My Midnight Years: Surviving Jon Burge’s Police Torture Ring and Death Row Audiobook, by Ronald Kitchen Play Audiobook Sample

My Midnight Years: Surviving Jon Burge’s Police Torture Ring and Death Row Audiobook

My Midnight Years: Surviving Jon Burge’s Police Torture Ring and Death Row Audiobook, by Ronald Kitchen Play Audiobook Sample
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Read By: Prentice Onayemi Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Listen Time: at 1.0x Speed 5.67 hours at 1.5x Speed 4.25 hours at 2.0x Speed Release Date: August 2018 Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download ISBN: 9781538526835

Quick Stats About this Audiobook

Total Audiobook Chapters:


Longest Chapter Length:

56:48 minutes

Shortest Chapter Length:

14:53 minutes

Average Chapter Length:

43:01 minutes

Audiobooks by this Author:


Publisher Description

Ronald Kitchen was walking to buy cookies for his young son on a summer evening in 1988 when Chicago detectives picked him up for questioning. As the officers’ car headed toward the precinct, the twenty-two-year-old called out the window to his family, “I’ll be back in forty-five minutes.”

It took him twenty-one years to make it home.

Kitchen was beaten and tortured by notorious police commander Jon Burge and his cronies until finally confessing to a gruesome quintuple homicide he did not commit. Convicted of murder and sentenced to die, he spent the next two decades in prison—including a dozen years on death row—before at last winning his release and exoneration.

Written with passion and defiance, My Midnight Years is more than just a memoir—because Ronald Kitchen’s ordeal is not his alone. Kitchen was only one of scores of victims of Jon Burge and his notorious Midnight Crew, a group of rogue police detectives who spent decades terrorizing, brutalizing, and incarcerating men—118 have come forward so far—in Chicago’s African American communities.

Overcoming overwhelming difficulties, Kitchen cofounded the Death Row 10 from his maximum security cellblock. Together, these men fought to expose the grave injustices that led to their wrongful convictions. The Death Row 10 appeared on 60 Minutes II, Nightline, Oprah, and Geraldo Rivera and, with the help of lawyers and activists, were instrumental in turning the tide against the death penalty in Illinois. Kitchen was finally exonerated in 2009 and filed a high-profile lawsuit against the Chicago Police Department, Jon Burge, Mayor Richard Daley, and the Cook County state’s attorney.

Kitchen’s story is outrageous and heartbreaking. Largely absent from social justice narratives are the testimonies of the victims themselves. The atrocities of the Midnight Crew were brought to light through Kitchen’s actions, and he is a rare survivor who has turned his suffering into a public cause. He is poised to become a powerful spokesperson who will play a major part in the ongoing discussion of institutional racism.

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“Decades of police torture and prosecutorial complicity devastated black Chicago and filled Illinois’s prisons. In this moving memoir, Ronald Kitchen chronicles what that violence meant for him, his family, and so many others…Don’t miss this harrowing, heartbreaking tale of injustice, survival, and resistance.”

— Dan Berger, author of Captive Nation 


  • “Highly recommend for fans of true crime memoirs and also nonfiction readers of our (in)justice system and racism.”

    — BookRiot
  • “Kitchen is a survivor who has turned his suffering into a powerful public cause. The atrocities of the Midnight Crew have been brought to light through Kitchen’s work and are now part of the discussion as the nation engages in an unprecedented conversation about racism.”

    — Chicago Review Press
  • “His new book technically took five years to produce, but Kitchen has survived over two decades of torture. What started as being beaten with phonebooks, telephones, fists, and guns in an interrogation room has developed into one of the most difficult and heart-tugging stories a person will encounter.”

    — Chicago Defender
  • “Ronald Kitchen’s story is scalding, emotional, and ultimately redemptive—a descent into hell with a happy ending. My Midnight Years should be read by all Americans, but especially those who still live in denial about police corruption and institutional racism ”

    — T. J. English, author of The Savage City
  • “Ronald Kitchen not only survived his prison ordeal but describes his experience in moving detail.”

    — Jeffrey Haas, author of The Assassination of Fred Hampton
  • “Ronald Kitchen’s memoir…is maddening and moving. It’s hard to read and hard to put down…The full rot of the criminal injustice system is on display here, but Ronnie’s stark prose makes us also see the courage and resilience of those on the inside.”

    — Martha Biondi, author of The Black Revolution on Campus


  • A BookRiot Pick of Best True Crime Audiobooks

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About Prentice Onayemi

Prentice Onayemi is an Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator and a voice and film actor who is known for his roles in The Steam-Room Crooner, AmeriQua, and as Joey in the Tony Award–winning play War Horse.