Kiritsis And Me: Enduring 63 Hours at Gunpoint by Dick Hallwith Lisa Hendrickson

In February 1977, an angry Tony Kiritsis wired Dick Hall to a sawed off shotgun and paraded him through downtown Indianapolis prior to holding him hostage for three days. After forty years, Dick Hall (with co-writer Lisa Hendrickson) tells his side of the story in Kiritsis and Me: Enduring 63 Hours at Gunpoint. Tom Cochran’s foreword sets the stage for reading Hall’s memoir. As a young radio reporter working for Fred Heckman at WIBC, Cochran reported on the evolving situation. This perspective informs his discussion of the hostage situation, the efforts to free Dick Hall and the effect of the live coverage on American news reporting.
Hall’s memoir first tells how Kiritsis walked into a meeting and took him hostage. Then he backtracks to the past, telling a bit about the lives of his parents and describing the family business. The primer on the business and how it was operated is essential to understanding the business relationships between the Hall family and Kiritsis and how that relationship dissolved. From the beginning of the hostage situation, though, Hall wondered how Kiritsis could be so angry. Since this memoir is from Hall’s perspective, one never learns the solution to this problem.
Hall tells the story of his life clearly and succinctly. His was a typical upbringing on the near north side of Indianapolis. He was involved in family, church, school and athletic endeavors. He graduated from school #84, Shortridge and Purdue. He learned to fly during his naval service. He tells these stories so the reader learns how Hall thinks he learned that helped him endure the ordeal. For example, at times while imprisoned, he imagined himself flying his plane.
As in many families of that time period, Hall’s family was reserved with little open show of affection and emotion. He has carried that trait throughout life and it is very evident in this book. Over the years he has hardly spoken about those three days. The book feels like he is still uncomfortable speaking about it. He recognizes, however, that it is a story that needs to be told. And he tells it well.
He also expresses his perplexity as to why by the time of the trial and its aftermath, so many people considered Kiritsis the victim who deserved their cheers. Read the book for yourself, talk to Dick Hall and come to your own conclusion. Hall will be at Bookmamas, 9 Johnson Avenue, on Friday, June 9 from 5:30-7:30.