two years later and so I never got to meet this incredible hero. We were informed last week that Mr. Joseph James, the murderer of my grandfather, will be involved in a parole hearing sometime this month. I have recognized the fear, anxiety and tension that has succumbed my parents, grandmother, relatives, and family friends, when this terrible news had arrived.
Is it so that this man truly has a chance to be let free only to walk the streets, with the chance of killing one of your loved ones, or that of some other innocent bystander???
I hope and pray this option will not be so. I am afraid of the evil potential of this man.
My boyfriend, who I love and plan to marry, is a New York City Police Officer. If Joseph James is let out of prison, I fear that they may run into each other someday. Will my life turn out to be just like my grandmother's? One of mourning and suffering?
I ask you, God, or our angel Geroge Motchan, whoever may be reading this letter, please take this fear from me. Keep this man behind bars forever.
My father, George Motchan's son-in-law, asked me how I felt about the death penalty. Honestly, I would rather this man serve life in prison, rather than take the easy way out. Why should his pain and suffering simply end, when my family has had a heartache since my grandfather's death?
Everyday, I can see the pain that runs through my family. I too feel a loss, an emptiness, and a sadness that George Motchan was not able to be a part of my life. I have heard all the stories about how much I would have loved my grandfather, what a wonderful man he truly was, and how much he would have loved me as well.
But, I ask, where is he now and where will his killer be in just a few short weeks? Will he be set free to see his family, his friends, his granddaughter? I hope this would not be allowed.
Finally, I ask you to take note that I addressed this letter to "whom it may concern." Rather than directing it only to the parole committee, I'd like you to read it from a different point of view. Think of yourself in your family role. Consider how you would feel if you were robbed of the chance to meet your wonderful grandfather, or perhaps had many happy years stolen off your marriage. I think you will reconsider letting this man out of prison, to roam the streets. Please do not let him free.
I thank you and my family thanks you,
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