Convicted murderer Judith Clark is featured in a New York Times Magazine article this week. She’s on the cover, complete with then and now photos.
The article written an old friend of hers – investigative reporter Tom Robbins – is a then and now, as well.
Robbins focuses on the former radical’s life in prison since 1983 and her relationship with her daughter, whom Clark left as an infant on Oct. 20, 1981, to take part in the robbery of a Brinks armored car in Rockland. The article discusses Clark’s positive work with her fellow inmates and her educational growth behind bars.
On Oct. 20, 1981, Brinks guard Peter Paige and two Nyack police officers – Sgt. Edward O’Grady and Officer Waverly “Chipper” Brown – were murdered by a band of self-proclaimed revolutionaries. Brinks guard Joseph Trombino was seriously wounded. Nyack Officers Arthur Keenan and Brian Lennon were injured.
Clark is serving a 75 year to life prison for three murder convictions for a role as a getaway driver in the robbery.Paig was killed at the Nanuet Mall when gunman robbed $1.8 million. O’Grady and Brown were murdered at a roadblock leading onto the Thruway when gunmen burst out of a van driven by David Gilbert with Kathy Boudin as a passenger. Clark drove one of the get-away cars.
The families of those killed have opposed parole for the Brinks participants, though Boudin was released despite their opposition in 2003 after serving 23 years.
Written by investigative reporter Tom Robbins, a friend who interviewed her several times inside Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in Westchester County, the article discusses her life as a revolutionary to her personal repentance.
Much of her personal redemption came through her relationship with her daughter, Harriet, who was brought to visit her mother in prison. Clark, according to the article, came to face the reality she not only left her daughter motherless, but the three men killed during the Brinks robbery left behind children who were now fatherless.
At one point, she breaks down after being told: “You can’t cry for yourself and Harriet and not see that the children of the men who were killed cried the same way for their fathers.”
Boudin also left her son with a babysitter to take part in the Brinks robbery. Boudin developed a relationship with her son Cheasa while at Bedford Hills.
Clark has lost federal appeals for a new trial. She argued her rights to fair trail were violated because the judge should not have allowed her to go without a lawyer and boycott the proceeding. At trial, Clark and her co-defendents, David Gilbert, a former Weather Underground radical who fathered a child with Boudin, and former Black Panther Kuwasi Balagoon, considered themselves political prisoners.
She gives a spin to her capture after crashing the getaway car into the wall on Broadway in Nyack near Helen Hayes’ “Pretty Penny.” South Nyack-Grand View Police Chief Alan Colsey, who had pursued the vehicle, said he saw Clark reach for a gun as Sam Brown was injured. Gilbert was asking Colsey for an ambulance. Clark said she re-injured a bad shoulder injury in the crash. They had a standoff with Colsey threatening to shoot them until more officers arrived to aid Colsey.
The article quotes O’Grady’s nephew, John Hanchar, now a Clarkstown cop, saying, “One thing about Judith Clark I will never forget was her smiling face as she was led out of the police station in Nyack into the back of that car.”
Upper Right Photos:
Waverly Brown and Edward O’Grady
David Gilbert sandwiched by Kathy Boudin and Judith Clark in Nyack on the night after their arrest