Photo Of The Day

AP photo/Gary Dwight Miller, 1987. Pennsylvania State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer raises his left hand to stop people approaching him as he holds a pistol in his right hand as he prepares to commit suicide.

AP photo/Gary Dwight Miller, 1987. Pennsylvania State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer raises his left hand to stop people approaching him as he holds a pistol in his right hand as he prepares to commit suicide.

Honest Man

R. Budd Dwyer

Kenn Marshall recalls edging toward the door when he saw the enormous handgun being held aloft by State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer.

Marshall’s movements on that snowy January day 29 years ago weren’t entirely motivated by fear. He was thinking about calling his editor, which is not to say he wasn’t scared.

“To be honest, after what he had just gone through, the thought crossed my mind that he could just turn that gun on the people in the room,” said Marshall, who was then a reporter for The Patriot-News. “I certainly felt threatened.”

Instead, he and a roomful of journalists watched in horror as Dwyer put the barrel of the .357 magnum into his mouth and pulled the trigger, a public suicide that set off a firestorm of coverage and controversy.

The reporters who gathered in Dwyer’s office on Jan. 23, 1987, thought they were there simply to hear Dwyer announce his resignation from office. “My mission was to stay there until he said those words, then call in a new top for our story,” Marshall recalled.

As a row of video cameras whirred, Dwyer delivered a rambling polemic about the criminal justice system. He then handed out a final type-written page, which contained several grammatical errors and this chilling line:

“I am going to die in office in an effort to see if the shameful facts, spread out in all their shame, will not burn through our civic shamelessness and set fire to American pride.”

As reporters were just starting to skim the final statement, a frantic-looking Dwyer picked up a large manila envelope and pulled out a .357 Magnum revolver.

“I remember the gun, because it was huge,” said Eric Conrad, then a reporter for The Patriot-News and now the director of communications for the Maine Municipal Association in Augusta. “I had one of those moments where I was up in the air, looking down at myself, almost an out-of-body experience.”

Up until the gun appeared, recalled free-lance photographer Gary D. Miller, “It was just kind of a long-winded, sad event.”

Miller captured one of the signature photos of the event, with Dwyer holding the gun in his right hand while his left arm is extended toward the camera, as if warning off bystanders.

“I didn’t consider running at all, because I didn’t consider that it was real,” Miller said. “I was stunned, but I kept taking pictures. It happened very fast.”

Known as an “honest man,” Dwyer had recently been convicted of taking bribes during his time as the Treasurer of Pennsylvania. As Dwyer began his speech, what unfolded over the next few minutes left a scar that is still visible 29 years later.

After receiving a degree in political science, Dwyer first entered politics in the mid 1960s, representing the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives in 1965 and later in the State Senate from 1971 to 1981. Holding the position for a decade, Dwyer moved on and became the 30th Treasurer of Pennsylvania on Jan. 20, 1981. In the years that followed, the Pennsylvania government began to notice mistakes that were made in regards to its federal employees. Workers had overpaid millions of dollars in federal taxes, and a plan was set up to compensate those who lost income. A bidding war took place between multiple accounting firms to see who would receive the contract and handle the compensation. In the end, Computer Technology Associates (CTA), based out of California, won the contract worth $4.6 million.

Following CTA winning the contract, Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh received information that alleged Dwyer took bribes from the accounting firm, which ultimately led to them winning the bid. After an investigation by the United States Attorney, Dwyer was charged with bribery, accusing him of receiving $300,000 for helping CTA win the contract. John Torquato, the owner of CTA, was also indicted, and along with his lawyer, William Smith, testified in court and admitted to giving Dwyer the money.

After being offered a lighter sentence in return of admitting his guilt, Dwyer took his chances in court. The trial lasted only a few months, and despite continuing to deny the charges and proclaiming his innocence, Dwyer was found guilty of bribery, fraud, conspiracy and racketeering. So confident in his innocence, Dwyer wrote a letter to then President Ronald Reagan on Dec. 23, 1986, asking for a presidential pardon. Reagan did not oblige.

Due to a loophole in the state law, Dwyer was able to hold on to his position as treasurer until he was sentenced. This all led to a press conference called by Dwyer in his office in Harrisburg, to which it was expected that he would finally resign; although the official reason was to “provide an update on the situation.” Much to the surprise of those in attendance, Dwyer announced that he would not resign, continuing yet again to claim he was innocent. Dwyer then called for his staffers to give him three separate manila envelopes.

