“THE EXECUTION OF JUSTICE” is based on the brutal murder of a close friend and one-time mentor of mine, Detective Sergeant Jack R. Ohrberg of the Robbery & Homicide Division of the Indianapolis Police Department. I knew Jack to be a devoted husband and father, and knew the sacrifices he made to be the dedicated and tireless Police Officer he was. He was adamantly against capitol punishment. With 19 years on the police department, he had risen from patrol officer to Burglary Unit Detective, to Auto Theft, and then the elite Robbery & Homicide Division. Jack and his team of detectives had been tracking a vicious gang of armed robbery suspects for eight months. The hunt intensified when gang members had a shoot-out with an off-duty police officer as they exited a bank they had just robbed. The leader of the gang executed his own brother, whom the off-duty officer had wounded.
The gang then pulled another robbery of a Brinks Armored Truck, and killed the guard. Jack and his team gathered information from confidential informants and learned of three houses the gang were hiding in. Jack carefully orchestrated a pre-dawn raid, simultaneously of the three houses. As Jack kicked in the front door, he was shot nineteen times with an AR-15 assault rifle and a .38 caliber revolver. His body lay on the frozen concrete porch as a two and one half hours gun battle raged between police and the suspects.
How long had the idea of your book been developing before you began to write the story?
Jack was murdered on December 11, 1980. I formed the idea of writing the book in 1994, after completing the “DAVID JANSSEN-MY FUGITIVE” with Ellie Janssen. I retired from the law firm and began writing this book. It took me thirteen years to complete.
What inspired you to write this particular story?
Jack was a very good friend, and I felt his story needed to be told.
How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
“Mike Walsh”, the protagonist, has a lot of my personality, although I was never a detective.
Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it?
I spent three months in Indianapolis doing research through interviews with other police officers who were on scene, newspaper archives and speaking with friends.
What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?
After reading “THE EXECUTION OF JUSTICE”, I hope the reader has a clear understanding of the sacrifices the men and women who serve and protect their communities make, and all too often the dangers of the job result in a police officer making the ultimate sacrifice, leaving a huge void in the lives of their families, friends and department.
Do you have any rituals that you follow before sitting down to write?
I enjoy awakening each morning at four o’clock, have my first cup of coffee and then starting to write. At seven o’clock, I take my German Shepherd in ‘his’ car to ‘his’ park for an hour. Back home, I clean up and go back to writing, with more coffee.
Have you written any other books?
“THE JOCKEY’S JUSTICE” is the second in the “Mike Walsh Detective Novels” series. It was released as an E-Book on Amazon Kindle, i-Books, B&N NOOK, KOBO e-Books and Copia e-Books and Sony e-Reader in 29 countries on 26 February 2012.
What are you currently writing?
I am currently working on “DAVID JANSSEN-Our Conversations”. I have been inspired by many of David’s friends and fans to write a follow-up book to Ellie Janssen’s “David Janssen-My Fugitive”. In this book I will relate hundreds of conversations between Dave and me over the last fifteen years of his life. Topics include his relationship ith his mother, his step-father, his sisters Teri and Jill, Ellie’s daughters, Kathy and Diane, many of the top Holloywood Producers, Directors, Writers and many of the top Star with whom he worked. His views on politics, the Viet Nam war, his alleged ‘womanizing’ and his drinking habits (of which I share for a time), his career and his marriage to and divorce from Ellie, his marriage to and planned divorce from Dani Janssen and the two women who he truly loved and lost.
I am a proud veteran of the United States Air Force-Military Police Combat Defense Forces. I am happily divorced and split my time between my home in Miami Shores, Florida and New York City with my faithful friend, Rico der Hunter III (he does not know he’s a German Shepherd dog, he thinks he is my master).
You can find out more about me at: http://www.MichaelPhelpsNovels.com.