A forensic analysis of the audio file commissioned by The Plain Dealer of Cleveland confirmed that a voice on the recording was that of someone commanding the National Guard, “Fire!” The newspaper said such an order refuted the suggestion that the Guard had started shooting at the students, most of whom were hundreds of feet away, out of panic.
Using the audio file and other corroborating evidence, Mr. Canfora hoped to persuade the Justice Department to open an investigation. But the department declined, saying the audio was inconclusive.
Mr. Canfora’s zeal sometimes rubbed people the wrong way.
“His passion resulted in a backlash from Guard apologists and callous dismissals from many in local media, who advised him to ‘get a life,’” Mr. Backderf, said in his Facebook post.
But he would not “move on,” Mr. Backderf added, “until the truth was known.”
Alan Michael Canfora was born on Feb. 13, 1949, in Barberton, in northeast Ohio. His mother, Anna (Minarik) Canfora, was a homemaker, raising four children. His father, Albert John Canfora, was an aerospace worker at Goodyear Aircraft. He was also a shop steward and organizer with the United Auto Workers and a longtime Barberton city councilman — an inspiration, Ms. Canfora said, for her brother’s civic engagement.
Alan earned his bachelor’s degree in general studies in 1972 and his master’s in library science, also at Kent State, in 1980.
He met Anastasia Mamedova at a meeting of the May 4 Task Force in 2009, and they married in 2010.
In addition to his wife and his sister, his mother survives him, as do his daughter, Maya; his son, Lev; and his brothers, Albert Jr. and Mark. His father died in 2018.
Many of the nine who were wounded at Kent State formed lifelong friendships over the subsequent decades. By the 50th anniversary, two of them had died.
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