The Long Island Railroad Massacre: 20 Years Later (2013) Script

I think that it's so important to know that... the grief is there. There is never closure.

I hate that word.

I hate it all the time.

"Well at least this will bring closure."

It will never bring closure.

How can it bring closure.

But life does go on.

And as I said earlier... you learn how to smile again.

You learn how to laugh again.

You know people die every day.

Some in their sleep.

Some in pain because of their illness.


But we all have to go forward in some way.

[cars speeding by]

OK. Right.

[wind blowing]

[eerie music]

[intense music]

That morning... before the boys went to work.

I said when I get home I want the tree up.

Because we had our Christmas party the following week.

And I wanted to start decorating it.

As they walked out the doors.

You know, I love you both.

But I remember that moment because it was like... to see the two of them, going off together was just an absolute beautiful, beautiful memory.

And that's something I will always have.

At this time of the year December 7th, it was a cold day.

I had a matter to attend to down at the Securities and Exchange Commission, lower Manhattan.

I was working at an investment banking firm called Bear Stearns and we had stayed in late for the past couple of nights, and the guys said "Hey look, it is getting close to Christmas, everybody needs to go home, see their family, do a little bit of Christmas shopping.

So why don't we get out of here a little bit early."

Back then we took the 5:33 train... from Manhattan to Maryland Avenue each night, then home.

It was only the 4:33 on December 7th.

That night was a little bit different because the 5:33 wasn't my normal train.

And I was coming home on that train to meet my mother to pick up a layette for my daughter.

I went in a little late that day, and I was going to come home early.

So I wasn't wearing a suit and tie, I was wearing an overcoat.

I got into the City around 10 O’clock, and as I was leaving round 2... one of my estimators says...

"Can you stay here?" so what, we have to get this estimate out.

So come on, his name was Herb, I gotta get out of here.

What was it for? It was for err... this is funny... for Andy Warhol Museum.

Lafayette Street, in the city.

So I helped him with that.

I said I gotta get out of here.

It was 5 O'clock and I had to make my train.

I remember turning round to him, I said...

"Boy it will be great if we get this job Herbie."

Remember Andy Warhol said we have our 15 minutes of fame.

Little did I know.

I remember meeting my father in Penn Station lobby... going to our train.

We had almost actually missed the train.

[pensive music]

I didn't get out of the office until almost 10 after 5.

And I walked down to 5th Avenue.

It's very rare during Christmas season you'll ever see a cab.

And I figured, you know what I'm going to grab the cab... and see if I can still make the 5.33.

In desperation, I run to the top of the staircase and I still see the train parked on the platform.

[eerie music]

[suspenseful music]

You know, it was a normal ride home.

I remember being pregnant and hot.

I took my coat off, had it in the rack.

I'm sitting there reading my paper as usual and I hear:

"Excuse me is that seat taken?" I look up... and there is this girl, beautiful angelic face.

She sits next to me.

[eerie music]

I recall that night that... a woman started talking to me.

And she was telling me about, she was very nervous.

Because she was having knee surgery the next day.

[suspenseful music]

We make all our stops, we get to New Hyde Park.

And at that point.

I stand up, have my briefcase in my hand and I wait by the door.

You know you only have two minutes to Merillon Avenue train stations.

So, I remember I started closing my book up.

And... starting leaning forward.

When you leave the New Hyde Park Station, the train has to cross over New Hyde Park Road.

Before we cleared the roadway...

I heard four loud cracks against the windows of the third car... directly across from me.


He was sitting right behind me.

He shot the person across.

I heard him shoot.

I stood up.

I faced him.

Tried to grab him.

Unfortunately, he had the automatic.

John Forni was sitting directly in front of Colin Ferguson... and he stood up... getting ready to disembark at Merillon Avenue.

He went to reach the rack above to get his things and... of course he was standing right in front of Ferguson.

When he stood up, and he got shot, he knew, he too probably thought that he was going to... his life was going to end that day.

He thought that he would stand as long as he could... and take as many bullets as he could... saving other people's lives.

He shot me in both hands.

He got me in the right hand, then through the arm and a couple of other places. I was shot five times.

At first, I guess I thought it was fire crackers... going off behind me.

And just then I was hit in the back of my head.

The boney part of my skull.

On the side, in the back.

Four or five or six men... started to run up the aisle away from the rear section of the car where these loud noises were occurring.

And with that... a total panic set in.

I fell to the floor.

I heard somebody say: "Oh, he has a g--"

As if he was hit.

I hear gunfire.

At the rear end of the car. I look.

I thought, what the hell is going on.

I look down, and there is a man... shooting, left and right.

There was panic and somebody was saying... this is real, that it's not fireworks.

That's when people running up the aisle, to try to get out of the car.

I looked at myself, I was seven and half months pregnant.

Looked down, looked under the seats.

Thought I could get there.

But was afraid that if I... got under the seat and he got as far as I was that I would be trapped.

So I made the decision to try to get into the second car.

When I got fully into, just about fully into the aisle... is when I got shot in the left shoulder.

I continued up the aisle... to get as far away from him as possible.

And as I got to the front of the train, of that car... the aisles had become, literally, littered with bodies.

And he started moving down my end of the car.

Gun emptied.

He stopped, went back. I saw him bend at the seat... put another clip in the gun... and now come down to the other end of the car.

I could see him crossing through the vestibule.

I pulled by briefcase up over my head and shoulders.

And I thought I was going to die right there.

He was getting closer and closer.

Bullets are flying around.

And this girl, Marie, who is sitting next me to me... she starts crawling.

And I'm looking at her saying no, no, don't go there.

Before you know it she looked up and he was...

I don't know, maybe eight to ten feet away.

And he pointed and shot her.

Shot her in the head. Her head exploded.

Right next to me, it was all over me.

It was horrible.

And at that instance I looked up and there he was... looking at me, staring me straight in the face.

I said, dear God I'm dead.

And he pointed the gun, he picked his hand up.

And I put my hand over my face and prayed to God.

I heard one shot go over my head.

The other one hit my arm... right into my chest.

He was... returning. And me, I'm lying on the floor thinking, I've been shot three times already.

And begging God for my life.

Then I started asking God to take my life, because I didn't want to get shot again.

We had pulled into Merillon Avenue.

I'd heard something that said we've got him.

And I lifted my head up over this five seat section... looked down and I could see that there were people holding him down.

The whole thing took less than two minutes.

I looked up at some women and I said I'm pregnant and I've been hit.

They picked me up, got me through the second car and out to the grass I had former training as an advanced emergency medical technician.

I went back into the end of the car.

The first person I came upon was John Forni.

I opened up his shirt.

I took of my neck tie to try to control the bleeding.

I could feel somebody behind in the back of the car with us.