The envelopes contained three different items, one being a letter to Gov. Bob Casey. The other two envelopes were filled with an organ donor card, and a suicide letter to his wife.

At this point, Dwyer reached for an envelope that he had in his briefcase, pulling out a .357 Magnum in the process. “Please leave the room if this will offend you,” Dwyer told the frantic crowd.

Then, red-faced and sweating, Mr. Dwyer drew a .357 Magnum revolver from a manila envelope. He warned everyone to stay away to avoid being hurt. Several reporters ducked for cover. Others tried to dissuade him.

Despite pleas for him to stop, Dwyer put the gun in his mouth, pulled the trigger, and committed suicide in front of a number of television cameras. As the blood poured out of his mouth and nose like a waterfall, the crowd went into a frenzy. Local television stations would go on to broadcast the entire footage, but national stations, such as NBC and CBS, decided to broadcast edited clips, cutting before the trigger was pulled.

State Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer was pronounced dead half an hour later, at 11:31 A.M.

In a letter delivered later to Gov. Robert P. Casey, a Democrat, Mr. Dwyer, who was 47 years old, said he regretted that ”the ‘justice’ system did not function properly in my case,”.

”By the time you receive this letter,” it read, in part, ”the office of State Treasurer of Pennsylvania will be vacant. I stress to you that I did not resign but was State Treasurer of Pennsylvania to the end.” ‘Budd – Don’t Do It!’

The letter expressed confidence that Mr. Casey ”will be the great Governor that Pennsylvania needs at this time in our history.” Saying there apparently was precedent for a spouse succeeding a spouse, Mr. Dwyer recommended his wife of 23 years as his successor. He termed her ”very talented, personable, organized and hard-working.”

Mr. Dwyer, who faced up to 55 years in prison, was to have been sentenced in Williamsport in four days.

At the conference, Mr. Dwyer made a long, rambling statement. He criticized Acting United States Attorney James West, who prosecuted him; former Governor Thornburgh, with whom he had been at odds, and Federal District Judge Malcolm Muir, who presided at his trial. ‘A Crime I Did Not Commit’

Mr. Dywer said the judge had a history of imposing ”medieval sentences.” He said he was ”being punished for a crime I did not commit.”

And he urged that the death penalty be repealed, saying that what had happened to him made him certain that innocent people had been convicted and executed. He apologized for voting several times as a state legislator for the death penalty.

As he drew the revolver, witnesses said, he warned people to stay away because ”this will hurt someone.”

”Budd – don’t do it!” a reporter shouted. ”Budd! Budd! Budd!” another shouted.

”I should have run and grabbed him when he pulled out the envelope,” said Fred Cusick, a reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer. ”I knew that was it.”

Dwyer, As A Young Man In The 1960s. He and his wife Joanne had two children in the late 1960s, just as Dwyer's career as a member of Pennsylvania's Republican party was beginning. He served as a member of the House of Representatives from 1965 until 1970 and then won a seat in the 50th District of the Pennsylvania State Senate.

Dwyer, As A Young Man In The 1960s. He and his wife Joanne had two children in the late 1960s, just as Dwyer’s career as a member of Pennsylvania’s Republican party was beginning. He served as a member of the House of Representatives from 1965 until 1970 and then won a seat in the 50th District of the Pennsylvania State Senate.

Budd Dwyer, With President Reagan. Someone sent an anonymous note to Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh implicating Dwyer's involvement in an alleged bribery in his position as Pennsylvania State Treasurer. The circumstances in the note referred to an earlier time, in which the state had been soliciting bids for work from various accounting firms.

Budd Dwyer, With President Reagan. Someone sent an anonymous note to Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh implicating Dwyer’s involvement in an alleged bribery in his position as Pennsylvania State Treasurer. The circumstances in the note referred to an earlier time, in which the state had been soliciting bids for work from various accounting firms.

