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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 3/9/20

OpEdNews in Shock Over Loss of Our Beloved Jerry Policoff

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Jerry Policoff, Sanders supporter
Jerry Policoff, Sanders supporter
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OpEdNews staff and friends are in shock over the loss of our dear Jerry Policoff, OpEdNews Senior Editor who perished in an automobile accident in Pennsylvania on Saturday, March 7. He was driving to the Keystone Progress annual conference, in Philadelphia, where he was scheduled to speak on a panel on single payer healthcare.

Pennsylvanians Rally for Single Payer Healthcare Jerry Policoff, event organizer.
Pennsylvanians Rally for Single Payer Healthcare Jerry Policoff, event organizer.
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Gerald "Jerry" E. Policoff was born in Chicago, IL on Feb. 27, 1947, and lived in Lancaster, PA.


Jerry was an active member of the JFK assassination research community since 1966 when he was a 19-year-old college student. He was the first to break the story - in the New Times - that acoustics analysis performed for the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) determined that shots had been fired from the front, establishing at least two gunmen and a conspiracy.

Jerry made his living in broadcast advertising sales and sales management for more than 40 years while concurrently researching and writing about the JFK assassination. He has been published in three book anthologies as well as The New York Times, The Washington Star, New Times (for whom he covered the House Select Committee on Assassinations, breaking several exclusive news stories), The Village Voice, Rolling Stone, Gallery Magazine, The Realist and others, in addition to OpEdNews.com.


Jerry appeared in a documentary on the subject and on several television news programs, including the MacNeil Lehrer Report as a journalist for New Times. Jerry was Research Director and Board member of Healthcare4ALLPA, which is promoting the adoption of single-payer healthcare in Pennsylvania and nationally.


Recently, Jerry worked with OpEdNews Editor-in-Chief Rob Kall and the OEN webmaster in the development of an innovative poll tracking page where poll results would be collected and then evaluated by Jerry, a brilliant poll analyst. Jerry played a major role in developing algorithms for acquiring and displaying the poll data for the page. After months in development, the page was set to launch this week.


It won't be the same without him, but OpEdNews will continue to work on the project, which has been renamed the Policoff Poll Page in his honor. Now that OpEdNews doesn't have his poll analysis resources, we are reaching out for help. If you have expertise in poll analyses and have interest in this project, OEN invites you to contact Rob Kall at rob at opednews.com.


Rob Kall said,

"Jerry was a good friend. We travelled to conferences together and were in contact every day working on the new polling page. He was very smart and tough and didn't tolerate fools or nonsense, but he was also kind and had a big heart. When his adopted cat, "Sweetie," disappeared, he was bereft -- it hit him so hard that he was unable to function for a few weeks. As a member of the OpEdNews Senior Editor team he always offered wise advice, even when he disagreed with me. I'll really miss him."


As Executive Director of the Assassination and Archives Research Center, Jerry was one of the hosts of the conference, "The Warren Report and the JFK Assassination: A Half Century of Significant Disclosures," a conference at the Bethesda Hyatt Regency Hotel in 2014, which marked the 50th anniversary of the release of the Warren Report.


Here is a segment of the conference video:

https://www.c-span.org/video/?321703-1/50th-anniversary-warren-report

Note: the camera pans to Jerry Policoff in the audience from 1:50 - 1:59; Alan Dale introduces Jerry at 8:45, Jerry speaks and introduces Andrew Kreig til 14:44.


Andrew Kreig, a Washington, DC-based reporter, frequent OEN contributor, Policoff colleague in the JFK assassination community and cofounding director, with Policoff, in 2015 of Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA), had this to say:


"A broadcasting ad salesman by profession through much of his early career, Jerry bravely and expertly became a pioneering critic of media treatments of the JFK assassination."

