Holy Week fifty years ago came at the end of a wet and harsh winter in New York’s Greenwich Village. It came near the end of my first year in graduate school year, a shock to the system of someone who had glided through college spending more time in student politics, varsity athletics, and fraternity beer bashing than doing anything else during this era of “Mad Men.”
At the end of the 1990s, my old writing partner from our book The Riverman approached me with a question: Would I be interested in participating in a United States Department of Justice grant to audit the ways previous DoJ hardware and software grants to local and municipal law-enforcement agencies used their federal money? The issue was that the federal government was looking for follow-up on the scores of millions of dollars it had spent purchasing and donating state of the art computer systems to local police agencies to enable them to review cold cases involving sexual assaults and homicides. The Department of Justice wanted our new grant audit team to ascertain whether the expenditure had made any difference in closing these cases.