The state of Pennsylvania had overcharged its public employees on their Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes and needed to contract with an accounting agency to determine how much money to return to the workers. The anonymous note alleged that Dwyer had taken monetary bribes in exchange for awarding the work contract to Computer Technology Associates (CTA), a California-based firm, which was owned by John Torquato, a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

The state of Pennsylvania had overcharged its public employees on their Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes and needed to contract with an accounting agency to determine how much money to return to the workers. The anonymous note alleged that Dwyer had taken monetary bribes in exchange for awarding the work contract to Computer Technology Associates (CTA), a California-based firm, which was owned by John Torquato, a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Indictment! Newspaper Headline, May 14, 1986. Dwyer turned down a plea that would have required him to plead guilty to only one count of "bribe receiving." This deal would have meant a sentence maximum of five years in prison, but required a resignation from his position as Treasurer of Pennsylvania. Dwyer refused the plea and went to trial. At the trial, Torquato and the Smiths, who had all pled guilty to lesser charges in exchange for their testimony, testified against Dwyer.

Indictment! Newspaper Headline, May 14, 1986. Dwyer turned down a plea that would have required him to plead guilty to only one count of “bribe receiving.” This deal would have meant a sentence maximum of five years in prison, but required a resignation from his position as Treasurer of Pennsylvania. Dwyer refused the plea and went to trial. At the trial, Torquato and the Smiths, who had all pled guilty to lesser charges in exchange for their testimony, testified against Dwyer.

At the press conference, Dwyer read from a 21 page statement for over a half an hour. He continued to profess his innocence, but made no signs that he intended to resign from his position as Treasurer during his speech. As some of the cameramen and reporters began to pack up their equipment halfway through Dwyer's rambling speech, he stopped abruptly, stating "Those of you who are putting your cameras away, I think you ought to stay because we're not, we're not finished yet."

At the press conference, Dwyer read from a 21 page statement for over a half an hour. He continued to profess his innocence, but made no signs that he intended to resign from his position as Treasurer during his speech. As some of the cameramen and reporters began to pack up their equipment halfway through Dwyer’s rambling speech, he stopped abruptly, stating “Those of you who are putting your cameras away, I think you ought to stay because we’re not, we’re not finished yet.”

On December 18, 1986, Dwyer was found guilty on 11 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, and perjury and was up against a potential sentence of 55 years in prison and $300,000 in fines. Dwyer was allowed to remain in his position as Treasurer until his sentencing, which was scheduled for January 23, 1987. He continued to adamantly maintain his innocence, even beseeching President Reagan for an executive pardon. His requests were denied and Dwyer scheduled a news conference for January 22; most assumed he planned to publicly resign from office.

On December 18, 1986, Dwyer was found guilty on 11 counts of conspiracy, mail fraud, and perjury and was up against a potential sentence of 55 years in prison and $300,000 in fines. Dwyer was allowed to remain in his position as Treasurer until his sentencing, which was scheduled for January 23, 1987. He continued to adamantly maintain his innocence, even beseeching President Reagan for an executive pardon. His requests were denied and Dwyer scheduled a news conference for January 22; most assumed he planned to publicly resign from office.

Dwyer, Atttending A Memorial Banquet Before His Death. A week after his suicide, over 700 people attended the funeral for the 47-year-old Dwyer in his hometown of Meadville, Pennsylvania. In the years after his suicide, new details came forward that may have supported Dwyer's claims of innocence. Torquato's attorney, William Smith confessed that he lied about Dwyer's involvement, in an effort to reduce his own sentence.  For his part, R. Budd Dwyer maintained his own innocence throughout his trial and up until the last moment of his death. Now, the images and videos of Dwyer's suicide are a disturbing ending to Dwyers life story. And we will never really know the truth, as most believe it died along with Dwyer—on that fateful snowy day in January.

Dwyer, Atttending A Memorial Banquet Before His Death. A week after his suicide, over 700 people attended the funeral for the 47-year-old Dwyer in his hometown of Meadville, Pennsylvania. In the years after his suicide, new details came forward that may have supported Dwyer’s claims of innocence. Torquato’s attorney, William Smith confessed that he lied about Dwyer’s involvement, in an effort to reduce his own sentence. For his part, R. Budd Dwyer maintained his own innocence throughout his trial and up until the last moment of his death. Now, the images and videos of Dwyer’s suicide are a disturbing ending to Dwyers life story. And we will never really know the truth, as most believe it died along with Dwyer—on that fateful snowy day in January.

In the moments before 11 a.m. when Pennsylvania Treasurer R. Budd Dwyer committed suicide at a Harrisburg news conference, he implored TV news crews to keep their cameras running.

“You don’t want to take down your equipment yet,” Dwyer said.

