According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the United States, in 2014, 1 in 36 adults were under some sort of correctional supervision. If the average college lecture class has about 100 students, imagine around 3 of your fellow classmates ending up in jail.
On a smaller high school scale, it would be devastating to find out that just one of your classmates that you have grown up with for years was going to prison. In the documentary film, “The One That Got Away,” the true story behind this statistic is explored and brought to light. This film follows one of Montclair’s own, Tourrie Moses, the story of his incarceration and the reaction of his teachers who believed him to have a promising future.
Tourrie Moses was a highly intelligent student who attended Glenfield Middle School in Montclair. In his prime, he was described as charismatic, good looking, and was elected class president. All signs pointed to Harvard for Moses.
However, in eighth grade he fell into the wrong path and was arrested and sent to Juvenile Detention for two weeks.
When he returned from his stint in the detention center, he was never the same. He continued on to high school where he struggled, then eventually dropped out. He joined a gang, and was ordered to kill someone at the young age of 18. He was caught after murdering the wrong person and plead guilty, receiving fifteen years in prison.
This documentary focuses not only on Moses’ story, but also the story of his sixth grade teacher, John Gill. Gill, a 40-year veteran of the public education system, has saved many children from turning down the wrong path. Gill is the one that dubbed Moses “The One That Got Away,” referring to the fact that he feels Tourrie didn’t live up to what he could have been. He wished he could have saved him from his fate.
Montclair State University’s own professional staff member and Emmy Award winner, Steve McCarthy, co-produced this film with a long-time friend, John Block, also a native of Montclair. They were drawn to the story when Block’s daughter stated that she went to school with Moses and that he was a good kid.
The film was aired on prime time Channel 13 on Sept. 12 and at the Montclair Film Festival in 2015. It will also be screened on Nov. 2 on campus.
When asked what he wishes viewers to take away from this emotional film, McCarthy said, “We are going to have to deal with this right now. We are going to have to do something as a society to help these people in trouble because we’re going to pay now or we’re going to pay later.”
To see the full film and the outcome of Moses’ story, view it on campus on Nov. 2, or wait for the nation-wide release in Jan. 2017.