Walking around and... and I was trying to kick him... to tell him that I'm underneath the seat, find me.

She was down between the seats, and I picked her up... from the floor.

I put her onto the seat across the aisle.


Police emergency 239.

Yeah this is 711 in Garden City Park.

There is an East bound train, on the Merillon Avenue train station right here.

There is a guy with a gun, he just shot some people.

The train is heading towards Mineola.

And you saying he shot somebody on there?

Yes. Can you see the person?

No I can't. I'm in the store right now.

Oh, so you just heard it?

Well there is people coming in with blood on them.

[suspenseful music]

On that particular day, our office was... the homicide squad, was actually having a get together... just for the workers.

We were all going to get together... have something to eat.

As it would be about 6:15...

I received a page on the beeper.

The first officer that came into the train...

I looked up and said there is a least five, six wounded.

Another minute or two later... an EMS worker came in.

He threw me a pair of gloves.

A point of irony, we are told basically what happened.

That the person that did the shooting is already in custody.

They were not sure at this point how many are deceased.

We walked to the train and it's... literately the worse carnage I have ever seen.

[camera clicking]

One end of the train to the other is... strewn with clothing, with... briefcases, shoes.

And there are a number of bodies still on the train.

[suspenseful music]

It was the 5.33 train coming out of Penn Station in the height of rush hour. A full train. When apparently, according to what witnesses have told Police, a man on the train opened fire.

At that point there were four... deceased on the train.

21 people had been injured.

At different stages, different amounts.

Two of whom were... clinically dead when they reached the hospital.

I came home from work and my daughter Karen said you know the neighbors are saying there was a shooting down at Garden City station.

On the railroad. And I said really?

So I went down to my neighbor and she says, yes, go watch TV.

Maybe they'll know more about what's gone on.

It was a quiet December Tuesday evening.

Arlene was away at graduate school.

So I had some supper and I sat down and I... started watching Jeopardy.

About 20 minutes into the program they broke in with an announcement saying that there was a shooting on the railroad in New York.

My mind said subway.

So I didn't pay too much attention.

But then about 20 minutes they broke in with an announcement, and identified the railroad as the 5:33 Long Island Railroad, out of Penn Station.

I had just finished seeing a movie with a friend of mine... in Manhattan.

And I was still living... on Long Island with my parents at the time.

So, I called my father to pick me up... at the Merillon Avenue train station.

And as soon as I spoke with him he said:

"Well you know what happened there?"

And I said no.

This, I think, was before the era of mass shooting.

It was so beyond the realm of understanding.

It could only be a joke, but how could it be a joke if it's about 25 people being killed or injured.

I was actually coming home from work and it was around 6:30/7:30 that I was coming in.

And as I, I never put the radio on in the car... that's my thinking time, that's my quiet time.


I pulled up in the driveway the first thing I noticed was... the Christmas tree was still in the driveway.

The train itself was eerily quiet because everybody walking through the train was... was aghast at what had taken place.

[camera clicking]

Outside was mayhem.

Because people that had seen this on the news... or heard about it were running to the train station trying to identify... whether their family members were among the injured.

We were making every attempt we could... to identify everybody that was injured.

I rode to the hospital in the ambulance with Debbie Weber.

And when we got there I used the phone and called her husband.

I left a message. He wasn't at home.

I told Kevin, I said please tell my husband I love him very much.

I just wanted somebody to know me... who I was.

So they can... relay that message.

The next call that I had to make was at home... to my wife.

And at that point...

I guess the reality of what happened I just started to shake.

I couldn't dial the phone myself.

I called everything possible to find out if he was one of them.

Then I called brother, he said you stay home with Karen.

And my brother Jim went to the scene.

By 10 O'clock... there was a knock on the door.

It was the two detectives.

When I opened the door I knew what it was about.

I said to them, I said, is he dead?

They said yes.

Then I collapsed to the floor... they picked me up and took me to the dining room table and got me a glass of water.

So I got off the train.

And then I asked my father well, where's Mi Kyung?

He had time to contact area hospitals, and he said... that there were some unidentified Asian female at one of the hospitals.

And so...

I... he drove me home.

And as soon as I got home...

I remember my mother rushing past me saying, I know it's her, she got hit, I know it's her.

My brother Tommy... came into the house.

First thing he said was that there was a shooting and...

Kevin was at the hospital and we had to get there right away.

And um...

I screamed a little bit.

They took us over North Shore Hospital and... that's when I found that... Dennis was already dead.


...all my concentration had to be on Kevin now.

As we drove in... we could see... a kind of a maddening sight.

Lights all over.

Cameras all over.

People rushing to and fro.

We told them who we were.

They got us into the emergency room.

The surgery had been completed.

And Amy was in the recovery room.

She was lying beautifully as though asleep.

And her curly black hair was just the way it usually was... on her pillow.

However, I looked down at her hands.

And her hands were caked with dry blood.

And I...

I thought to myself...

...come on Amy.

Come on. You're young. You're healthy. Come...

They brought us into a room... where they had people there to talk to us.

To give us, you know, an update of what was going on.

At that particular time my son was still in the operating room.

It was a severe head injury.

The nurses at the hospital told me that Kevin had...

15% chance of surviving.

When they were bringing the stretcher by...

I didn't even recognize that it was my son.

But he was breathing.

He was on a respirator, but he was breathing.

I was shot once.

So... basically I had um... raised my hand in defense.

And they said that that was what had saved my life.

The bullet entered through the heel of the hand.

And then exited through the top.

Multiple surgery on the head. The craniotomy.

The bleeding, you know, pulling out the fragments.

And then I had multiple surgeries on the hand.

They had to reconstruct the hand.

I was bought to North Shore hospital, with a bullet lodged in my chest.

I was in there overnight.

They removed the bullet about a week later.

About ten days later, they couldn't take it out.

Two physicians... were examining the x-rays that had been taken of me.

I saw one doctor turn his head left and right.

Left and right.

I could not hear what they were saying... but I remember saying to myself:

"Oh God, I going to now need an operation."

And the taller of the two said:

"Mr. McDermott." he said.

"I have treated hundreds of gunshot wounds, and I have never seen such a clean entrance and exit wound as this.

There has been no damage to any bone or nerves or tendon."

He says this is purely a miracle Mr. McDermott.

The way the doctors explained it to me.

Was that I guess he was using black talon bullets.

One of the bullets went through my chest and severed an artery in my arm.

But I guess that because it was traveling a such a high speed, it actually, the heat seared it somewhat closed so I didn't bleed to death.

And when we looked at the x-ray... we could see my spine, the babies spine... and the bullet in the middle of it.

So it was just so... dramatic for us to realize how lucky we were.

After the five days, the ventilator had been disconnected.

There was no sign anymore of hope.

So there was a 24 hour wait before... they can make an official declaration of brain damage.