Shortly afterward, with cameras recording his every move, Dwyer reached into a manila envelope, pulled out a .357 magnum, brandished it, then put the barrel in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

Every news organization, local and national, had access to pictures of the event. TV news directors, with the most vivid and immediate accounts, faced instant and difficult ethical dilemmas. How much do you show? And how do you justify that decision?

Locally, WPVI (Channel 6) was the only station whose noon newscast showed Dwyer pulling the trigger. Viewers heard the gunshot, then saw his head jolt back and his body drop from sight. During its midday account, WCAU (Channel 10) faded to black after showing Dwyer with the gun in his mouth, and KYW (Channel 3) cut the video even sooner, stopping as Dwyer pointed the gun at the ceiling. By their early-evening newscasts, Channels 6 and 10 had trimmed the footage to a point comparable with Channel 3’s. On each newscast, the stations aired warnings before showing the tape.

Across the state, stations took different tacks. In Pittsburgh, NBC affiliate WPXI showed the suicide in full as did Harrisburg ABC affiliate

WHTM. The Harrisburg station, which has no noon newscast, interrupted its programming at 11:45 a.m. with full footage of the suicide – footage that included the gun going off and Dwyer falling out of the camera’s view. That station subsequently shortened its report considerably.

Lancaster NBC affiliate WGAL, the only station with a noon newscast in the Harrisburg TV market, ran the videotape edited, cutting to a picture of a nearby Dwyer staff member at the point when the treasurer put the gun to his mouth. The audio, however, continued to roll.

“You heard the crack of the gun,” WGAL news director Ed Wickenheiser said yesterday, “but you didn’t see the back of his head being blown off.”

On national newscasts, NBC showed footage of Dwyer waving his gun, but stopped short of showing it in his mouth. CBS and ABC reported the story without video footage, and the Cable News Network’s approach basically mirrored that of NBC.

Dwyer’s dramatic method of suicide was like that of suicides on dramatic-series television. A remarkably similar death was staged on NBC’s L.A. Law, and, a judge killed himself on CBS’s The Equalizer. In both cases, handguns were used and the deaths public.

In real life, the best-known televised suicide occurred in 1974, when Christine Chubbock, 29, the host of a live variety program in Sarasota, Fla., pulled out a gun and killed herself on camera.

Dwyer’s suicide was not televised live, leaving TV news organizations to make and re-evaluate their judgment calls throughout the day. Indeed, Channel 29 devoted a segment of its Ten O’Clock News to a survey of how stations used the footage and a discussion of the news ethics involved.

Harrisburg viewers reacted swiftly and strongly to WHTM’s news bulletin, which showed footage of the entire incident, leading news director Jon McCall to release this statement:

“We have received several complaints because children were at home at the time the special report was aired. It is the position of the news director that an overwhelming news event holds the interest of the nation, and that interest dictated our response to it – which, while graphic, is not exploitive.”

For the evening newscast, the station revised its position, froze the image before the gunshot and let the audio track tell the story.

 Although Philadelphia’s Channel 6 received almost 300 phone calls criticizing its full video account of the shooting at noon, news director Ned Warwick stood by his decision.

“To properly tell the story, we felt it was appropriate,” Warwick said of the noon report. “We felt, with proper forewarning, that this was appropriate. It was a difficult decision, and it had to be made as the story was unfolding.”

On Channel 6’s subsequent newscasts, the tape, including audio, was edited to the moment before Dwyer placed the gun in his mouth.

Channel 3 news director Randy Covington was at home listening to the radio when he first heard of the event. He said that he immediately called the station and ordered that under no circumstances was raw tape of the suicide to be shown.

“When we got the tape, we could have gone with it immediately. I demanded that it be edited,” Covington said. “I wanted to make 100 percent certain that we did not show that suicide. I feel very, very strongly about this.

“I don’t think its journalism. It’s irresponsible. There were people in this newsroom that saw the whole tape and were shocked, appalled, and sick to their stomach. Some were crying. That’s not something that needed to be shown, in my opinion. I felt we could tell the story better by not showing the whole tape than by simply putting on a gruesome and tragic act that, in my opinion, serves no purpose and is disrespectful to the family of the deceased.”

A Channel 3 spokeswoman said the station received more than 200 calls, all but one applauding its decision not to air the entire tape.

