From The Desk of: Erik B. Anderson Contact: Erik - 908-979-3493
THE FREE JAMES TITUS MOVEMENT HAS BEGUN
November 7, 2009 - Erik B. Anderson, a resident of Independence Township (NJ), today asked Governor Jon Corzine to pardon James Titus, the man found guilty of the 1886 rape and murder of Tillie Smith in Hackettstown. In the book In Defence of Her Honor: The Tillie Smith Murder Case by Denis Sullivan, it is written:
A careful reading of the trial transcript supports the argument that Titus' guilt was never established beyond reasonable doubt. The state never proved that rape had been committed at the time and place alleged, let alone that Titus had committed it. (Chapter Eight; Page 124)Mr. Anderson wrote:
In his letter to the Governor,
James Titus was a small, frail, young man. His father committed suicide when he was only fifteen. He was prone to what we would call panic attacks today….He was terrified. They were going to hang him! He was able to stay alive by signing a confession, but in exchange he had to serve nineteen years doing hard labor at the New Jersey State Prison. The Reverend who said a prayer at the “last public rite that will ever be offered to poor Tillie Smith” at the Union Cemetery, after it was all over, said: “We regret, O God, to-day that there has been so much leniency shown the murderer in this case (NY Times, Nov. 24, 1887).”
Reverends are supposed to be compassionate! That one wasn’t. Please be compassionate, President Governor Corzine!
The Free James Titus Movement is something that has been building up inside Mr. Anderson for a long time. “It’s just bizarre that whenever I hear anyone talk about Tillie Smith, they get real quiet and tell uncomfortable jokes. This is a rape and murder we’re talking about, not a Halloween legend. I’m tired of living in so-called Weird New Jersey,” he says. Expect an online presence: a petition, a blog, a MySpace page, a Facebook group and more. “A Pardon is something that should happen. It is plain as day that there was reasonable doubt. The fact it occurred over 120 years ago makes it even more imperative that a Pardon happen as soon as possible. The real killer is still out there. Why would anyone want to stop this?”
Every American Citizen Has A Moral Obligation To Circulate Petitions, Write Letters, And Do What They Can To Free James Titus.
Erik B. Anderson is a performing artist, a scholar and a concerned citizen. In 1996, he worked as an intern at the Chester County Historical Society Museum and Library when he was a Sociology major at West Chester University (PA). He won a debate with William F. Buckley, Jr. that same year. His other achievements include: visiting slave castles in Ghana in 1995; managing a Campaign Office in Hackettstown for Congressional Candidate Anne Wolfe in 2004; and, helping True Crime author Ann Rule (The Stranger Beside Me: The True Inside Story of Serial Killer Ted Bundy) in 2002.