Truth Tribunal looks to reveal truth about campus shootings

Suzi Starheim

Laurel Krause doesn’t know why her sister was shot and killed 40 years ago at Kent State.

Krause was 15 years old when the Ohio National Guard shot and killed Allison, her older sister, on May 4, 1970.

To this day, no one has been accused or held responsible for the shootings.

Because of the lack of clarification behind what caused the shootings, Krause began a project called The Kent State Truth Tribunal to find out from the original participants of May 4 what really happened that day.

The project will run from May 1 to 4 at the Franklin Square Deli Building.

Krause left her home in Fort Brigg, Calif., Wednesday afternoon to come to Kent State. She said she is here to correct the truth on what happened that day 40 years ago.

“It has never been known why my sister has been shot to death,” Krause said. “My father went into his grave without knowing.”

The overall goal for Krause is to find out truth not from records, but from those who lived through the day. This includes any of the members of the Ohio National Guard, students, faculty members and anyone from the community who was involved.

The truth Krause spoke of is not the history in FBI documents, but the history of what “caused those national guardsman to pull those triggers killing children.”

“We’re seeking the truth, and we would like for anyone, everyone to share their personal narratives with us,” Krause said in a press release. “We’re wishing to create harmony and healing, but we’re also out to correct the historical record.”

Krause also wants to speak with these original participants because “most of them have never been asked what they saw and they certainly have not been honored,” she added.

So far, Krause said there are over 50 participants pre-registered to attend the event. She said she thinks more will decide to attend at the last minute.

“We are still hoping that everyone that was associated with Kent State shootings comes,” she said. “We hope that will come and honor us with their presence and have them speak their truth.”

Krause said the coordinating of this project has “been a dream come true.”

Taping the event

Two recording studios will be working at the same time to record interviews, Krause said. People can be involved anonymously, if they wish.

The interviews of the participants will be recorded by filmmaker Emily Kunstler and then streamed by filmmaker Michael Moore. He will stream the accounts of all participants on his website from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the days of the event. The broadcast will air on The narratives of participants are being taped to “document it, record it and preserve it,” Krause said.

“It is an honor to work with the families of the victims and the participants in the May 4, 1970 protest at Kent State University to bring you their stories, beamed in from the Kent State Truth Tribunal through my Web site,” Moore said in a press release. “We have never been told the whole truth about these killings and we deserve to hear that truth.”

All information gathered at the event will be archived and preserved at the Tamiment Library at New York University, Krause said. It will be available for the public to view.

Krause and all organizers of the event ask that any original participants from May 4, 1970, pre-register for the Truth Tribunal at

Contact academics reporter Suzi Starheim at [email protected].