At Channel 10, news director Jay Newman said he felt “extra caution” was required before airing the tape and reviewed it carefully with several producers and medical reporter Cheri Bank before allowing it on the air, more than 10 minutes into the noon telecast.

“It was a very difficult decision. There’s no right or wrong,” Newman said. “My feeling was that we could appropriately convey a very awful event without being overly graphic or gruesome and still get the story across. I’m comfortable with what we did.”

Of the estimated 200 phone calls logged at WCAU, ”most” were very positive, Newman said.

Channel 29 news director Roger LaMay said that he planned to freeze the video for the late night’s Ten O’Clock News at the point before Dwyer put the gun in his mouth.

“From the first minute we heard about it, we decided we weren’t going to show the actual shooting,” LaMay said. “I don’t think it added anything to the reporting of the story. To show it would be in bad taste and gratuitous.”

LaMay said he was “very surprised” that Channel 6 carried the entire suicide at noon. “I figured there was no way anybody would do it, particularly at noon on a day when kids were sent home from school early because of the snow. I couldn’t conceive of it.”

Nationally, the networks approached the story with trepidation. CBS, NBC and ABC had hours to prepare for their respective evening newscasts. Cable News Network (CNN), like the local stations with noon news, had to decide on the spot – and chose to stop the sound and picture before Dwyer put the gun to his mouth.

Showing the entire incident, CNN executive vice president Ed Turner said, “proves nothing and would serve no purpose other than to feed the appetite of a few in the audience whose values are distorted.”

All three commercial networks agreed with CNN and, by mid-afternoon, had decided against showing full footage.

NBC Nightly News With Tom Brokaw executive producer Bill Wheatley said, “I can tell you, we’re certainly not going to show the act of the man committing suicide. It’s just too disturbing.”

Ramona Dunn, manager of hard-news communication for CBS, said, “We haven’t decided yet how we’re going to handle this. We’re definitely not going to show blood pouring from this poor man’s head. We’re trying to handle this as tastefully as we can, but we’re not going to ignore the story.”

And at ABC, World News Tonight With Peter Jennings spokeswoman Elise Adde said at 4:30 p.m., that day, “At this point, the decision has been made, for obvious reasons, not to show the graphic footage of the gentleman killing himself.”

When asked to identify the “obvious” reasons, she replied, “because it’s entirely too graphic.”

When the East Coast newscasts began at 6:30, it was clear that each had taken a conservative approach. NBC showed its report first, at 6:47 p.m., and stopped the video and audio before Dwyer pointed the gun at himself.

CBS’s report was shown at 6:49, ABC’s at 6:55. Anchors Dan Rather and Peter Jennings, respectively, merely summarized the event verbally.

The broadcast of Dwyer’s suicide became a topic for educators in Pennsylvania classrooms; it led to questions about the practice of airing live news broadcasts in public school settings, despite the fact that suicide was not shown live and that schools were cancelled for the day due to heavy snow. This issue was also raised following the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger and the Branch Davidian Siege in Waco, TX, events which were shown live in many classrooms.

Many older students reacted to the event by creating black comedy jokes similar to those that circulated after the Challenger disaster. A study of the incidence of the jokes showed that they were told only in areas where networks showed uncensored footage of the press conference.

At least one reporter present at Dwyer’s suicide suffered from being a witness. Tony Romeo, a radio reporter, was standing a few feet from Dwyer. After the suicide, Romeo developed depression and took a break from journalism.

Since Dwyer died in office, his widow Joanne was able to collect full survivor benefits, totalling over $1.28 million. A spokesman for Dwyer suggested that he may have committed suicide to preserve the state-provided pension for his family, whose finances had been ruined by legal defense costs. Other statements made by friends and family also posit that this is the case.

One year after her husband’s suicide, Joanne Dwyer moved from their home in Hershey to the Tempe, Arizona area with her son Robert and daughter Dyan. She never married again. Mrs. Dwyer remained in Tempe until her own death on Sunday, July 12, 2009, at the age of 70. She was buried next to her husband in Blooming Valley Cemetery.

A full-length feature documentary about Dwyer, premiered at the Carmel Art & Film Festival on October 9, 2010. The Dwyer family attended the premiere in Pennsylvania on November 10, 2010, in Harrisburg, where they participated in a Q&A session after each screening. In the film, William T. Smith (the witness whose testimony was critical to Dwyer’s conviction) said he lied under oath to get a lighter sentence.