My Mum and Dad went to the areas hospitals.

To um... figure out where she was.

And so I think about midnight or one O'clock that morning...

When... they identified her.

She was in such bad condition... that... they were only able... To identify her... through a birth mark above her lip.

And I think it was a silver watch that she was wearing.

And so, at that point.

She was um... declared to be in serious condition... and then as the hours went on... it was downgraded to critical condition.

And then, later the following afternoon and it was um...

December 8th at this point.

She was... it was declared hopeless.

And so... my mother, remembered seeing... the nurses pull the plug on her ventilator.

Which had been keeping her alive.

She died around 3:45 that afternoon.

The person who committed this crime...

is an animal.

His head bowed and his hands shackled.

35 year old Colin Ferguson of Brooklyn, was taken from police headquarters to his arraignment.

The unemployed man born in Kingston, Jamaica said nothing during the brief proceeding at Nassau District Court.

And Judge Sandra Feuerstein ordered him held without bail, until his next court appearance on Friday.

Obviously the only time we could speak with Ferguson was that first night.

He waived his rights, and he spoke with us.

He had no remorse over what he did.

One of his first questions was, how many people are dead?

And then he wanted to talk about... why he didn't get a B in a college course he was taking... because it was racist.

And we would try to bring him back to what took place on the train.

And he would try to talk about... the problems he was having with the... the job that he recently got injured on.

And he wanted workman’s compensation.

How they had... flimflammed him and conned him into accepting... a certain amount.

When Ferguson got on the train, he took the absolute perfect seat for what he was planning on doing.

The very rear of the train.

All these seats here are facing away from him.

As soon as he left Jamaica the conductor of the train informed Ferguson that he did not have the right ticket.

This was a peak hour train and he had an off peak ticket.

We're preparing for trial from the very beginning.

And this is important to us as it shows he knew... what he was doing at the time.

When the conductor told him he had to give him a dollar fifty, he didn't argue with him.

He didn't give him his shoe.

He gave him the dollar fifty.

He maintained the receipt ... and the conductor maintained the receipt.

When he got up... and started the shooting.

He took his weapon, he stepped in the aisle and the first person he shot was sitting in the seat directly opposite him.

And then... he shot fifteen rounds, in this area.

Three of the deceased were found still seated right in this spot.

After firing the fifteen rounds he had probably got to about this area.

He walks back, just three rows... gets the next clip... and now as he comes up the aisle there are people... lying between the seats on the floor.

And... a tremendous amount of people that have run to the front of the car.

He's walking down the aisle turning into each row.

Firing at people on the ground.

As I said, there were times where... someone would be lying on top of someone else and both would be hit by the same bullet.

This is where he was when he finished the second clip.

And after firing 30 rounds... thank goodness he did not have the other two clips with him because they were both loaded.

Why he left them in the bag... err, I have no idea.

But it's only thank God that he did because otherwise... it would have increased in the amount of deceased, and injured people\ in a heartbeat.

He turned to go back... to return to his seat here where he would have gotten the clips.

And, three men... from this area jumped him and wrestled him to the ground right by this... between these two seats.

He was held there for about thirty to forty seconds till the train actually pulled into the railway station.

We got two things from Ferguson.

A consent to search his house and he gave us a consent to take his blood.

Two detectives from my office went that evening to his house in Brooklyn.

It's an apartment actually.

In the apartment, we found a box that he purchased the revolver in.

We found the instructions for revolver.

Most importantly... we found a pad... that was the pad he used to write the notes that were found on him.

And we could take a page that was found on him that had been torn and show and match directly up to that pad.

I think that he felt that he would killed on the train because the notes start "Reasons for this..."

Quote, unquote.

Mostly indicating racism by every possible group.

Paper work reveals strong hostility being hogged by him in terms of racism.

He targets Caucasians. He targets Blacks. He targets Orientals.

He stated he chose Nassau county because he liked Mayor Dinkins and didn't wish to embarrass him.

Colin Ferguson got to me.

While Kevin still was in ICU... fighting for his life.

I had the TV on and was watching the TV for the weather.

And then they brought on Colin Ferguson being arraigned in court.

And he was complaining about his aches and his pains and how he was being treated.

I presently suffer from kidney stones.

I've had kidney stones pass as large as an inch.

Prior to my coming to jail, there was urine in my blood which... a doctor had seen the samples of it... prior to my being arrested.

I also suffer from... poor circulation in my left leg.

I guess it was all the emotion from the night of December 7th that it just exploded and I just started screaming and walking around the house.

And I still had to get to the hospital and when I got to the hospital it was the first time the nurses saw me break down.

And I swore that night when I got home, I would never let Colin Ferguson get to me again.

First he called. same way we end up representing most of the people that we end up representing... they, he contacted us.

We laid out a strategy, a course of action for him. which involved his only conceivable defense in this case which was, the insanity defense.

And Kunstler couched it with the phrase "black rage."

And once that phrase was used, it created a tremendous amount of rage in the white communities and actually lead to a pretty interesting conversation about race and violence in America.

What did I suppress this guy? Did we suppress him.

I didn't do a damn thing. I don't know him.

Why didn't he go on a train to...


Why did he come on a train to Garden city?

Predominantly white people.

He came from a fairly well to do family. middle class, upper middle class family in Jamaica.

Immigrated here and really here in the United States it became his first real exposure to racism.

He came to this country.

Never going back. just worked a lot of different jobs.

I'm guessing his personality created a problem for him.

If it's not about him he doesn't want to discuss it.

It is an impossible task that has been given the hands of the accused, different facts.

He cannot invest a simple day to perform the fundamental duties and obligations of preparing a case.

Of course I am... restricted in such a way as not to be able to... handling my files affectively as I hold them in a journal.

And... today in question the entire file spilt in the backseat of the vehicle.

Now it was not even put into this file in a way that would have separated the paperwork that had been in here previously.

It was just dumped in and I think it's probably unacceptable.

I'm aware of the incident.

I'm aware the correctional offices did in fact place your papers back in your brief case.

You were also here nine o'clock this morning. and it had been about two and a half hours to rearrange the work and as I understand it, you did absolutely nothing during that period of time while you were in the detention center.

Judge I did not--

At this point, at this point to say that you need more time is absurd to the court.

Not only that but this folder's completely written out.

Now that you can see it.

This can no longer hold the paperwork.

And... the jail has refused to take it off or make some kind of arrangement where I can...

I assure you before you leave today we'll get the stuff stapled, whatever you need to tape it up.

He's been out of work for two years.

The workman compensation claim, that he was in a process of making.

He had accepted an agreement of an amount of money that was supposed to satisfy the claim.

He had accepted and negotiated an amount, which I believe was in the vicinity of $25,000.

He just now decided that he wanted more or he wanted to get monthly payments.

