Music History

The Smiths '80s radio-station takeover: What really happened according to the police report

See also: More than a fascinating piece of Smithsology, the '80s radio takeover is a story of redemption

After examining the letters he wrote to his parents, which were included in the original Lakewood police file, and the details of that harrowing and fateful day in the fall of 1988 from the original offense report, one thing becomes clear: James Kiss was a very troubled young man with a seemingly dastardly plan. But according to Agent Hitchins, who spoke with two witnesses, and Agent Hinkle, who obtained a confession from the suspect, the eighteen-year-old boy simply gave himself up without any sort of struggle and handed over his weapon. It was odd ending, considering that he had purchased the rifle, a Remington .22 caliber Apache 77, just a few days earlier, with the specific intent of taking over a radio station at gunpoint and then forcing the staff to play the music of the Smiths.

See also: - Morrissey's quiet desparation and romantic worldview continues to connect and inspire - The story of Smiths fan who held a station here hostage in the '80s? It's true...sort of - SmithsBusters: Did a Smiths fan really hold a Denver radio station hostage in 1987?

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Dave Herrera
Contact: Dave Herrera