As illustrated by a PBS MacNeil/Lehrer Report episode on Feb. 24, 1977, hosts Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer introduced Jerry as a JFK assassination expert who had by then already spent 11 years challenging the findings of the 1964 Warren Report - and its treatment by the news media, which he described as having "an attitude" of unwarranted deference to official findings. That episode may be seen here (https://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_507-ng4gm82g8j). It drew on one of his major works, published on Aug. 8, 1975 by the investigative magazine New Times under the title 'The Media and the Murder of Kennedy,' a comprehensive survey of the serious shortfalls by top-rated news outlets."

Kreig, a cofounding director with Policoff in 2015 of Citizens Against Political Assassinations (CAPA), continued:

"Always generous with his knowledge and volunteer efforts, and seldom shy with his opinions, Jerry was a passionate advocate of bold thinking within the JFK research community and such progressive initiatives later as 9/11 Truth research and single payer medical care for the public."


Forensic pathologist, attorney, author and medical-legal consultant, Cyril H. Wecht, M.D., J.D., said:


Jerry Policoff's keen, passionate endeavors as a Warren Commission Report critic/researcher for more than half a century have contributed significantly to the pursuit of full disclosure of the truth behind the JFK assassination. Jerry's candor and persistence in the search for justice in this case, including his participation in the 40th and 50th anniversary conferences held at the Wecht Institute in Pittsburgh, will forever be remembered and honored by the assassination research community.


Mark Crispin Miller Professor of Media Culture and Communication at New York University and the author of the book: Fooled Again The Real Case for Electoral Reform remembered Jerry:

Jerry Policoff was a great and brave investigator of the media's Big Lies about the most important state crimes of the last half-century. He was especially incisive on the murder of President Kennedy and more recently was doing excellent research on the theft of our elections. He was a generous collaborator and good friend. He will be missed.


Jerry was a progressive Democratic candidate for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2010, this is his video ad:



"2020 Poll Analyses," Jerry's most recent series archive at OpEdNews.com is click here


Jerry deeply loved his rescue cat, Sweetie, and it is a measure of comfort to consider that they have been reunited.

We invite you to share memories and stories about Jerry in the comments below.


Jerry Policoff
Jerry Policoff
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We invite you to share memories and stories about Jerry in the comments below.

 

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)
 

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11 people are discussing this page, with 17 comments


Stephen Fox

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This guy threw his entire self into compiling and evaluating massive amounts of poll statistics, as if our lives, his life, and Bernie Sanders' life depended on it the correct and accurate interpretation thereof. Similarly when he ran for office or was involved in asking Congress to again re-investigate the assassinations of the 60's".

His kind of analytical statistics is something I never was any good at, and when he came out with updates on massive charts and spread sheets, I always was in awe at the fruits of his exhaustive labors.

A kind and thoughtful man~~~he will be missed by all of us at OpEdNews, and may he rest in peace, well remembered.

Submitted on Monday, Mar 9, 2020 at 3:50:35 AM

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Mohammad Ala

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Thanks for this post and notice that Jerry Policoff passed away. He was full energy and young to die.

May he rest in peace.

Submitted on Monday, Mar 9, 2020 at 4:00:30 AM

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macman2

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Jerry was irascible, exasperating at times, super smart, and could not be fooled. He also was generous with his friends and loved to tell stories of which he had many, almost too many. A car ride with Jerry was a running commentary on life.

He was unapologetically liberal, unassailable in his facts and passionate in his beliefs. He took umbrage at those who had been wronged and was a fighter for justice. He also had his soft side which he showed by his undivided attention to Sweetie, his cat.

A New Yorker by upbringing, he got a job selling TV ads for WGAL in Lancaster, fell in love with the town, and never left. He had some girlfriends which he remembered with fondness, but never married. He was a devoted son who visited his mom in Florida until she died maybe 2-3 years ago?

On the day he died, he was going to be on a panel in Philadelphia at the Progressive Summit with Chuck Pennacchio and Cindy Purvis devoted to messaging about single payer. He was going to talk about polling data showing the widespread support for Medicare for All. I was the moderator of the panel. Chuck called Jerry during the panel to ask where he was. No answer. I filled in for Jerry. After the session concluded, Chuck got a phone call from a police detective that Jerry was in a car, crossed the median and hit another car in a head-on collision. From what I read in the news report, three people were killed including Jerry. I am personally still in shock about this and just what happened. Will learn more details with time, but for now it is profoundly sad to learn about three lives lost and liberal champion who stood for justice . . . gone.

