18 Years After Lt. DeSimone's Death,
His Daughter Says "Goodbye"

Debra DeSimone felt cheated after her father, Detective Vincent J. DeSimone Jr., died in 1979. She could not let go. Eighteen years later she finally came to grips with her loss. "I finally had the courage to say goodbye," she said.

Debra wrote this "goodbye" letter in her personal journal in 1998. She made it available to counter the horribly false depiction of her father in the movie "The Hurricane."


August 1, 1998

Dear Dad,

I'm angry you left me too soon. I'm going through a difficult time in my life and you're not here to pick up the pieces.

Yet, while driving yesterday, I realized you left me with all the tools I need to survive. I carry "Footprints" in my wallet (the very same one you always carried with you). We recite the Serenity Prayer in my group -- yet I already knew it because you always had it hanging on your wall. "The Man in the Glass" (your favorite), reminds me to always be true to myself. "I cried cause I had no shoes until I saw a man without any feet" eliminates all my self pity. The song "Pal" you always sang when you thought I wasn't listening reminds me that honesty and love are more important than money. And when all else fails, I ask God. You taught me when I can't find the answers to pray, and I'll find them through God.

You were a wise man and you taught all of use by example in your own subtle way. You knew life wasn't easy so you left us with everything we need to survive.

I was blessed with two beautiful children and I am trying to subtly instill in them the values you taught me. Unfortunately, I had to add a few of my own. I've had to teach them not to be too trusting because most people are not trustworthy. I've taught them that when people are mean, it's because they have problems and are unhappy with themselves. Don't take it personally and show compassion to those people. I try to set a good example because the best lessons I learned in my life, I learned by watching you.

I'll always be grateful I had you in my life. You were the most wonderful Dad. You are my inspiration and are and always will be my hero.


With Love,
Your Youngest Daughter,



Read "The Man in the Glass"

Read her brother's tribute to their Dad.

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