Michael Philip Tokars (born April 20, 1988), is an American writer and punk rock musician. As a journalist, Tokars has covered politics, art, crime, science, religion and skateboarding. Tokars is the author of one novella, Big Tuesday (2012), one novel, The Shameless And The Innocent Or American Activities: Quantum Nowhere (2017), and "GRUESOME" (2016), a long and "unending poem" of around 920 lines. Tokars is the lead singer and songwriter for Murder Social. He lives in Bradenton, Florida.
Early years, mother's murder, and education
Mike Tokars was born in Atlanta, Ga. in 1988 to Fred Tokars, a trial attorney and part-time traffic judge, and his wife, Sara, a schoolteacher. On November 29, 1992, at the age of four, Tokars witnessed his mother's murder near the family's home in suburban Cobb County. Mrs. Tokars was killed by a shotgun blast to the head after she and her sons were abducted from their garage by the shooter, a 24-year-old crack addict named Curtis Rower. Tokars's older brother, Rick, also witnessed the killing, and served as a principal witness for the prosecution during the ensuing murder trial. The boys' father was eventually implicated, tried and convicted of masterminding the murder for hire plot, as was his business associate, Eddie Lawrence. Mr. Tokars was also convicted of a number of charges related to organized crime, including money laundering and racketeering; he remains incarcerated, in Federal witness protection, and has always maintained that he is innocent of his wife's murder, which prosecutors allege was ordered to prevent Mrs. Tokars from exposing his illicit dealings.
Tokars grew up in Bradenton, Fla. He was baptized Catholic, and attended Catholic school as a boy. In 2006 he graduated from Manatee High School, home of the Hurricanes. He subsequently attended Tallahassee Community College, and the University of South Florida, earning his bachelor's degree in history in 2011.
In 2006, Tokars registered to vote as a Republican.
In 2015, Tokars graduated from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism with a Master of Arts degree in political journalism. His master's thesis was titled 2016, A Millennial Odyssey: Jeb Bush and the Politics of the New Youth Vote. At the time of writing and publication, Tokars assessed Gov. Bush's youth campaign as superior to that of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Tokars became a journalist in 2012. He has contributed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Tallahassee Magazine, The Bradenton Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and The National Memo. From 2016 - 2017, Tokars worked as a researcher and editor for the Emmy Award winning television show Crime Watch Daily With Chris Hansen.
Music and poetry, etc.
In 2018, Tokars formed Murder Social, a rock music project influenced by punk, “romance, war, mass media, etc.” The first Murder Social record, “Chet”, is projected for a Summer 2018 release.
Throughout his adolescence and early-twenties Tokars played in punk rock and ska-core bands, notably as bass guitarist for the Tallahassee band Call For Fire, performing under the moniker “Balls.”
Tokars has written many poems. He has performed his work in St. Petersburg, FL., San Francisco, CA., and New York, NY, where he read "GRUESOME" at Nuyorican Poets Cafe and Bowery Poetry Club in February 2016.
Tokars is the inventor of one skateboarding trick, named the Toke Out, which is an ollie-boneless-360-board-varial, in which the skater grabs the nose of the board with his or her back hand.
- R R. McDonald (1 June 1998). Secrets Never Lie: The Death of Sara Tokars--A Southern Tragedy of Money, Murder, and Innocence Betrayed. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-380-77752-5.
- "Notorious Atlanta convict turns prosecution witness". ajc.com. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
- "Where are they now? Mike Tokars - Atlanta Magazine". atlantamagazine.com. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
- "Mike Tokars | Columbia University - Academia.edu". columbia.academia.edu. Retrieved 2017-05-28.
- "Search results, filtered by RELEVANCY DESC, search term: tokars". tallahasseemagazine.com. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
- "Mike Tokars - Muck Rack". muckrack.com. Retrieved 2017-05-11.
- "Music | Call For Fire". callforfire.bandcamp.com. Retrieved 2017-05-11.