In the 75-minute film, directed by Buffalo, N.Y., native James Dirschberger, a case is made that Dwyer was indeed innocent, and died knowing he couldn’t live with the reality. The film follows Dwyer’s rise from humble beginnings in Meadville to his election to statewide office. He often ran on a platform of integrity, which made the bribery charge all the more puzzling to family and friends.

“I couldn’t even find a speeding ticket on his record,” Dirschberger, said.

Central to Dirschberger’s cinematic case is an interview with East Shore attorney William T. Smith, who testified during Dwyer’s trial that the state treasurer had agreed to take $300,000 in returning for his help in gaining a lucrative contract for a company called Computer Technology Associates.

While prosecutors conceded that no money had actually changed hands, they maintained that Dwyer’s agreement to take the money was a crime on its own, and a jury agreed. For his part, Dwyer steadfastly maintained that he was innocent.

In an interview for “Honest Man,” Smith said he lied about the bribe as part of his own plea bargain. “He’s dead because of me,” Smith said of Dwyer. “To the day I die, I’ll regret that I did it.”

Here are some of the excerpts of Dwyer’s final days, documented in a personal diary he kept, starting around the time of his indictment. Also included is the full transcript of his speech, which he meticulously planned up until his final moments — he even typed out the words “Good bye to all you on the count of 3.”

Courtesy James Dirschberger of Eighty Four Films.

Courtesy James Dirschberger of Eighty Four Films.

Courtesy James Dirschberger of Eighty Four Films.

Courtesy James Dirschberger of Eighty Four Films.

Think of it this way: Budd Dwyer was a man, who lived before YouTube. Who really had no direct influences as to how and why to shoot himself in such an unthinkable way. He did think of himself as a martyr, yes, but he was also a man who wasn’t prone to spectacle and was extremely gentle and kind. Yet, he somehow managed to orchestrate a live public suicide that has never been forgotten.

The last paragraph of Dwyer’s final speech was one he never actually got to before he went through with it:

I’ve repeatedly said that I’m not going to resign as State Treasurer. After many hours of thought and meditation I’ve made a decision that should not be an example to anyone else because it is unique to my situation. Last May I told you that after the trial I would give you the story of the decade. To those of you who are shallow to the events of this morning [sic] will be that story. But to those of you with depth and concern the real story will be what I hope and pray results from this morning – in the coming months and years, the development of a true Justice System here in the United States. I am going to die in office in an effort to “see if the shameful facts, spread out in all their shame, will not burn through our civic shamelessness and set fire to American pride.” Please tell my story on every television and radio station and every newspaper and magazine in the U.S..[sic] Please leave immediately if you have a weak stomach or mind since I don’t want to cause physical or mental distress. Joanne, Rob, DeeDEe[sic] – I love you! Thank you for making my life so happy.  Good bye to all of you on the count of 3. Please make sure that the sacrifice of my life is not in vain.

 He made sure that every member of the press was there, with their cameras rolling. They would finally get their story, but the press conference also gave him the opportunity to speak out and, for a brief moment, control the narrative.

He was a man who lived an honest life without chaos or turmoil. When they took that away from him, he proved just how far he would go to get it back. Of course we must remember that Budd was likely suffering from depression and was probably not of sound mind. But when I look at the ‘how’ and ‘why’ of his suicide, it makes sense.

Dwyer’s death seems to be forgotten in today’s political climate, but at the time it shocked the nation and left many scratching their heads. Was Dwyer guilty of bribery, or was he an “honest man,” wrongly accused that led to his untimely death? No one knows for sure, and it’s something that R. Budd Dwyer might have taken to his grave.

The CTA Scandal of 1986 by Delaney Cole

The CTA Contract – The Signature that Brought Down Dwyer

Senate Resolution Honoring the Memory of Budd Dwyer

FBI Interview with John Torquato Jr. Part I*

FBI Interview with John Torquato Jr. Part II*

Robert Asher and R.Budd Dwyer Indictment

Trial Notes – Dwyer’s Testimony*

Dwyer’s Letter to President Reagan Asking for a Pardon

Closing Arguments of the CTA Trial by Prosecutor James West*

Trial Notes from William Smith’s Wife*

CTA Trial Notes from Federal Source*

The film about Budd Dwyer’s life called “Honest Man” which is available here

 


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