|Sherman H. Skolnick|
|Born||July 13, 1930
|Died||May 21, 2006 (aged 75)
|Occupation||Author and investigative journalist|
Born in Chicago in 1930, at the age of six, Skolnick was paralyzed by polio, and he used a wheelchair for the rest of his life. His parents, a homemaker and a tailor, were Jewish European immigrants. Skolnik's father was from Russia.
Skolnick was founder and chairman of the Citizen's Committee to Clean Up the Courts, which he started in 1963. He used the local press to distribute his reports, later establishing a telephone hotline–"Hotline News", a public-access television show on cable TV, and a web site.
Skolnick's investigations caused the resignation of two Illinois Supreme Court justices, Roy J. Solfisburg, Jr. and Ray Klingbiel, who, as Skolnick reported, had accepted bribes of stock from a defendant in a case on which they ruled. The scandal catapulted John Paul Stevens, special counsel to an investigating commission, to fame as a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2001, the story became the subject of a book, Illinois Justice, by Kenneth A. Manaster.
Towards the end of his life, Skolnick served as co-host with Lenny Bloom for the Canadian radio show Cloak & Dagger. The show was taken off the airwaves, despite very high market ratings, following a controversial interview with former German Defense Minister Andreas von Bülow, in which Von Bulow claimed that the terrorist September 11, 2001 attacks were an inside job. Cloak & Dagger then became an Internet podcast, which subsequently relocated to a German web server due to relentless hacking attacks.
Skolnick's final written works include an 81-part series entitled "The Overthrow of the American Republic," and a 16-part series entitled "Coca-Cola, the CIA, and the Courts." On the radio show and podcast with Lenny Bloom, much commentary was devoted to CIA drug dealing, the "9-11 Truth Movement," and also a belief that the Jesuit Order, through co-optation of the Vatican, controls world events. His material is generally un-copyrighted. Other major collaborators with Skolnick and Bloom include Webster Tarpley, Stew Webb, Tom Heneghan, Eric Jon Phelps, and Ralph Schoenman.
Each article and podcast which Skolnick participated in contained many details covering a wide range of topics, overlooked by popular culture. He was, in his own words (usually attributed by Skolnick towards his radio guests), "a treasury of wisdom and knowledge." However, a criticism would be that he often made extraordinary claims without citing a source or reference.
Later life and death
Skolnick died of a heart attack on May 21, 2006.
- Fenster, Mark (1999). Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press. p. 84. ISBN 9780816632428. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
- Kellner, Douglas (2003). Media Spectacle. London: Routledge. p. 120. ISBN 9781134493951. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
- Smith, Christopher E. (2011). "John Paul Stevens: A Liberal Leader & His Roles on the Court". In Smith, Christopher E.; DeJong, Christina; McCall, Michael A. The Rehnquist Court and Criminal Justice. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books. p. 128. ISBN 9780739140826. Retrieved April 2, 2015.
- Noel, Josh (May 23, 2006). "Sherman Skolnick". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- "Judges: Skolnick's Guerrilla War". Time. August 29, 1969.
- Patten, Joseph N. (2003–2004). "Review of Illinois Justice: The Scandal of 1969 and the Rise of John Paul Stevens" (PDF). Journal of Criminal Justice and Popular Culture 10 (3). pp. 233–237.