Tuesday, August 2, 2011 - Page updated at 09:37 p.m.

The Other Side
of Mercy

A new book by The Seattle Times staff

For its coverage of the ambush slayings of four Lakewood police officers, The Seattle Times won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news. Now, in this new book, the newspaper's staff goes deeper, telling a story of our nation's racial divide, the political risks of mercy, and missed opportunities to stop a man going mad.

Book Events

Nov. 19, 2010 | Seattle Public Library, 7 p.m.

Dec. 2, 2010 | University Bookstore, Tacoma, 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 14, 2010 | Third Place Books, 7 p.m.

Jan. 3, 2011 | Taping of "Author's Hour," Bellevue King County Library, 7 p.m.

Jan. 16, 2011 | "Author's Hour" on TVW, Noon, 7 & 10 p.m.

Jan. 19, 2011 | LeRoux Room (room 160), Seattle University Student Center, 6 p.m.

Praise for the book

"Headlines fade fast, regardless of even the most horrific content, and journalism is too often in the business of headlines. Ken Armstrong and Jonathan Martin went far beyond the headlines in 'The Other Side of Mercy', far beyond, out into deep water, where there are no easy answers ... Solidly researched and brilliantly written, the book is a real heartbreaker, a compelling story that will leave the reader sadder but wiser. This is what journalism should be."

Robert Ferrigno, New York Times best-selling author, "Prayers for the Assassin"

A series adapted from the book


This five-part series, adapted from a new book, dissects the life and crimes of Maurice Clemmons, the man who assassinated four Lakewood police officers.

Part One: Maurice to Nicole: "You got a gold mine"

This installment tells of the unusual union - and eventual breakup - of Clemmons and his wife, Nicole Smith.

Part Two: "Sir! Help! Me! Please!"

This installment recounts the years Maurice Clemmons spent on Southern prison farms and his plea for mercy to Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Part Three: "We can turn the sea into blood"

Part three details Clemmons' religious delusions and his descent into madness.

Part Four: "A real, real, real good connection"

In part four, Maurice Clemmons turns to a lawyer with political connections in an effort to free himself from a fugitive warrant issued by Arkansas.

Part Five: "You come home to us"

In the final installment, Maurice Clemmons walks into a Pierce County coffee shop, determined to kill police.

Special Reports

Earlier coverage of the Lakewood shootings

On the morning of Nov. 29, 2009 -- the Sunday after Thanksgiving — four uniformed Lakewood police officers were fatally ambushed in a coffee shop outside of Tacoma. Over the next 40 hours, the region was gripped with fear, as the gunman — identified as ex-convict Maurice Clemmons — was at large, still armed and certainly dangerous. Read more.