Continued monthly payments.

If you go into hearings they finally told him no.

That may in fact have been what really set him off because that took place that same day.

It is a fact that Colin Ferguson was a ticking time bomb was apparent to everyone who had come into contact with him, for any length of time.

He dealt with the Delphi University.

He dealt with the workman's compensation board.

He dealt with other individuals and he became obsessive, threatening, menacing.

If you disagreed with him then he'd associate you with racists that, oh ya you are agreeing with racists.

That's way you don't want to agree with me.

Eventually I told him to sit down.

Before he sat down he said, "You are one of those black people who has been employed at this institution to make sure that people like me don't succeed."

Ultimately, Kustler and I became convinced that Colin Ferguson indeed outside of being, you know, generically crazy, that he was suffering from very extreme and extensive mental illness, that interfered with his mental functioning as a defendant.

The ultimate break came... when he accused us, his attorneys of staging a phony incident at the Nassau County Jail so the jail would be locked down... so that Colin Ferguson would be unable to go to his eye doctor appointment.

So he would go blind, so he would be unable to identify the actual Caucasian shooter.

And at that point we realized that this is not a man who can contribute to his own defense in any meaningful way.

We realized that once he started accusing us of plotting against him, that we were going to get fired and he was going to represent himself.

The court finds pursuant to section seven thirty ten and in seven thirty, thirty of the criminal proceedings act that the defendant is not an incapacitated person.

On the fourth day of Colin Ferguson's competency hearing Judge Donald Belfi decided, to Ferguson's delight that the accused Long Island railroad gunmen is in fact competent to stand trial.

What's more, the judge granted Ferguson's request to represent himself.

I believe that I can prove my innocence. I believe that I can be acquitted.

And I believe I can do a better job than just about anyone else.

Ferguson seemed quite pleased with himself during his first ever extended conversation with Judge Belfi, during which Ferguson said, he has no intention of pursuing the insanity defense.

Instead, he said he plans to tell the jury of his peers that he was not the man who killed six people and injured nineteen others, aboard the fateful 5:33 train.

As for the challenge of testing his legal skills against those of veteran prosecutor George Peck, Ferguson seemed unintimidated.

I believe I can depend on my integrity.

My confidentiality is preserved within myself.

And I believe I can be a... um...

for the one of a better word, a formidable opponent for Mr. Peck.

The district's attorney's office has succeeded in orchestrating a situation where a raving man is going to offer a crazy defense representing himself and it's going to be a procedure that I think all of us are going to regret.

What about the prospect of him questioning some of the people he allegedly shot and some of the family members of the people he allegedly shot?

Well, that's his right now that he is the attorney of record, and I'm sure many of the victims... do not... would not like to go through this.

I think it is case that cries out for representation by able counsel as you already have... and my own personal advice to you is I think you're doing a foolish thing.

It's going to be a horrible situation for the victims.

To be cross examined by this man.

Um, no one's faced him, you know, and it's a matter, just... being in the news all the time, when he's going through these trials.

I mean it's dragging everybody down.

It is unreal really.

When everybody saw him there.

So and... to think that he did these terrible things to everybody.

Why are you here then, if it's so terrible to stay here?

Why I'm here?

Because I loved my husband very much.

He was a very good person.

This should have never happened and I'm sure if this happened to me, my husband would be standing right here, right now, doing the same thing.

The prosecution psychiatrist and the defense psychiatrist, did not disagree on very much.

Our psychiatrist said, "He's delusional, Ferguson is delusional".

There psychiatrist said, "He may be delusional, we're not sure.

Certainly his behavior is consistent with delusions.

Both agreed that he was paranoid.

But the standard for competence in New York, is so low and so without content that the judge basically found that Ferguson seems intelligent.

He can assist in his own defense in the sense if you said hey, you know Colin could you hand me that law book or hand me a pencil, you know he'd hand you the law book, he knew what the pencil was.

And as a standby council, our role was really to be legal advisers to Colin Ferguson to help him put his craziness in legal language.

Ferguson studied in the law books and he discovered that he was entitled to a hundred and fifty dollars to hire a defense investigator.

And he ask me to make the motion.

So I drew up the papers based on what Ferguson told me, and told the judge, you know Mr. Ferguson wants his hundred and fifty dollars, so that investigator can track down the actual Caucasian shooter.

And you could see the judge... you could see his face turn red, and he opened his mouth and he said:

"That's... he was almost ready to say crazy.

But he realized that as soon as he said that that's crazy then really, Colin Ferguson is not competent to stand trial and should be packed off to a mental institution.

No, reason insanity.

No I have a whole different outlook on people.

They get off on, you know, insanity defense.

You know what? You took a gun. You went on a train.

You wounded nineteen and killed six people.

There aint nobody insane.

Right then and there you should be taken off this earth.

Was he mentally ill?


What non mentally ill person would do something like that.

Was he legally insane?

He was not legally insane.

All these people who he mentions... his hatred for, Adelphi University, EEOC, workman's compensation, people in the Utah government staff, um... all of these people... are real people.

It's what psychiatrists call, "reality based behavior."

He was not delusional.

He felt that he could do anything that he wanted to do.

It was only held back because of racism.

So I think part of his going pro say, was to show that he also could be an attorney.

It certainly caused a lot of angst and problems with all the people that were going to have to testify.

They didn't want to have to answer his quest-- they didn't want to see him or to have to answer his questions.

I spent a lot of time preparing them and convincing them that their opportunity to talk to Ferguson was going to be terrific.

That they were going to walk away from that and feel so much better.

I never really believed it.

He thought he was smarter than everybody.

And the comic side was that fact when um... detective Parpan was... we were talking and he said his comment about Belfi was that the professors didn't call on him because he was smarter than they were and they didn't want his answers.

They had found papers in his rooms.

He says he got a D on this paper.

Maybe you ought to introduce this into evidence, you know that he's not as smart as he thought he was.

I did testify on my daughter's first birthday, and I remember my husband... holding, going to hold my hand in the parking lot as we were walking into the court house and I said to him:

"Don't be nice to me. Don't tell me you love me.

I need to keep, like, an edge on."

I thought about it for a while.

I said, "You know what?

I still have a better chance with him defending himself then Ron Kuby or William Kunstler.

I stared him down.

Forty two minutes, I starred him down.

When I went into court I stood upright in my seat like I'm talking to you now.

I stood up and I starred him in the eyes for forty two minutes.

I never took my eyes off him. Never looked any... there was only me and him in that court room.

My only fear was being put in the same position of being, where he could approach me as I'm sitting in the witness stand and coming up and you know as lawyers do, they like to point the finger which would almost be like simulating sitting in the train car.

Kara's wishes were that her son not have to relive this.

