In Eddie's Name by Bryn Freedman
One Family's Triumph over Tragedy

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The brutal murder of a teenager-and his family's heroic struggle to transcend it

On November 11, 1994, a Philadelphia teenager named Eddie Polec was brutally beaten and left to die-on the front steps of his own church-by a gang of teenagers from a neighboring suburb. Unfortunately, the tragedy didn't stop there. Within days of Eddie's death, it was disclosed that dozens of frantic 911 calls by bystanders had gone unanswered during a crucial forty minutes when Eddie was still alive and might have been saved. Written with the full cooperation of the Polecs, In Eddie's Name tells of the extraordinary way in which a seemingly ordinary family grappled with a nightmare come true. Rather than seek revenge or sue the city for millions, as seems almost de rigueur for victims' families, the Polecs responded with grace and courage. They sidestepped efforts to exploit the tragedy or to embroil themselves in the politics of a divided, angry city and instead undertook, as a more fitting tribute to a beloved son's memory, to bring about an overhaul of Philadelphia's fatally flawed 911 system. This rare story of decent people who became victims of fate-and chose to respond like heroes-is a heartbreaker and will be an inspiration to readers of all ages.

8 Pages of Black-and-White Photographs

Bryn Freedman and William Knoedelseder are journalists who covered the Polec case from the outset. Managing editor and vice president (respectively) of news at USA Broadcasting in Los Angeles, they are married to each other.


About Bryn Freedman

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William Knoedelseder spent a dozen years as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times before going into television, where he has been a news executive at Fox TV, Disney, and USA Broadcasting.
Published November 1, 1999 by Faber & Faber. 224 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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This debut collaboration from journalists Knoedelseder (Stiffed, 1993) and Freedman is a comprehensive portrait of the horrific teen-mob murder of Philadelphia youth Eddie Polec and its aftermath, portraying the Polecs— grief and recovery against a complex tapestry of urban issues with acuity and...

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Although Kathy initially fell apart, her husband coped by immersing himself in the issue of 911 reform, which garnered as much publicity as the murder, since more than 20 calls were made to 911 in the 40 minutes before Eddie was attacked, but no police were dispatched.

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