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TV host and professor directs movie on parents’ killing

“Forgiving Cain” Explores The Question “How Can You Forgive Murder?”

On the afternoon of October 19, 2009, Milton McClendon, dressed in a multicolored dress shirt with buttons, dark pants and suspenders, and Ruby McClendon, dressed in a white shirt and dark pants, were found by a woman walking in the Wentworth Woods Forest Preserve, near Calumet City. The couple, who had that weekend celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary, had both been shot in the head.

Eight years after losing his parents, public TV talk show host and Chicago State University professor Garrard McClendon tells the story of his parents’ murder, getting this news minutes before he was to go on-air, and within the hour forgiving their killers, through the documentary, Forgiving Cain.

Ruby and Milton McClendon

Though devastated by their family’s tragedy, Garrard, his brothers, and their parents’ community discovered how to heal and forgive.

Currently in production, the film will also highlight the forgiveness of murder by 22 families enduring similar tragedies, and explores ways to end violence.

“Through this film, we invite the public to imagine a world without violence and where forgiveness is the norm,” says Garrard. “It’s time to tell these stories.”

The public is invited to contribute to the completion of the film through donations that can be made at

Dr. Garrard McClendon is the host of the PBS show “CounterPoint” on Lakeshore Public Media. He has hosted The McClendon Report, Garrard McClendon Live on CLTV, and earned the Emmy Award for his show “Off 63rd with Garrard McClendon on WYCC.”

Garrard is also an associate professor at Chicago State University and the author of “Ax or Ask? The African American Guide to Better English.”

He earned his bachelor’s in English from Wabash College, earned a master’s in English and History from Valparaiso University, and earned his Ph.D. in Education from Loyola University – Chicago.

Garrard is a cancer survivor fulfilling the legacy of his parents by being the Executive Director of the Milton and Ruby McClendon Educational Foundation, and he is on the boards of the Sheila A. Doyle Foundation, Donda’s House Foundation, and The Reporter’s Inc. Garrard and his wife, Quanica, parents of two, live in Chicago.

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