So we when over to huh... the McCarthy house one day, both George Peck and myself, with the full intention of telling Kevin that he wasn't going to testify.

And I was talking to him. I said, "Well Kevin you didn't see anything, you didn't hear anything because it happened so fast, and don't have to live through it.

You don't have to go through it again."

At that time, he got very emotional and he said, "I want to do it for my father."

Mr. McCarthy, in your own words, can you tell this jury what you remember about the train ride.

I remember... leaving Penn station, and then hearing an undistinguished sound.

And... hearing people talk next to me. about me sliding my hand along the bar that was in front of my seat.

You know they're arguing back and forth: "Don't let him move his hand."

You know then, the response was:

"I'm not moving his hand. He's moving his hand."

I remember being, you know... them putting me on a backboard to carry me off the train and hearing the distinct sound of a cracker.

When I left North Shore, I went to an out-patient rehabilitation center where they, you know, continued to teach me how to walk and tried to get used to my left arm again.

Show me how to use adaptive devices.

How to dress without the use of an arm.

And... continued, you know, my walking...

and... that to this day I continue to go.

Five days a week.

From ten o' clock in the morning till three o' clock in the afternoon.

Ferguson is sitting directly behind him. with the attorneys that were assisting him.

And I can hear the other attorneys telling him:

"You have no questions."

"You have no questions for him."

Ferguson stood up and said, "I do have a question."

Mr. McCarthy just one question.

If you could just, um... if possible, I can't relate to the jury if there is any way what so ever you can assist them in positively identifying the shooter on the train.

No I did not see the person that shot me.

No further questions Judge.

Did you read that?

Thank you very much.


I wasn't at the trial every day but I was following it, you know, at home on TV.

Um, so... you know there was enough people that identified him and I just need to be honest.

You know, I did not remember him or recall him.

So I just had to take the word from everybody else that... who had seen and had better recollection.

As far as being used to the court room.

As far as understanding the basic principles of cross examination.

I thought that he did very, very well.

However, he had no direction in his thinking.

A high powered lawyer, um... would have maybe asked different types of questions.

His questions were, kind of ridiculous questions.

In the sense that, you know: "Who shot you"?

You could not tell... what happened.

The sequence as it happened on the train from the point of a shooting until police officers responded to the scene.

I could not tell until you told me... what had transpired and what had happened on the train.

I asked you a question Mr. Daly.

Looking at the notes... in itself... you could not look at the notes and know a sequence that happened on a train. on December 7th 1993. Am I correct?

The sequence of events that happened on a train.

No, how it happened I could not.

In other words, you could not read the notes and see people screaming.

Am I correct?

I could not read the notes and see people screaming, that's correct.

The gun shots had resumed...

I looked up...

I saw Colin Ferguson crossing through the vestibule.

When I saw him coming towards me and shooting I put my briefcase up over my head and shoulders and just waited for the bullet to hit me.

Mr. Zaleski...

did there come a time after the incident that you went to your home.


And... when you got to your home did you watch TV?


And it was [inaudible] to see the white man TV published confirmed the incident on the train. Am I correct?


And, am I correct...

At what time did you get home?

About nine o' clock.

And huh...

This incident was highly publicized at that hour. Am I correct?


He turned and pivoted, his hands spread... and he lowered just a bit.

I went towards him with my brief case in front of me.

Think that maybe that could be some sort of diversion.

What I saw was Mr. Ferguson drop the gun, that he had just fired.

I threw down my bag... kept going towards him... grabbed him by the chest.

He said, "I will not resist."

You could point to that schematic... was there a partition between yourself and the... very rear end of the car?


And, would you say the partition, is part glass, and part metal?


And would you say that you crouched before you heard the pop beneath the glass and onto the uh... into the protection of the metal?


And, is it your testimony, that when you heard this pop, you thought it was a pipe cracker going off?

Initially, yes.

And, in it, your testimony in the grand jury.

That, at that time you smiled when you heard, a pop go off.

That you thought it was a fire cracker that fired to try to commute a train?


And the rest of the trial played out as we knew that it would.

There was no secret, underlying Colin-Ferguson strategy!

He was able to make arguments that sounded like legal arguments.

He was able to cross examine witnesses, in a form that looked like a lawyer was doing it.

The problem was the content of what was being done, was sheer delusion and paranoia!

The only witness he called, uh strangely enough, was me.

I was the only defense witness in that court case.

With all the background work that we did, we do a check for... previous arrests, any type of previous record.

When we put the name Colin Ferguson, in the computer, another Colin Ferguson came out.

He thought that was important to bring out.

If in fact, the police officers weren't doing anything at the police headquarters for instance in a case like Lohan and Redrow that name would first come up.

That would be the first indication of Ferguson.

At which time, he would be identified as a fugitive.

Which makes it more likely for Mr. Ferguson to be detained, to be arrested on some kind of suspicion.

Also coming up thereafter, would be a second name.

The proper Mr. Ferguson who has no criminal record.

However, that in itself, is a continuing conspiracy.

To the point where in an article and I am attempting to research from the database of Mr. Constance and Mr. Clovis lexus machine, where the a supervisor of special agents, who, indicated categorically... that they were doing their best, to target Mr. Ferguson, and there was no reason given.

At the time, evidently they learned...

Account one of the indictment, murder in second degree.

What is your verdict? Guilty.

[gavel slams]

Count two, murder in second degree.

What is your verdict?


Account three, murder in second degree. What is your verdict?


Account four. Murder in second degree. What is your verdict?


His closing statement, was ridiculous.

He claimed that he was dosing on the train and someone must have taken the gun out of his bag, and done that.

He couldn't explain why he had the gun, or why it was his bag.

There were a few loose ends to that particular explanation.

He never, once, indicated to me...

any remorse.

I have made my case clear, that I would be appealing this issue, and therefore, I do not need... to say, that in fact, I am, remorseful. To the point where, I am confessing guilt, because that is not the case.

I am simply saying, that I maintain my innocence.

The process, must continue.

He did try to claim that uh...

all of this was because it was the year 1993, that's why there were 93 count indictments.

I am one of the greatest advocates against glamorization of violence, but we remember Al Capone and Frank Midi...

In our bedrooms and in our living rooms, where we are entertained by their violence.

Many, many people have established wealth in this nation, because of those people.

This goes much too

[inaudible speech]

And Hollywood also.

Objection sir, your honor.

Please again come back to the crime, Jefferson jury.

When we look at the scenario... we cannot even begin to come close to suggesting that Ferguson is looking for media attention. I believe the media is looking for their livelihood and fame. And whatever promotions they can get.

I have no control over that.

They are allowed in here and there is nothing I can do.

All I am saying is this: that I am saying that I am innocent of any crime. I stand accused and being projected--

I understand, Mr. Ferguson.


