Gloria Allred's Statement Regarding the Movie "Conviction."

Contact: Gloria Allred
(323) 653-6530
E-mail: [email protected]

We are here today, because the children of murder victim, Katharina Brow, want to express their disappointment and anger about what they believe is a failure by the producers of the new movie "Conviction" to show respect and compassion for their family when it was the brutal murder of their mother that triggered events which are the basis for this feature film which will be released tomorrow.

Katharina Brow was 48 years old when she was murdered in 1980. She was stabbed multiple times and bludgeoned with a ceramic lamp by the murderer who left her lying in a pool of blood. She was the loving mother of Melrose Brow and Charles Brow, who are here with me today.

Kenneth Waters was convicted of Katharina's murder in 1983 and served 18 years in prison after a jury found him guilty.

Ultimately blood found at the murder scene was submitted to the Innocence Project and based on the DNA result, a judge exonerated Waters in 2001 and he was released from prison. Waters sister had gone to law school and played a role in his release.

The film stars Hilary Swank and Minnie Driver. Ms. Swank is also an executive producer.

Reportedly this film has been in development and production for approximately 10 years. Although, the events depicted in the movie would never have occurred were it not for the cold, heartless and brutal murder of their mother, the films producers including Ms. Swank have never bothered to contact the victim's family during the 10 years that this film was being made. In fact to this day, the children of the murder victim have never been contacted by Hilary Swank, (the executive producer and star) or by anyone connected to the film.

We believe that a proper respect for the murder victim's family should have been shown during the 10 year period leading up to this film. That could have been demonstrated by the film's representatives contacting the family to learn how they felt about the making of a film which would remind them of the terrible pain and suffering that they endured because of the loss of their mother.

They should have been asked if they had any questions about the film and they should have been consulted about any portrayal of their mother and her murder. They should also have been asked if they wished to attend a private screening.

No contact with the family was made however, and no compassion for their terrible loss has been shown to them.

Instead, Hilary Swank said of "Conviction" when she was interviewed on Larry King (CNN) said "I think this is, at the core, of the heart of it, a feel good movie".

We can say with certainty to Ms. Swank that there was nothing that felt good to Melrose and Charlie about the vicious murder of their mother in 1980 and there is nothing that makes them feel good now.

The release of "Conviction" and the press tour that accompanies it does not make them feel good, the fact that their mother is mentioned in it does not make them feel good and the fact that neither Ms. Swank nor anyone else connected to the film has had the decency to contact the family about the terrible tragedy they have suffered does not make them feel good.

Ms. Swank and others have not done the right thing by either intentionally or unintentionally excluding this family from any input into the making of this film, but it's never too late to do the right thing.

We urge Ms. Swank to meet with Melrose and Charlie, the murder victim's children a.s.a.p.

They need and deserve to be shown respect and compassion and they need and deserve to receive answers to many questions that they have.

We are sending a letter to Ms. Swank today requesting that meeting and we look forward to what we hope will be a positive, thoughtful and caring response.

Gloria Allred
Attorney at Law
Representing Melrose Brow
October 14, 2010