Bank Robber to Voice: Find My Photo!


Here at the Voice, like at any newspaper, we regularly receive letters from inmates at jails and prisons. But none in recent memory has been quite like the one we received today from an inmate in Virginia. We’ll let the letter speak for itself, and, after the jump, we’ll show you what we found when we decided we’d actually look into this prisoner’s request…


I was a delegate to the 1976 Democrat National Convention in New York City. I was a rather odd looking member of the otherwise conservative Ohio delegation. My hair reached well below the middle of my back and, although I wore a three-piece suit, I was almost certainly the only one in Madison Square Garden whose tailored suit was made by his wife.

I was approached in the Garden by a rather burly looking man in khakis, carrying several cameras, who ordered me to spit out my gum so he could take my picture. When I asked why, he said, “I’m gonna put you in the Voice.”

I complied, he snapped a few photographs and, after we spoke for a few minutes, he left.

A couple of weeks later, the chair of the delegation sent me a copy of the Village Voice. In it was a photograph of me with a caption identifying me as, “Edward Safran, delegate from Ohio, with his three-piece suit and JC hair.” Over the following weeks I received at least 50 copies of that paper from friends and relatives around the country.

I have been imprisoned in Virginia for more than 22 years for a failed bank robbery attempt. My possessions now must fit into a rather small box. Consequently, I no longer have access to any of my mementos of the past. I would very much like to have a copy of that photograph to show my daughter, who was only six months old when it ran, that her dad was not always such a loser.

If you could locate the article in your archives, I would gladly pay the cost to reproduce it. I do not remember the exact date, but the convention was in July.

Thank you for taking the time and trouble to humor an old man. I look forward anxiously to your reply.


Edward Safran
Buckingham Correctional Center
Dillwyn, Virginia

And here’s what we found after a quick search in our archives:

And the caption, from page 90 of the July 26, 1976 issue:

“Abner Symons concentrated on portraits of the delegates. His approach was warm and sympathetic, as is his shot of Ohio delegate Ed Safran, in a three-piece suit and J.C. hair.”

If anyone knows Edward Safran’s daughter, please tell her that her dad is, once again, in the (virtual) pages of the Village Voice — Tony Ortega, editor

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]