Life imitating art?3/11/2001 07:00:00 PM Eastern
Dick Wolf's "ripped from the headlines" stories sometimes continue after their airing-in this instance, after the demise of the series. A Deadline episode dealt with an anti-war radical who was accused of a single violent act to protest the Vietnam war. He escaped, took a new identity and led such an exemplary life for the next several decades that he was pressed to run for public office-at which time he was unmasked. The TV show stopped at that point, without a resolution. This case mirrors that of Howard L. Mechanic (at left). Although the Deadline story left the protagonist's fate unresolved, Mechanic was sent to jail.
Now, little noticed in the Clinton pardon brouhaha, a case that was noncontroversial and uncontested: Mechanic was pardoned, putting a happy ending on a long-running saga. Deadline was dead on.