I will just add, for the record that there is a notable absence of non-mainstream black media that is, the media that are black, and not here in the box.

So therefore if you are not able to vision rising anything that that resembles crime, which I am very proud of those media.

As far as I'm concerned about Collin-Ferguson right now... This is the end.

I don't want to hear his name again I will be here, the day of sentencing. As far as I am concerned, he is wiped from my memory.

As we watched Amy slowly die, we knew from the assurances of scripture in second Corinthians, again at chapter five, that she was absent from the body, but present with her lord.

Her death brought life to three organ recipients, her death prompted a groundswell of love.

From 100's of people, even while poetry dedicated to her began to appear.

Even leaving us behind for glory...

Amy lives on.

What assurances, what love.

What poetry, Colin-Ferguson, will you have?

We have prayed for you, been burdened for you.

Poor soul that is seemingly, so unreachable.

Amy befriended those in need. Both physically, and spiritually.

She gave her heart away every day. Amy's life was devoted to helping others, and it continues in her passing.

Her heart, and kidneys were transplanted, and three people are now able to continue living productive lives.

In many respects, Amy lives on.

If Amy had known you, Mr. Ferguson, she would have extended the hand of friendship.

To help you, overcome your shortcomings, that you seem to blame on everyone else.

I wasn't planning on speaking... and obviously both of us were really nervous, and scared.

And I remember walking out and Kevin had worked on the garbage truck for Mineola you know, during the summer.

The garbage truck guys, had just pulled up and they got out and they said... we know where you're going.

My thoughts and prayers are for you.

I will have to endure... painful, timely, and constant revalidation to this mad man's actions for the rest of my life.

I respectfully request the court... to sentence the defendant, [inaudible]

Everything that I had wanted to say about my husband...

I don't want you to hear it.

You don't deserve to hear... what a good man he was.

You don't deserve to hear... the laughter that he gave us.

Everybody was so, emotionally involved with the people as they got up there.

And now they could see, just how nice these people were.

Which I knew for an entire year.

And, I'm not sure there was a dry eye, in the courtroom.

Well, except for Ferguson and the judge.

I often think of the parents, of Amy Federici, Richard Middleton, Maria Magtoto and my young Kim.

I feel the pain and suffering and pray for the strength that we all need to go on.

Just last night I watched my husband playing with our daughter.

I can't imagine life without her.

But you, Colin Ferguson, you almost took one or both of our lives away.

The pain, and suffering will never completely go away.

My physical wounds have healed but emotionally, my family and myself take it day by day.

What stemmed from this horrendous act of violence, was sleepless nights, frequent outbreaks of emotion, and almost a loss of a 20 year marriage.

All due to the sick actions of an animal called Colin Ferguson.

I must admit the day I testified was another hurdle for me to jump, in order to get on with my life.

I recall the anger Colin Ferguson saw in my eyes that day, that would have put fear in any man.

If Colin Ferguson thought he was justified for committing this act of violence, then he should admit it and be held accountable for his actions.

And in my heart I feel this animal should suffer until the day he dies.

I know I have an impossible request your honor, but given five minutes alone with Colin Ferguson, this coward will know the meaning of suffering.

At that point, you know, I... was teetering, I was, I was that close to jump on him.

Robert Giugliano a victim of the the train shooting... now gesturing to Colin Ferguson.

You're a goddamn animal!

Five minutes that's all I need. Five minutes!

But I had more respect for that court, and I didn't want to lower myself to his standards either.

And that was it, that was the last I saw of him.

I knew...

[crying] we shared a bond... that would grow stronger and stronger over time.


But all of these hopes evaporated with one snap of your trigger finger.

I remember I wrote the impact statement quite quickly, I just kind of pounded it out. I think it was very difficult in the beginning. The first few minutes were, I was weeping... and then, as I read the words, I gradually felt stronger, that it was more and more necessary to say it, because up until that point, I really hadn't spoken publicly about it, except to a few reporters, here and there.

At the age of 27 she was not where she had hoped to be.

She did not have the film and television career she had dreamed of.

But Megan was a fighter. She fought hard to get her life back on track. And she chose to confront her personal demons quietly and with self-respect.

Once the headlines and camera flashes fade away, and you find yourself locked away in your six by nine foot prison cell you will have plenty of time to reflect upon what put you there.

That's when I hope you will come to realize for the first time in your life, that you have no one to blame but yourself for what a miserable excuse for human being you are.

You are nothing and you entitled to nothing.

My daughter Karen, who was ten years old at the time, wrote this letter about her father, it says it all.

In memory of James Gorycki, the best father by Karen Gorycki, his daughter.

With all my pain and sorrow, I remember December 7, 1993.

I was watching the news for details to see if my dad was ok.

I was looking out the window to see what, when he got home in sadness if something happened.

My mom called all the hospitals and they said he wasn't on the victims' list. I was happy, but it got later and later.

Suddenly, somebody knocked on our door that very night and I thought it was my dad, but he had keys.

There was two police officers, I thought he was in the hospital, but they said "No, he died."

My mom fell to the floor crying, and I was crying so much I didn't know what to do.

I will never forget this, as long as I live.

But I still remember him, on Father's day, and every day.

I was getting furious because he, Colin Ferguson wasn't even looking at me.

He was just looking around the whole room.

So at the end, I just... emotionally went to look at the judge and I said, don't you ever let this man free.

Dear honor, may you put him away forever in prison. No parole, ever!

Don't you ever get a chance to destroy anybody else's life, like you did to all these other people.

It just came out of me, because I just couldn't stand the way that he didn't have the decency to listen to us.

The court further orders that he be committed to the custody of the New York state department of correctional services at Downstate Corrections Facility, Fishkill, New York.

For the imprisonment of term of said sentence.

[applause and cheering]

I thought the trial would give me closure.

But in reality I honestly, to this day, can't tell you I really know why... this even took place.

I really don't know exactly what was going through his head at the time. I'd like to, I would love to know why.

It doesn't stop me from living my life, but what, what had gone wrong in his life, that would anger him so much to do this.

He contacted us, after he was found guilty. He asked if we wanted to do the appeal.

We were willing to do the appeal but only on the ground that he was not competent, and the competency decision should be revisited. He didn't want that.

So he found somebody else to do the appeal. He lost and as far as I know, remains incarcerated somewhere far away for the rest of his life.

I for sure... think about it... every December.

Christmas lights mean things to different people.

When the Christmas lights go up, I start to remember that it's coming.

And it's not Christmas that is coming.

It's the anniversary, that is coming.

Sometimes, I actually make myself work that day and ride that train and try to look for the same seat in which I sat in.

I don't know if it's worked or what, but it's my defiance, against letting this take my life away. I actually went for therapy. And they said to me:

"You know, what were you thinking?

What were you thinking that night? What were you thinking?"

And I said N, nothing, nothing."

