Public Program, Author Talk

The Combat Zone: Murder, Race, and Boston’s Struggle for Justice

Jan Brogan

Wednesday, February 23, 2022, 6:00PM - 7:00PM

This is a hybrid event. The in-person reception starts at 5:30 and the program begins at 6:00. Register for how you plan to attend below.

Register to attend online

Register to attend in person


At the end of the 1976 football season, more than forty Harvard athletes went to Boston’s red light district to celebrate. In the city’s adult entertainment district, drugs and prostitution ran rampant, violent crime was commonplace, and corrupt police turned the other way. At the end of the night, Italian American star athlete Andy Puopolo, raised in the city’s North End, was murdered in a stabbing. Three African American men were accused of the crime. His murder made national news and led to the eventual demise of the city’s red light district. Starting with this brutal murder, The Combat Zone tells the story of the Puopolo family’s struggle with both a devastating loss and a criminal justice system that produced two trials with nearly opposing verdicts, all within the context of a racially divided Boston.


Hybrid Event

The in-person reception starts at 5:30 and the program will begin at 6:00.

The MHS maintains a high standard of COVID protection. We require all people entering our building to wear a face mask and provide proof of vaccination. As of 1 February 2022, this includes receiving an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccination along with a follow-up booster. Learn more about our COVID-19 protocols.


The virtual program begins at 6:00 PM and will be hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.