Number 112 / February 1994:

In October 1989, Adam Katz went to a Grateful Dead concert at Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. A few hours later, police found Katz, 19, severely beaten on a traffic island in the middle of Route 120, which runs between the arena and Giants Stadium next door. Katz died the next day.

The first coroner's report said that he'd died from a blow on the head and that his blood contained no evidence of drug use. The second said that Katz had jumped or fallen, and that he'd taken LSD.

The Katz family conducted its own investigation, which cites statements by witnesses and an FBI report that point toward the arena's Burns Security guards who "forcibly evicted" Katz from the show, beat him up in the parking lot, and dumped him in the middle of the highway. Last fall, Katz's parents settled with Burns for a reported $1.5 million. In late January, they sued the state of New Jersey, which owns the Sports Complex, for covering up the murder of their son by its employees. The Katz family contends the state's motive was "to protect the reputation, integrity, and financial value of its Meadowlands Sports Complex."

Jersey officials had State Medical Examiner Dr. Robert Goode review the autopsy of Dr. Louis Napolitano. Napolitano had concluded that Katz died from a single skull fracture, without any damage to his neck or spine, which is virtually impossible if, as claimed, he jumped and landed on his head.

Goode said that although the state attorney general paid him a visit, he was never provided "a substantial body of evidence." For instance, Goode never got the Bergen County prosecutor's "accident reconstruction" report, or a statement by concert-goer Roberto Ayala, who was told by Burns guard Shih Chang Sun that he'd watched other guards beat Katz up and dump his body.

Judge Robert Hamer of New Jersey Superior Court has already rejected the Katzes' request for punitive damages from the sports complex. The Katz family bases their claim on the charge that the Meadowlands had never tried to stop Burns guards from physically and verbally abusing rock concert patrons.

In a decent society, the murderers of Adam Katz and the politicians who covered up for them would be in jail. In a just society, the Attorney General of the United States would concern herself with these criminals instead of battling songs she's never heard and TV shows she's never watched.

In the real world, all concert-goers are fair game for any uniformed thug the local arena happens to hire. In the real world, politicians not only stick up for their hired guns, they make it sound as if it's the musicians and their fans who are the criminals.

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