Category Archives: Dark Days in Chicago: The Rehabilitation of an Urban Terrorist

A writer’s high without the hangover

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I never thought  I would have written four prison-related books.  That was not my intention some 15 years ago while traveling a beaten-down, two-lane highway to the Dwight Correctional Center.   I was about to have my first interview with a female inmate, convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole.  What I thought would be a one-time interview, turned into a two-year journey and my first book — “The Rita Nitz Story:  Life Without Parole.”

While working on Rita’s book I met another inmate who was incarcerated for killing her five-year old stepdaughter.  The inmate, Becca, suffered from a bipolar disorder, unable to recall the murder.  After obtaining copies of her mental health record, I began another two-year journey that turned into a second book — “Cherry Blossoms & Barren Plains:  A woman’s journey from mental illness to a prison cell.”

A memoir based on my experiences as a victim of childhood sexual abuse — Mnemosyne:  A love affair with memory,” was my third book.  “Supermax Prison:  Controlling the most dangerous criminals,” and “Dark Days in Chicago:  The Rehabilitation of an Urban Street Terrorist,” brought my total to five.  My role in “Dark Days” was that of an editor, writing coach, and supporter.  Point being, I never know where my writing opportunities might lead.  A curious mind allows me to explore experiences I never imagined.

Now I’m stepping into the world of Urban Novels.  This is a genre quite foreign to me, but popular among readers interested in raw, violent stories associated with urban culture, crime syndicates, etc…  The stories can be page-turners, emulating some of the darker movies and television shows we sometimes see.

I met an inmate, a friend of Adolfo Davis who helped me with the research for the Supermax Prison book.  The new inmate shared a manuscript of an urban novel he is working on.  I have to say, his imagination is without boundaries.  His writing is good, but his story telling is outstanding; a real page turner.  I have agreed to offer my assistance in his project.  It should be interesting to watch the collaboration of an urban novel writer with myself, an author of creative nonfiction.  Creative experiences are what keeps me going; a reason to get up in the morning; a writers high without the hangover.

 

 

Dark Days in Chicago: The Rehabilitation of an Urban Street Terrorist

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DARK DAYS IN CHICAGO:
The Rehabilitation of an Urban Street Terrorist
By Adolfo Davis, Stanley Davis, & Patrick Pursley
with Larry L. Franklin

 “Rarely does a book come along that shows the journey of three young men as they moved from street gangs to isolation in a 6 x 9 foot cell, and to the beginnings of a righteous life. ‘Dark Days in Chicago: The Rehabilitation of an Urban Street Terrorist’ serves as a template for at-risk youth, anyone searching for a better path, and those looking for a fascinating read.”
— Father Leo J. Hayes, M. Div., MA – Retired Chaplain in the Menard Maximum-Security Prison, Author of Evil in Mirror Lake
***
Dark Days in Chicago provides a view of three former gang members convicted of murder and sentenced to life-without-parole, and their struggles to find meaning to their lives. The inmates provide a fascinating insight into their spiritual transformation while incarcerated in a maximum-security prison.”
— Janet Coffman, Ph.D. Psychologist
***
“Words give testimony to the authors’ lives, thoughts, and concerns as they reflect upon their youth and the freedom they once had. They share the history that steered them towards prison, and the hope that this book supports healing, thoughtful reflection, and awareness of the 2.3 million adults and juveniles incarcerated in America’s state and federal prisons.
— Father David Kelly C.P.P.S. – Precious Blood of Ministry of Reconciliation. Doctoral Thesis – “Responding to Violence among Urban Youth: A Restorative Approach”

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NAME (Please Print)

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ADDRESS

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CITY/STATE/ZIP

Advanced copies available now.
$20.00 per book includes shipping and handling
Mail payment, name, and address to:
Larry L. Franklin
416 Virginia Dr.
Makanda, Il 62958
618-521-5041
Books will be available through Amazon and other retail stories
on September 1, 2018.

 

Foreword for “Dark Days in Chicago”

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Foreword

There are a special group of forgotten men who live in the Stateville Correctional Center, a maximum-security prison located in Crest Hill, Illinois. Each of them spent their early years as gang members on the streets of Chicago. All three were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole. Each has served over 25 years in an Illinois prison.

