A Letter from a Mother

Posted by Nancy Mullane on July 24th, 2012

Dear Ms. Mullane,
I flipped on NPR radio on my way home from work today, which I often do, and was treated to a piece you did regarding San Quentin murder inmates. Please allow me to admit, firstly, that I have not yet read your book and intend to do so. The piece today was about Mr. Cronk. When I tuned in, he was waiting to hear back about his parole, indicating that he had been sick to his stomach, extremely nervous …needed some time alone when he learned that his parole had been denied. He also indicated that he could not change what had happened, but it was after all, a long 27 years ago. He made reference to paying for what he had done during that time.
Again, I apologize that I did hear the entire piece, but I see on your web site that Mr. Cronk had been convicted of first degree murder. He also mentioned during the piece that he is a person of faith and believed God to be in charge of the situation … or words to that effect.
My son Tony, you can read his entire story at, was murdered when he was 24 years old ….. February 19, 2007.
I have been sick to my stomach every day since and will be for the rest of my life. I feel nervous, anxious and often need some alone, time to cry, grieve, pray for strength, and wonder why a person of such evil, my son’s murderer, could have changed all of our lives in a second. There are no words to describe the loss of one’s child, for my son Jim to describe the loss of his only brother and best friend, for Tony’s girlfriend to describe the life that never was.
I again apologize ahead of time if you have already written this book: Life After Murder, The Victims. If you have not already done so, I’m in. You can interview me and my husband, my son Jim, all of the people who love and miss Tony with every breath we take. We are the forgotten ones.
Nancy Bonner
Phoenix, AZ
Mother to Anthony “Tony” Holly, murdered 2/19/2007


Life After Murder challenges us to do the unthinkable in the era of mass incarceration – view those accused of heinous crimes as worthy of our care, compassion and concern. Nancy Mullane, a white woman who once was just as ignorant about the real world of crime and punishment as the typical television viewer, takes us on a remarkable journey behind bars and introduces us to five unforgettable men who are struggling to transform their lives. Through their stories we are reminded of the power and possibility of redemption, as well the nearly unforgiveable crime our nation has committed: treating some human beings as disposable.



“Life After Murder is a gripping behind the scenes look at men who have committed heinous crimes yet still challenge our humanity by asking us to truly consider the meaning of redemption. This is journalism at its finest and a must-read for anyone interested in the realities of our prison system.”

–TOM AMMIANO, California Assembly Member


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