The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
CredoResearch digital collections in Credo

Goldscheider, Eric

(Not fully processed)

Eric Goldscheider Collection of Benjamin LaGuer

1983-2009 Bulk: 2000-2009
8 6.83 linear feet
Call no.: MS 1176

2006 Valley Advocate article on LaGuer written by Goldscheider

Collection of material on Benjamin LaGuer, a Bronx-born, Puerto Rican resident of Leominster, Massachusetts who was arrested for raping and beating his elderly neighbor there in 1983. He maintained his innocence, rejecting a plea that could have released him after a couple of years. His case went to trial, and he was convicted in 1984 by an all-white jury. He was sentenced to life in prison with eligibility for parole after fifteen years. LaGuer fought to prove his innocence and while in prison, earned a bachelor’s degree from Boston University. LaGuer and his case brought together a diverse group of supporters, including Leslie Epstein, John Silber, Noam Chomsky, Ellen Story, and Deval Patrick, whose support was used against him when he ran for Governor of Massachusetts.

Eric Goldscheider was an instructor and freelance journalist who wrote for the Valley Advocate, Greenfield Recorder, Springfield Republican, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Boston Globe, New York Times, Washington Post, and several university publications. Goldscheider met LaGuer when he taught a Journalism 101 class at North Central Correctional Institute in Gardner, MA in the early 2000s. They remained in close contact after the class and Goldscheider took an increasing interest in LaGuer’s case and wrote several articles advocating for his release.

LaGuer was denied parole several times because he refused to admit guilt, and passed away from liver cancer on November 4, 2020, alone in a prison hospital. Goldscheider passed away 18 months later on May 9, 2022.

The collection consists of material that Goldscheider amassed on LaGuer’s case throughout their 20+ year friendship. It contains correspondence, legal documents, clippings, and audio-visual materials, including several dozen phone conversations between Goldscheider and LaGuer recorded on compact cassette.

Gift of Eric Goldscheider




Benjamin LaGuerEric Goldscheider

Types of material

Compact CassettesCorrespondenceLegal documentsPhotographsVideotapes
Restrictions: none none