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About An Inappropriate Murder

In 2010, our Center experienced a profound tragedy when we lost its founder, our friend and guru, Sudharman, known to many others as Joe Fenton. After his untimely death, Diane Dogan Hilliard, an extraordinary woman and longtime friend of Sudharman's, purchased his unfinished manuscript and took it upon herself to create a novel using details from the manuscript interwoven with her reflections and information gathered since his passing, now seven years ago.

With her rich writing style, Diane has created a work that truly captures the essence of Sudharman, a complex, joyful and multi-dimensional human being and deeply honors his legacy.

After years of painstaking research, interviews, and writing, Diane's book, An Inappropriate Murder, is now in print and available for purchase. 

The book is laminated paper hardcover.  The paper is acid-free so it will not yellow or become brittle.  There will be one, and only one, hardcover printing so place your order today to reserve your copy.

Hardcover cost is $26.98 per book, plus applicable sales tax. 

A paperback version of the book is also available for $18.87, plus applicable sales tax. 

Please enjoy a portion of the author's note below.........

A U T H O R ' S   N O T E

     An exciting, spiritual man was brutally murdered in 2010. It was an underreported story, although CNN covered it briefly. It was also, unfortunately, an old friend of mine - Joe - John Joseph Reilly Fenton. The short version of Joe's life is that he was an overachieving businessman turned financially impoverished yogi.

     I didn't get to say good-bye. I didn't even know about his murder, his memorial service, or his funeral until much later. When I went to visit his grave and the yoga center he had founded, I learned of a loose end in his life - unfinished business.

      This unfinished business was the most passionate goal of his last years - short of enlightenment. He wanted to describe his own all-too-human life in an autobiography, in the hopes that it would prompt just one person to dig a little deeper to find his or her own unique path to a more satisfying and loving existence, whether his pockets were full or empty.

     He wrote in longhand about unconventional choices he made and cultural values he questioned, interspersing them with moments that gave him joy. This unfinished manuscript was another victim of his late-in-life murder. To bring Joe to life, and to give light to some of his words, quotes from his manuscript have been woven into the following pages wherever possible. 

     Not to mislead, this book is a crime mystery, not a reworking of Joe's incomplete autobiography. It is not a whodunit, but a why-dun-it about the apparently motiveless murder of a very special, imperfect being who many considered a holy man. It is a quest for answers, a search for connections between Joe's life and his violent dispatch to another plane by a much younger yoga instructor who was neither friend nor stranger.

    Still the book is fiction. Although it is based on real events, information surfaced that in keeping with good taste and respect for others' privacy was excluded from the book. Too much is unknown or unknowable at publication time, e.g., the credible possibility that a second person was complicit in Joe's aka Sudharman's death.  Intentions, motivations, and feelings are always guesswork. Many real names have been used. Others have been changed. Certain facts were omitted from the book by request of the people interviewed. Turning what was left into a cohesive story produced what is essentially fiction.

     The single exception is the unprovoked fatal shark attack of a Navy frogman, a friend and fellow frogman of Joe's. Far from fiction, the depiction of this event, including the subsequent hunt for the shark, is believed to the most accurate of all written accounts, including the official report.

    While An Inappropriate Murder required one person to pen the words, the book was a group effort. Numerous people were generous with their recollections, support, and assistance. The book is many stories within a story, reflecting the complexity of its subject. The chapters combine to give the reader a glimpse at unrelated events that contribute years later to a senseless but not motiveless murder.

     Profits from the book will go towards Joe's unsatisfied financial obligations.