Submitted on Monday, Mar 9, 2020 at 9:46:45 AM

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Meryl Ann Butler

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Thanks for your comment.

Submitted on Monday, Mar 9, 2020 at 2:25:47 PM

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Meryl Ann Butler

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I understand that Jerry complained of a bad case of food poisoning the night before and also I believe, the morning of-- (and of course it's possible that what he thought was food poisoning was something different) so I suspect he experienced some kind of medical event while driving that caused him to lose control of the car.

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2020 at 2:07:38 PM

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Marta Steele

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A wonderful tribute to an outstanding humanitarian. Thank you, MAB, Andrew, and Mark.

Submitted on Monday, Mar 9, 2020 at 1:37:09 PM

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Meryl Ann Butler

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Thanks, Marta.

Submitted on Monday, Mar 9, 2020 at 2:26:27 PM

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As long as I've been with OEN, I've looked to Jerry as an ally in evaluating edgy theories, some of which turn out to be true. He had broad knowledge and refined judgment and was always generous with his time and expertise.

Submitted on Monday, Mar 9, 2020 at 2:11:43 PM

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Jerry was a good friend of mine and I will miss him terribly. Some of you may not know that in addition to Jerry's vast knowledge of the JFK assassination, and his activity in many progressive causes he was also a baseball nut. He could rattle off statistics like you wouldn't believe. He was a diehard Mets fan while I am a Phillies fanatic. On occasion he would come over to my house and we would shoot the breeze over a beer or glass of wine and cheer hard for our rival teams.

Submitted on Monday, Mar 9, 2020 at 7:48:50 PM

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Meryl Ann Butler

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Sweet story, thanks for sharing.

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2020 at 2:52:36 AM

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Very sad news. May Jerry and the other accident victims rest in peace.

Submitted on Monday, Mar 9, 2020 at 9:11:45 PM

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DAVID KANEGIS

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Hi, thank you for this article. I was not familiar with Jerry's work, but after reading your article and the many testimonials I realize it was my loss not being familiar with his work.

He was clearly a dedicated and fine human being. I hope his legacy continues through the work of others on OpEdNews.

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2020 at 4:23:44 AM

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Jerry's tragic death is a profound loss for his friends and the progressive community. I had the honor of working with Jerry as a fellow board member of Health Care 4 All PA and always valued the depth of his knowledge and analysis of policy and politics. He had the rare ability to communicate complex analysis of news, policy, and polling data so that others could understand the complexity. Jerry was warm, passionate about social justice, and steadfast in his commitment to creating a better world. He is sorely missed. Bob Mason Board Member Health Care 4 All PA

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2020 at 2:25:01 PM

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Meryl Ann Butler

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Thanks, Bob---

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2020 at 4:08:36 PM

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Jerry was Brilliant -- and I miss him SO much!

Submitted on Tuesday, Mar 10, 2020 at 7:28:33 PM

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Meryl Ann Butler

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I do, too ----

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 11, 2020 at 1:47:01 AM

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Marta Steele

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I just want to add that I never knew Jerry until I moved up to Bucks County in January 2020. Thereafter I socialized with him and Rob on two occasions and looked forward to getting to know him better. Oh, I had met him once before at the Left Forum when we had several occasions to chat. He was so amiable, relaxed, and unpretentious until serious subjects came up. Then I was able to appreciate the depth of his intelligence, knowledge, and insight. I was so excited about the new webpage he was working on and hope that others will be able to carry on his efforts.

I'm glad he got to live as long as he did--he gave so much and we are all so much wiser for his efforts. Rest in peace, Jerry, if you can amid this tumult that threatens to destroy both our nature and our culture. Rest in peace if you can!

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 11, 2020 at 2:47:35 AM

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