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The Executioner's Song

Journalists view the chair in which Gary Gilmore was executed by firing squad in 1977.

In 1976, Gary Gilmore arrived in Utah after 13 years in prison. He fell in love, got a job, and then, that summer, robbed and murdered two Utah County men. He would later become the first man executed under America’s renewed capital punishment law. Thursday, we’re revisiting the saga surrounding Gilmore with guest Lawrence Schiller. He hired Norman Mailer to write the classic book The Executioner’s Song about Gilmore. Schiller also directed and produced the TV adaptation of the book, which is screening in Utah this week.

Mr. Schiller used an expletive (the 'F' word, I'm afraid) during our live broadcast today. We apologize for that. I'm afraid we don't have a seven-second delay for our broadcasts as some radio stations do. We haven't really had a need for it before, but it may be time to invest in one. Sorry for that. Doug Fabrizio

On Friday, July 18, the Utah Film Center is screening Lawrence Schiller's 1982 made-for-TV movie The Executioner's Song at the downtown Salt Lake library. The event is free and open to the public, and it begins at 7:00 p.m. Schiller and a number of people close to Gilmore's story will be participate in a panel discussion following the film. DETAILS


Lawrence Schiller is a former photographer, journalist, and film producer. His photographs have appeared Life, Sport, Playboy, and the Saturday Evening Post. He is a senior advisor to the Norman Mailer Estate and the president and co-founder of the Norman Mailer Center. In addition to hiring  Norman Mailer to write the "true-life novel" The Executioner's Song, Schiller did much of the legwork, research, and interviews for the book, and gained exclusive access to Gary Gilmore. He also produced and directed the award-winning television miniseries based on the book.

Doug Fabrizio has been reporting for KUER News since 1987, and became News Director in 1993. In 2001, he became host and executive producer of KUER's RadioWest, a one hour conversation/call-in show on KUER 90.1 in Salt Lake City. He has gained a reputation for his thoughtful style. He has interviewed everyone from Isabel Allende to the Dalai Lama, and from Madeleine Albright to Desmond Tutu. His interview skills landed him a spot as a guest host of the national NPR program, "Talk of the Nation." He has won numerous awards for his reporting and for his work with RadioWest and KUED's Utah NOW from such organizations as the Society of Professional Journalists, the Utah Broadcasters Association, the Public Radio News Directors Association and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.