Bio

I am a former Toronto teacher and writer now living in Vancouver. I worked with the late Dr. Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, with whom I published Eye of the Hurricane: My path from Darkness to Freedom (Chicago review Press, 2011), as Director of Media Relations at Innocence International and as an advocate for wrongly convicted prisoners.Now, by default, I am the director of Innocence International until our final two cases, David McCallum of Brooklyn and Sebastian Burns and Atif Rafay of West Vancouver, BC, are resolved.

Other publication credits include Songs of Aging Children (Arsenal Pulp Press, 1992) a book of short stories about troubled youth, and Taking Steam, a play co-authored with the late Brian Shein, staged at New York’s Jewish Repertory Theatre and Toronto in 1983. Life Without (Quattro Books, 2012), reflects the past ten years of work in the wrongful convictions field.

I was born in New York City, lived in the Bronx as a child and grew up on Long Island, both in Long Beach and Rockville Centre. As an undergraduate, I attended the University of Vermont and moved to Toronto in 1967 to attend graduate school (English literature) at the University of Toronto. There, I met my future wife, Mary Ellen Belfiore, and became a part of a wide friendship network that included both Canadians and ex-pat Americans.

 

 

12 thoughts on “Bio

  1. Atif Rafay and Sebastian Burns are murderers.
    You are despicable for even trying to find them innocent.

    Maybe you should study the law – in particular section 182 of the Canadian Criminal Code.

    • Despicable? That’s a little harsh. Why would defending a person you think is innocent be a despicable act? The people who killed the Rafay family are despicable.

    • Judge not others before yourself. Did you graduate from law school? If so, then it might be helpful to read the cases that interpret the criminal code. If not, then it isn’t that easy to judge a case from the outside. Our system only works when justice works.

  2. I have been home since 1971
    But I have been wronged and need advice on how to proceed in getting justice for the wornged that has been committed on me.

    • As to advice, Carlos, that’s difficult in this situation. If you made a guilty plea, short of finding the real murderer or a recanting witness or DNA evidence, it will be next to impossible to find the justice that you seek. And you are no longer in prison so innocence projects won’t get involved. The only practical advice I’d give you–because it would be right in any circumstance–is to get on with your life as best you can and not get entangled any further with the legal system. That will bog you down and destroy even more years. Build something positive, even if that involves helping others who have experienced similar tragedies.

  3. Hello. I just wanted to let u know my heart breaks for these boys. I know they are innocent. Coming from a Canadian who knows how corrupt the police are.. if there’s ANYTHING I can do, please email me.
    Sarah.

    • Check out the website rafayburnsappeal.com. Simple ways to keep the ball rolling. All are important and any one thing would be appreciated.
      Thank you, Sarah

  4. Ken,
    Never respond to negativity.
    2.) Thank you so much for all you have done for these two men.
    3.) my heart sank at this injustice I learned of today.
    4.) I will go to your other website now. Please write me back. I’m so thankful to learn about your fight for the freedoms of others.
    I’m sad.
    Hugs to you,
    M

    • Thank you, Mary. It fills me with sadness too when I think of all the years that have been stolen from these two. Rubin used to call wrongful imprisonment criminal: “kidnapping and forcible confinement”. Those responsible will have this case on their consciences for the rest of their lives, try as they might to convince themselves they did the right thing. Their justifications have never held up because they are demonstrably false.
      Ken

      • Yes, agreed. The judge and jurors in this case….horrible horrible. The only relief I get is that the Netflix series is putting so many people behind Sebastian, Atif and their families. WE LOVE YOU GUYS.

  5. I agree. I had not heard of this case until 5 minutes ago after seeing it on netflix. It was clear the documentary was shot with an agenda of showing their innocence but i looked past that and simply looked at the evidence (or lack there of) and I cant say that im surprised at the verdict with its geographical location, but rather suprised not one person on the jury, nor the judge, could see past the flashy defense attorney and that the confessions given even on the video, contradict themeselves, where the clothes went, where the bat came from etc. Anyone with an iq over 85 should have been able to see that the confessions didnt line up yet that is what convicted these two. Stupid mistakes by scared kids with a cocky attitude. Not cold blooded killers. Would certainly love to have their address’ to send a letter of support.

    • Thanks, Tang. Take a look at rafayburnsappeal.com for people to write to, mainly Dan Satterberg, the Prosecuting Attorney for King County. Atif’s and Sebastian’s addresses:

      Atif Rafay 876362
      Washington State Reformatory B-121
      PO Box 777
      Monroe, WA
      98272-0777

      Sebastian Burns 876360
      Monroe Correctional Complex SOU
      PO Box 514
      Monroe, WA
      98272

      They’ll be happy to know that you support them.
      Ken

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