Granite Falls Productions re-telling an important part of San Jose's past.

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Director Michael Azzarello plans to re-tell the last lynching in California. He hopes to gain interest for a feature length film.


Los Angeles CA, May 27, (PR WEB) – When San Jose native, Michael Azzarello, decided to attend film school, he had one project in mind – a story buried deep in the pages of San Jose history – the 1933 lynching of Jack Holmes and Harold Thurmond for their involvement in the abduction and murder of Brooke Hart. Now, several years later, he is working with History San Jose and the San Jose Film Commission to bring this story to the silver screen – first as a short film, and next as a feature.

Azzarello and Granite Falls Productions will tell the story from the perspective of Reed Vetterli, the lead FBI agent on the case, and a survivor of the Kansas City Massacre, in which Pretty Boy Floyd murdered four FBI agents in an attempt to set free fellow gangster Frank Nash. Vetterli came to the case with some trepidation, which soon proved to be accurate when the unthinkable happened. An angry mob stormed the San Jose jail, retrieved Holmes and Thurmond, and lynched them in St. James Park.

Azzarello was drawn to the story based on the experiences of his grandfather who, as a young boy on his father’s shoulders, was among the estimated ten thousand people that witnessed the lynching. That memory has haunted him and the City of San Jose, ever since. Though at the time, the governor of California called it “a fine lesson”, congratulated the citizens of San Jose, and pardoned them of any convictions, the event – which came to be the last recorded lynching in California – was soon removed from public discussion for fear of casting the city in a bad light. Seventy years later, Azzarello thinks that San Jose, and the nation, are ready to revisit this example of vigilante justice and its impact on the community.

Azzarello has worked with History San José and the San Jose Film Commission to lock down locations and will be shooting critical scenes of the film in History San José’s History Park on June 5th and 6th and Los Gatos on June 7th. He is working to expand the short film into a feature and is always ready to meet with investors interested in retelling this chapter of San Jose history.

“We are always willing to work with individuals and groups that have a desire to bring San José’s history to life,” says Lynn Crocker, Public Affairs Manager for History San José, the nonprofit organization responsible for managing the archives and collections for the City of San José.

“In recent years, the lynching of Holmes and Thurmond has received increasing attention,” said Dan Fenton, president and CEO of the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau. “When someone wants to bring an event like this to film, the Bureau’s Film and Video Commission is prepared to offer support obtaining locations.

We also have close relationships with San Jose businesses so we can assist with lodging, catering, props, costumes, and the many other services required to make a shoot a success.”

The San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau (SJCVB) enhances the image and economic well being of San Jose by taking the leadership role in marketing San Jose as a globally recognized destination. The SJCVB offers meeting planners, tour operators, and individual visitors a team of professionals who can assist with their destination planning process from beginning to end. For meeting planners and delegates, the Bureau’s Destination Services department serves as the liaison for all convention facilities, hotels and event planning. For residents and visitors to San Jose, the Bureau’s Visitor Services department can provide tools for learning about and planning a trip to San Jose. For a calendar of events or to receive a copy of the Bureau’s Destination Planning Guide, please contact the San Jose Convention and Visitors Bureau at 1.800.SAN.JOSE (1.800.726.5673) or visit

Look for NIGHT WITHOUT JUSTICE in San Jose in fall, 2003. For more information on Granite Falls Productions, visit

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Michael Azzarello