Finally said Lisa "What were you thinking?"

I was thinking I was gonna die.

But I never verbalized those few words.

And, once I did that, that was the beginning of the healing.

Dennis and I enjoyed the outdoor life quite a bit. He had a great sense of humor, and he was always the person at the party that livened up the party.

Several of the families got together and we rented a house up in Vermont.

Killington, Vermont.

And we used to go skiing every single weekend.

Uhm... and it was great for the family.

The house was a little a little cabin. We probably had too many people in there. No TV so you would play card games or board games. And it really brought the family together.

I wish he would have been around to be with, it would have been his grandkids, my kids.

You know, I do miss the fact that he did uh, that my kids are not... being... meet my father but

[clears throat] you know other than that, you know I miss him and... there's not really more you can say than that.

Dennis and I loved Christmas and I would do the whole house up.

It looked like... the North Pole.

And I found I couldn't do it.

The first couple of years. And, it was my brother Tommy that said:

"You got to, you got to put the Christmas stuff up."

And... I think it was on the third year.

I was home alone and I put the tree up... then I put the decorations up.

The hardest thing is the holidays.

Uhm. Every holiday.

I mean, I had a face the first Christmas, the first New Year's.

Lucky my family was there, they all kept me busy.

I don't care what holiday it is.

I was always there with my husband, we had traditions.

And that's all taken away and even to this day, Christmas especially, is very hard.

My husband was like an angel.

He, he was such a sweet, considerate, good person.

Why would a person like that get killed in such a terrible way?

He was such a good person, such a decent person.

It's something that will always be there, and you will always remember the good times.

The good times I had with my father and my family and the things that we used to do.

And it's something that will always be a part of me.

She was very creative and artistic.

Very intelligent and inquisitive.

She was working as a computer animator at the time.

She had a computer science background.

We had even talked about being roommates in Manhattan together and moving out of the house.

So we were very close. And she was the person I was closest within my family.

After she had died, we had gotten a new cat, and my sister was crazy about cats. We would comment about oh, well Megan would have loved this cat, and oh she would have, yeah.

That's when it comes up. So it's more in a positive uhm, context, if anything. And I was told that this would happen.

Where the grief, the depression, the uhm, the rawness of the pain would eventually yield to a remembrance and reflection of the more positive aspects of the time I spent with her.

And I think that's what's happened since then.

Amy is what we called a meeter greeter. She would be the one that would walk into a group and if she didn't know somebody, she would walk over and extend the welcome.

This was her personality. She was, she was an outgoing love.

She lightened up the room whenever she came in.

I don't think she ever met anybody who didn't become a friend of hers down the long run.

The wife of Jerry Bradley, who received one of Amy's kidneys, was reading a newspaper accounting of her press conference.

And saw that we said that Amy's organs would be donated.

She knew the kidney came from down state.

So she approached the organ procurement officer in Holby and asked: "This is Amy's kidney?"

And he said: "Yes, it was."

And three days later we got a call from him and he said:

"Would you like to meet?"

And we jumped at the chance and that's not usual.

Rarely does a recipient and a donor ever meet.

Well, three days before Christmas of '93, on national television, on Good Morning America, We met 40 year old Jerry Bradley, a carpenter from New York.

From Glens Falls in New York.

Spoke to him for good 20 minutes on the air.

It probably was a real slow news day.

[Robert] The first year, I would say... didn't really bother me.

Because you're in, if you would, the limelight.

You know, the media, the frenzy.

You're on TV shows, you're doing interviews.

You're reliving it and going forward. You know what?

It's just... The wheels are going round. You just... you're not thinking about it. You know, you slept at nights, you got up and next day: "Oh, I'm going here. I'm doing that."

Friends would come over. "Oh, I gotta talk to you.

How you doing?"

You know. "Sorry to hear about it."

And then it ended and then it sunk in.

What really happened to me.

That sunk in.

And my God, I fell apart.

I alienated myself from my friends... family. I couldn't go to functions.

I slowly got through that process and went from one job, took a, you know.

I was like bouncing around a little a bit.

I just couldn't find my place.

And I finally did, you know. Landed a good job in the city.

Was with them a number of years, but... then what was happening... it was affecting my marriage.

My marriage was starting to come apart.

You know, there was still something there that I just couldn't grasp.

Some years later, I wound up getting divorced.

I'm divorced now six years.

But prior to that... it got better, but again, it was just... the adjustment, being made with it.

You know, getting up every day knowing you were shot, you couldn't do anything about it.

That was my biggest thing. That was what I was holding onto, because I'm this Italian guy, tough guy.

You know, you could stop people, you control things, you controlled your life.

I couldn't do a damn thing about it and that was the thing I had to let go of.

[Mi] I knew that once the news vans and the spotlights went away, that I would really be left to myself for the most part.

And that is when it began to really hit me.

It was a slow process. It just kind of seeped in slowly. But it really made me realize that the metaphor of a broken heart is very real. Because I remember walking around, feeling as if my heart was just this... big wad of scar tissue.

You literally do feel that pain, that tightness in your chest.

And I remember going to a doctor, talking about it.

And she said that it was normal for someone in my situation.

I wasn't about to have a heart attack or anything.

And I think the years after that, you essentially have to grow a new heart.

I think it's the best metaphor.

I kept myself extremely busy.

I spoke out... right away to the press the day after my husband was buried.

So, I spoke out right from the beginning.

And I just kept on going.

I had gotten sympathy cards from people all over the country.

Just to show the impact of what people have done for me.

I ended up writing, hand writing 600 thank you notes.

That just shows you how people came out for me.

Complete strangers, and family and friends.

[Carolyn] The journey was the first couple of years.

The holidays.

To be honest with you, every time I looked at Kevin, you know, Kevin was not the same person he was before the shooting.

Things about him had changed.

His appearance, his smile.

The way he talked.

[Kevin] I had made it an issue to get back to normalcy.

So, I had a... going back to...

I had got back to work, I had got recertified to be a... get my driver's license to be able to drive.

In the first year, I was reclaiming my independence.

And trying to get back to a normal life.

I got back to work.

And then... was just getting life as normal and... as normal as can be after a tragic incident.

It takes strength. It takes strength.

A lot of it. It does. And it takes willpower To get through something like that. You know.

We're all strong. That we say we're strong with things, but you don't know until you're in it.

I was tough as they come. You know what?

I was a basket case.

[dramatic music] It took me a lot of years.

It took me a good eight, nine, ten years to really come to terms with it.

It's there. I had to share that with my new wife.

You know, my past things from my life and all, but I don't dwell on it.

[Mi] We still visit her grave site.

Just a few weeks ago, we were there for Christmas.

And my parents are at peace with it and they've accepted it.

