Wednesday, November 19, 2014



On November 19th, 1962, - 52 years ago today - Philip Hames was put to death by electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in upstate New York.
A group of men, mostly reporters and law enforcement officers were recruited to serve as witnesses to the execution. Among them were NYPD detective Adam Flint who arrested Hames after he killed three police officers following a botched robbery.
Another witness was Tom Henson, one of the security guards held hostage by Hames during that robbery. Henson brought a bottle of whiskey with him to help fortify him against the coming ordeal.

A young reporter named Jasper was also present, hoping he wouldn't get sick in front of the others. Jasper didn't want to be there, but his editor forced the assignment on him. (His newspaper and editor were not named in the episode, so I'm going to fill in the blanks and claim that his boss was Martin Lane at the New York Chronicle.)

Adam Flint didn't want to be there either, but his boss, Lt. Mike Parker, insisted. Parker figured that every detective shoudl experience every aspect of their job so that they understood the ramifications of each action they took.

Although we didn't see it happen during the episode, there was one witness there who was affected more by the execution than the others.

His name was John Majeski and he was a reporter for the New York Ledger.
(His name and his newspaper were not stated in the episode. It's just another bit o' wishcraft to forge a missing link between several NYC-based TV shows.

Majeski was left just as disturbed by what he witnessed and he was even affected by the sight of the two chairs separated by a cage which were used by the condemned when they had visitors.

As I said, this reporter was more deeply affected by witnessing Hames' execution, but it took longer to manifest. I believe that as he thought more and more on the subject, heard a calling to enter the priesthood. Majeski must have figured that as a servant of God he might be able to help somebody from following the doomed path of Phil Hames.

After nearly a decade as a priest, Father John Majeski became the pastor of a parish in Queens, where his greatest challenge was in dealing with a local resident by the name of Archie Bunker.....

  • 'Naked City'
  • 'All In The Family'
  • 'The Patty Duke Show'
  • The 'Law & Order' franchise

(Barnard Hughes played Reporter #1 and Father John Majeski......)


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