Fountain Valley 1972 by Michael A. Joseph, Esq.

JosephCoverWebAbout the Book

My family grew up on the U.S. island of St. Croix, free from America’s skin color drama. We locals refer to white people from the mainland as continentals, and to blacks as Yankees. In 1972, a local Vietnam vet tried to kill two cops while they were arresting a fellow combat veteran who stole money for heroin to which they both became addicted while fighting the war. The shooter got away, but was relentlessly hunted by the police.

He sought refuge in my brother’s camp, where three other men were visiting. With them, he instigated the Fountain Valley Golf Course murders, called one of the most vicious crimes “in the annals of Western civilization.” The four were clueless to the vet’s tactics that made the killings appear to be racially motivated. All five were captured, tortured, convicted, and sentenced to eight consecutive life terms. In 1984, the vet convict escaped by hijacking an airliner to Cuba, where he remains today.

In 1994, my brother Rafie was released based on his rehabilitation, which included tutoring hundreds of inmates to obtain their high school diplomas. But because the killings had been publicized as a black-on-white crime, his freedom was protested. The backlash caused a local continental prosecutor to block Rafie from attending the University of California at Santa Cruz, and he couldn’t get the counseling job he trained for while in prison. Rafie committed suicide.