Monday, December 22, 2008


Dennis Fritz, one of the two innocent men in John Grisham’s best selling novel, The Innocent Man, spoke to very packed auditorium of students at the Oak Park High School, near his surrounding neighborhood in North Kansas City. Having been invited by Carrie Hankins, Mr. Fritz took time off from his very busy speaking circuit, to share his dynamic story with the assembly of on-looking, eager students.

Mr. Fritz spoke for 45 minutes with all eyes glued upon him. Dennis captivated the 200+ audience with his very witty, storytelling ability. His very emotional, roller-coaster story out-of-hell— of having been falsely convicted of 1st Degree Capital Murder— touched the hearts of even the most unruliest of students. The students were so attentive and quietly focused to each and every word that Mr. Fritz spoke. Throughout Mr. Fritz’s presentation, it was so untypically quiet, that a straight pin could almost be heard hitting the floor.
Dennis spoke of his book, Journey Toward Justice, and what motivated him to write it.

On occasion, Mr. Fritz, would hesitate in silent thought—with the assembled group feeling his outright, overwhelming emotion from within. At the close of his story, which drew laughter intermingled with triumphant cheer, the students gave Dennis a standing ovation of applause.

Thereafter, Mr. Fritz signed books and visited with some students and staff. Dennis said that, "I will bring forth my story to anyone at any level. If my words can stop just one person from being falsely convicted, then, the 12 long, torturous years I suffered in prison—would be more than worth, it’s weight in gold.


Saturday, December 20, 2008


Kevin Lowry, ( head of the U.S. Pardon and Probation Department ), and Darren Kearns ( a higher level case Manager with the Minnesota Pardon and Probation ), extended an honored invitation to Dennis Fritz, to be the key-note speaker at the Department’s annual conference— at the Cragun’s Lodge and Resort on the Gull Lake, on September 24 and 25th of 2008.

Upon Dennis’ arrival, the Pardon and Probation officials gathered for an entertaining get together, shortly before a scheduled dinner event at the very popular Hotel. Everyone was so excited and ready to commence with the upcoming, numerous activities planned for the advancement of innovative ideas— whereby accomplishing their desired goals for future accomplishments within their well-organized Department expectations.

That evening, a beautiful display of fireworks illuminated the sky, commemorating everyone’s hard work and devotion, of having made past and present improvements within the Department. It was a night to remember, as everyone relaxed and visited with each other during the lengthy firework display.

Dennis intermingled with each of the attendees and made many new acquaintances and friends.
The following day was filled with a business-like atmosphere—in getting ready for the finality of the day’s agenda. Following a deliciously prepared lunch, everyone anxiously awaited the key-note presentation of Dennis Fritz.

All eyes were glued upon him as he took the podium and shared his horror-filled ( of having been falsely incarcerated for 12 years for 1st Degree Murder ) story with over a 100+ Pardon and Probation officers.

Mr. Fritz explained to the group that he was one of the two main characters in John Grisham’s, The Innocence Man. Mr. Fritz explained that his recently written book, Journey Toward Justice, was the celebrated, co-companion book to Grisham’s The Innocent Man. Being a true advocate of Justice, Dennis related to the group about the many problems that occur in prison, and of all the factors that cause a released inmate to return to prison. The assemble group showed great anticipation as to each and every description Mr. Fritz brought forth.

Following his talk, Dennis signed books and visited with everyone who wanted to talk with him—on a one-to-one basis. All in all, the conference was a huge success— that brought forth a much greater understanding and awareness— of the underlying causes associated with the recidivism rates of inmates returning to prison. Throughout the two day event, a wonderful and lasting partnership was made between Mr. Fritz and the attending U.S. Pardon and Probation members. Each of them had great respect and admiration for their united efforts in making the needed changes in the current system.

You can buy Dennis Fritz's book, on Amazon
HERE or you can email me for a signed copy or for large orders.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


On November 12, 2008, Dennis Fritz and Tiffany Murphy ( Director of the Midwestern Innocence Project in Kansas City, Missouri ), attended the 60th annual gala event, at the American Society of Criminology in St. Louis, Missouri.

Upon invitation from Barbara Zaitzow,(the Chair person for the Appalachian State University Criminology Dept. ) Dennis Fritz and Tiffany Murphy met Barbara for the first time at the convention. Barbara’s zeal and radiant personality greatly inspired Dennis and Tiffany—as well as everyone else around her. Within the beautiful setting of the Hyatt Hotel ( located directly beside the renowned Arch, overlooking the mighty Mississippi ) thousands of people from all over the world, joined together, to gain a greater understanding about the theory and insight, of different types of criminal behavior. The atmosphere was bussing with high excitement and jubilation, as everyone anxiously checked into their rooms, and headed directly for registration.

Dennis quickly found a table and set up his books, then circulated throughout the crowds introducing himself; while making many new friends and future contacts. Even though the actual programs did not start until the next day, people were still coming in by the groves to get an early start on the beginning of the three day event.

After a long and luxurious breakfast, Dennis, Tiffany, and Barbara made their way upstairs to their assigned Rose Garden conference room. Before the event, Dennis and Tiffany just happened to bump into Cathleen Burnett, who is one of Kansas City’s very own leaders, in the Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. Once inside the conference room, Dennis, Tiffany, and Barbara took their places at the panel table. To an audience of around 50 people, Barbara began by introducing Mr. Fritz and Ms. Murphy. After sharing some of her own insights with the group, Barbara turned over the podium to Dennis, to tell his nightmare out-of-hell story, of having been wrongfully convicted of 1st Degree Capital Murder. He was sentenced to a life sentence, and had to do 12 hard, torturous years in a very tough penitentiary—before being exonerated by DNA evidence. As usual, Dennis gained everyone’s astute attention throughout his spellbinding presentation.

Next, Tiffany began her presentation by sharing with the audience, the tremendous hurdles and obstacles that have to be overcome in effectively running an innocence Project. Tiffany’s strong and assertive words were not only clear and convincing, but had everyone on the edge of their seats. When Tiffany finished, everyone in the room was much more aware and educated as to the overall pitfalls in successfully establishing an inmate’s actual innocence. Following her talk, each of the 3 panelists answered questions—which were quite diverse and challenging. At the close, Mr. Fritz autographed several of his book(s)—Journey Toward Justice!
What a wonderful and powerful conference this year turned out to be.
Click here for photos of event