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(I wish I had more to say, but I just recollect a similar experience to what you're writing about here. And fuck needing more validation. It *is* real. Yes, they count.)

Jonas Borra (JB's Best Friend from Childhood)

Broderick John Hehman (JB, but i knew him as BJ) was one of the brighest and finest people I knew. I spent almost every moment with him from the age of 4 until 9...we were both in special education on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with serious emotional difficulties. I mainstreamed into another school after my 3rd grade year but JB stayed on through HS...he worked EXTREMELY hard to overcome his emotional struggles, as i did, and to see him go down like this, so soon after he was on the right track in leading a wonderful life, is extremely difficult for me. I spent a lot of time with his family over the past week and i don't know if any of you know, but BJ lost his mother in October so this family has gone through a lot...

I could care less how the POST displayed this tragedy...I hate the POST but those kids who did this deserve judgement. People keep reminding me that these were "individuals" in the Harlem community but my anger is so great that I see all of them as the same right now. If anything, I will take my revenge in Broderick John's name in another way other then killing one of those racist bastard children. BJ wasn't a racist...he was the least racist person that I knew. He ONLY cared about the public interest and always put the world ahead of his own desires. I wish the people that destroyed him knew that, felt that...i know it.

BJ, your life vision will live on with me.


I think that the idea that face-to-face contact is a vital component of a relationship is rather a modern one. Remember that even seventy-five years ago, families would migrate a few states away and see each other only once every several years if ever. A hundred and fifty years ago, a relative on the opposite coast was a relative you would likely never see again. Those relationships were maintained on the strength of letters. This freer medium has produced many more relationships that exist only in text. The human contact is certainly real, now as back then; JB was an acquaintance of yours, and you appreciated hearing from him.

Which is to say, I'm sorry to hear about your loss.

Jonas Borra

i appreciate that...thank you.

Robert Cammiso

On April 4th, J.B. Hehman, 20, a prolific and articulate member of our Wired New York Community (posting as “TLOZ Link5”) and a Junior at NYU, died from injuries he received three days earlier when he was assaulted while walking on East 125th Street in Harlem. Read more at http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8889

The forum community has reacted to this tragedy by partnering with Bette Midler’s non-profit New York Restoration Project (NYRP) to execute a two-pronged plan of action:

1) On May 13th, volunteers will converge at Maggie’s Garden (located at 149th Street and Broadway in Harlem), an NYRP community garden in Manhattan for a community service project to be performed in J.B. Hehman’s memory. Volunteers are needed. Read more at http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8967

2) Our members have also embarked on a fund drive to raise $10,000 to create the J.B. Hehman Endowment for Environmental Education. This endowment will fund earth science programs in community parks and gardens for under-served and minority children in Upper Manhattan.

No contribution is too small and all are greatly appreciated. For further information on these efforts and how you can help or donate please visit:


As JB Hehman posted in our forum: "If you love the place you live, love it with the same passion that so many New Yorkers do, then you'll learn to tolerate its imperfections if it hasn't been ingrained in you already. Be to its virtues very kind, but be to its faults a little blind."

Help us remember and celebrate J.B. Hehman’s contributions to our community!

Roger B

The loss of this young man is tragic. His bright and smart mind would have been used for many to learn from. I know he died violently, however it could have been so much worse. [more detail than one should write publicly about a person's death - deleted for matters of taste] I can only wonder what he was doing in that neighborhood. There are some places one should never go. It does not matter to the violent people in those places whether you care about social injustice. Intellect does not concern them. They are like animals who smell blood, then close in for the kill. However, that said, he did leave his mark while he was here, and that is something most people never do. My sympathy to the family-friends. I hope him happiness on that distant shore where the sun never sets and all things are good for all. R.


It's a bit problematic to talk about poeople as animals. Could be taken as racist. Especially when you're saying JB shouldn't have gone to Harlem, which is not like climbing into the Polar Bear exhibit at the zoo.

Barrie (a friend of JB's)

You wondered what JB was doing in "that neighborhood," and I suppose if you didn't know him, it would be a valid question. But JB loved all of New York City, in particular some of the places most of us think of as the "worst" parts of the city. If he'd ever heard the statement "There are some places one should never go," I guarantee he'd have given you a lecture on why it was wrong. JB knew what happened in Harlem, just like he knew what happened in the rest of New York, but that wasn't going to scare him into staying where it was "safe." I truly believe that even if someone had told JB that he would one day die in Harlem, he still would have gone there as often as he did. He loved it too much to stay away, and that's what we shouldn't forget. JB died horribly, tragically, but he died not in a scary neighborhood that he somehow got stranded in, but in a neighborhood that he loved, knowing exactly where he was going and what he was doing. To suggest anything else is to tarnish his memory.


He could have died anywhere in the 5, but to equate what happened to JB to being in "the wrong place at the wrong time" is to disregard his death. And to add racism to boot. A talented young man died...we celebrate his life, hope for justice for his killers, and mourn his passing. We do NOT vilify the neighborhood nor his right to be there. He loved New York, we all love New York. Let's leave it at that.


I will forever hate the post for how they coopted the significance of his death, to them stalking and harassing those JB left behind.

I knew JB since... he was 12 and i was 13. He was an amazing man. He was someone without malice and who cared for virtually every person that he came into contact with.

Months after losing him, I can be comfortable in knowing that his love for his friends and the humanity that he had was able to extend beyond him and that he is still able to influence us and many others.

And I would think that any kind of contact with someone validates any kind of feelings of grief or sorrow, and so physical contact is not needed to give significance to the emotional connections that we have.

strangely enough, i don't hate the kids who did this to him. I'll never understand why they did what they did, but I can't hate them. I guess I realized that hating them would actually consume me more than JB's splendid, almost immaculate, influence. Indeed, that man was immaculate.

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