I haven't, because I still find it profoundly sad... and it makes me profoundly angry that... my parents were forced to accept the unacceptable.

And so, I think there's always gonna be part of me that will never accept this.

But, in the meantime, your life can go on.

And you can still find joy and meaning in life.

And I think that's what all of us have found.

As times goes on, it doesn't get better. It gets different.

And working with organ tissue donation.

And our big push has been to... We work with the donor families who have lost, not necessarily in the same way we lost, but there was loss of a loved one.

We talk and we've got a kindred spirit there and... because I was still talking about Amy, in many respects she's still very much alive in my life.

I'm better now in the last year. And I tell you why.

Cause our granddaughter. That's her birthday December 7.

So, I've brought something nice to something bad.

It turned it around. So...

I look forward to it now.

She was one years old this last December, so... it came and went.

It's there.

But I think of Savina.

[Carolyn] I hope this shows that... years and years and years can pass... almost 20 years in our case, but it has changed our lives forever.

And this isn't something that does go away.

We handle it differently. We go forward.

[Debra] The answer to all of this is the support of family, friends and even strangers that become your friends.

They are going to listen to your story as you repeat it over and over again, because you have to learn to live with this.

You know, I think it will go down in history as, you know, part... another footnote.

Long list of massacres that have happened in the United States when crazy people got hands on guns.

I think it'll go down in the lives of the people that it directly affected as the most horrific thing that ever could and ever will happen to anybody.

And I think in most people's lives it'll be simply

"Oh yeah. I remember that. Where was that in? A subway? I...

Yeah. I remember that. Sort of, kind of."

You know, time marches on.

[Carolyn] President Clinton was in office at that time.

He was pushing the Assault Weapons Ban.

Kevin says: "Mom, you know, you're really spending a lot of time doing this."

And I said: "Well, you know, Kevin, I'm just trying to make a difference."

But I wanna ask the sportsmen and others who lawfully own guns to join us in this campaign to reduce gun violence.

I say to you: "I know you didn't create this problem.

But we need your help to solve it."

There is no sporting purpose on earth that should stop the United States Congress from banishing assault weapons and outgun police and cut down children.

The Assault Weapons Bill passed in Washington.

And then almost a year to the day... that it passed... which happened to be...

December 7th... the day I was... gonna spend time from a memorial service.

They decided to have a vote in Congress... to repeal it.

And I flew down there to talk to the members of Congress especially those here on the Long Island delegation.

And my congressman, he voted to repeal the Assault Weapons Ban.

And I didn't know the etiquette of being in the balcony in the Capitol.

But you're not allowed to speak.

And I yelled out...

"How could you do this?"

And with that, they escorted me out.

Out of the chamber.

And I was walking down the Capitol steps and there was a newspaper reporter there.

"Mrs. McCarthy.

How furious are you?"

And I said: "I can't believe it. I'm absolutely furious."

He said: "Are you furious enough to run for Congress?"

I truly felt that Dan Frisa would vote to keep the Assault Weapons Ban.

But he didn't.

That's when I knew I had to run.

Knew nothing about a campaign, knew nothing about... how to run for Congress.

Didn't know you had to raise a lot of money. Horrible.

I was running to reduce gun violence in this country.

And that's what I was gonna talk about and if the people wanted me... they would vote for me.

I have to win the election here in the district.

Certainly to go across the country and win, that means I've beaten the N.R.A. and I think that's the most important thing for me.

[speaking together]

It did seem strange seeing my name on the balcony.

Congresswoman Carol McCarthy and assemblywoman Michelle Schimel, they had started the New Yorkers Against Gun Violence in Long Island.

We joined with the New York office.

It became a very powerful organization.

I am a board member and I am in chair for Long Island.

I've done countless press conferences and speeches.

TV, radio.

Whenever I'm asked to speak out, I'm there.

I will never give up on this.


[Tom] Months after the incident, I started to get involved in gun violence advocacy...

as a... method of paying back... for the grace that I received.

There were many weeks... right after the incident, that I would... say to myself: "Why not me?

Why was I not murdered on that train? Why not me?"

And I had teamed up with Carolyn McCarthy for several years after that.

There is no question in my mind that one gun, 30 rounds... one gunman, six dead and 19 wounded, in less than three minutes, is totally absurd.

The issue that I've been fighting for since I've been in Congress... yes, the background checks, but also the large magazines.

The large magazines, common sense will say to you if you cut down the amount of bullets in a magazine, you have a better chance of taking that person down while they're changing the magazine.

[Carolyn] The arguments that are going on today, the same exact arguments that were going back in '93, when you hear the N.R.A. talk about Sandy Hook, or the other mass killings that we've seen, they say these mass killings only make up the two percent, two and a half percent of all the killings every year.

Well, tell that to the families.

You're a number.

You're not a person. You're not a face.

If Sandy Hook doesn't do it, what will?

I don't know.

I thought Virginia Tech would.

You know.

An awful lot of young people, 22 kids, adults were killed.

You know, when you think of, in the last couple of years, the amount of people that have died in these mass shootings, Aurora.

Gaby Giffords, our colleague.


[Charlie] If the head of the N.R.A., Wayne La Pierre, lost a family member to gunfire, how do you think he would react?

I'm sure he would react like any father that might lose a child.

But I'm pretty sure he would also say...

"If he had a gun, it wouldn't have happened."

You know. They keep saying it's not the gun, it's the person.

Well, you know. I happen to think differently.


No question.

No question. Once it hits home, once it is your own flesh and blood no person with any type of basic humanity of their child who was a victim of a massacre, could still maintain the position that he does.

[reflective music]

Charlie] Where are we sitting 20 years later?

Is it just as dangerous, is it more dangerous?

Well, I think we have more law enforcement out there.

Certainly with the Assault Weapons Bill and they Brady Bill that was passed after the Long Island Railroad.

That helped. I mean, you didn't see the assault weapon guns out on the streets as much.

They started drying up.

Gangs couldn't afford to buy them.

Large magazines, you started to see them disappear.

You could probably still buy some on the black market, but they weren't as common to be able to buy them.

Once that expired, going back ten years ago, in 2004, we started seeing those guns come back out on the streets.

We saw the large magazines being used more and more.

They were much easier to get.

So, you know, we've seen the ups and the downs.

It's not just the mass killings.

It's those killings that are happening every single day.

Over 30 a day.

[Charlie] In the United States... you're talking about. In the United States.

And nobody's even counting... those that are surviving.

You know, as sad as it is, I think that's the most important thing of what happened at Sandy Hook.

Faces are being put forward.

These are the faces of the victims.

Those that are killed on a daily basis through suicide, homicide, domestic violence.

You never really see the face.

[Tom] I could have been one of the six that were killed.

Or a number of those that were severely injured.

And every day, I am thankful for the gift of life.

[calm, reflective music]