The temptation to continue their gang activity while incarcerated was strong. Protection, contraband, money, and the allure of a prison family fulfilled their immediate needs. But amidst the violence and quiet roar of 2,550 troubled inmates, a miracle happened. Three like-minded inmates – Adolfo Davis, Patrick Pursley, and Stanley Davis – sought redemption as well as a need to give back to those they have harmed.

Words give testimony to their lives, thoughts, and concerns as they reflect upon their youth and the freedom they once had. Their intent is to help transform young people on the streets and promote life, not death. These men share the history that steered them towards prison. It is their hope and prayer that this book supports healing, thoughtful reflection, and awareness of the 2.3 million adults and juveniles incarcerated in America’s state and federal prisons. And for the at-risk youth who are making choices that will determine their chosen path; and to those who yearn to understand the violence on our city streets, they offer a path to salvation as a model for a better way.

Father David Kelly C.PP.S. – Precious Blood of Ministry of Reconciliation. Doctoral Thesis — “Responding to Violence among Urban Youth: A Restorative Approach.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark Days in Chicago: The Rehabilitation of an Urban Street Terrorist

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I just received my advanced copy of Dark days in Chicago:  The Rehabilitation of an Urban Street Terrorist.  The ebook and paperback will be released in June 2018.  In the meantime, I will be peddling the book at various libraries, book clubs, universities, tv & radio stations, coffee shops, and perhaps a bar or two.  If interested, contact me through my email llfranklin12@gmail.com and I will send you a book for $20.
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It has been my honor to assist Adolfo Davis, Patrick Pursley, and Stanley Davis in the completion of their book. While the story is presented in third-person, it was my challenge to give it a cumulative-voice of three, like-minded inmates determined to tell their story. Unless indicated, the words represent the thoughts of Adolfo, Patrick and Stanley.

The authors have spent their incarceration in an Illinois maximum-security prison, while Adolfo spent four of those years in a supermax prison. There were times when the three of them attended prison classes and shared a common goal of writing a book; communicated their ideas while walking in the prison yard and the occasional trips to the gym. Unlike most of us who have our favorite writing spots — private study, isolated cabin, library, or perhaps a table tucked away in the corner of a coffee shop – the authors wrote their story in a 6 x 9 foot prison cell. Adolfo combined the writings into what would become a manuscript.

It was behind the concrete walls and iron bars of the prison where Adolfo, Patrick, and Stanley sought salvation, as well as giving back to those they have harmed. Dark Days in Chicago: the Rehabilitation of an Urban Street Terrorist gives testimony to their lives as they remember the freedom they once had. The driving force behind this work was a shared commitment to explain their violent ways, and explore the newfound secrets to a better life. Their desire to help the at-risk youth of Chicago — the place where street gangs rule – gave Adolfo, Patrick, and Stanley a reason to wake up each morning, a reason to live.

Dark Days in Chicago: The Rehabilitation of an Urban Terrorist

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“Dark Days in Chicago:  The Rehabilitation of an Urban Terrorist” will be released to the retail market in 3 to 4 months.  I’m very excited about this work that evolved into a new experience for myself.  Over the course of time, I found my own writing being influenced by the writing of the three inmates.  I assume that is because I wanted to maintain their voice throughout the work.  It has been a rewarding challenge.

***

Foreword

There are a special group of forgotten men who live in the Stateville Correctional Center, a maximum-security prison located in Crest Hill, Illinois.  Each of them spent their early years as gang members on the streets of Chicago.  All three were convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life without parole.  Each has served over 25 years in an Illinois prison.

The temptation to continue their gang activity while incarcerated was strong.  Protection, contraband, money, and the allure of a prison family fulfilled their immediate needs.  But amidst the violence and quiet roar of 2,550 troubled inmates, a miracle happened.  Three like-minded inmates — Adolfo Davis, Patrick Pursley, and Stanley Davis — sought redemption as well as a need to give back to those they have harmed.

Words give testimony to their lives, thoughts, and concerns as they reflect upon their youth and the freedom they once had.  Their intent is to help transform young people on the streets and promote life, not death.  These men share the history that steered them towards prison.  It is their hope and prayer that this book supports healing, thoughtful reflection, and awareness of the 2.3 million adults and juveniles incarcerated in America’s state and federal prisons.  And for the at-risk youth who are making choices that will determine their chosen path; and to those who yearn to understand the violence on our city streets, they offer a path to salvation as a model for a better way.