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Sunday, April 5, 2015


CLASS ACT BOWS OUT—Tom Basinski lost his battle with cancer, but he won the hearts of many with his courage displayed in fighting the disease.  Outwardly, he seemed calm after hearing the bad news from cancer docs back in 2009, but those of us who knew him saw the rage in his eyes.
            “I’m really angry,” he told me the last time I saw him, “But who do I punch?  No one.  There’s no appeals process with this verdict.  I am thankful for what I have and have had and I accept your prayers but I will not pray for myself as there are too many far worse off.”

The following article—written by his wife Judy Basinski—appeared Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015 in UT San Diego.

Thomas R. Basinski, of Chula Vista, CA, age 68, died of cancer Wednesday, March 25, 2015. 

He was born and raised in Flint, Mich., and was a 1964 graduate of St. Agnes High School. He attended St. Paul Catholic Seminary and Saginaw Valley State University in Saginaw, Mich. from 1964-67, then Assumption Seminary in San Antonio, Texas and graduated from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio in 1969 with a B.A. in English Literature.

Upon leaving the seminary, he became a member of the Flint, Mich. police department for one year. He joined the Chula Vista police department in 1970, where he worked numerous assignments including patrol, narcotics, vice, child abuse/sex crimes, robbery and homicide.

He joined the San Diego District Attorney’s
Office as an investigator in 1987 and served in various divisions until his retirement in 2005.

Between 1984 and 1991 he wrote and sold over 125 stories to various pulp detective magazines, notably True Detective, and Front Page Detective, until the demise of the pulp industry. In 2005 and 2006 he wrote two award-winning stories which were published in San Diego Magazine.

In 2006 and 2007, Tom authored two paperback true crime stories published by Penguin, and more recently two cop story works of fiction on Amazon. Since 2009, until his death, he was a columnist for the Chula Vista Star News (Behind Police Lines).

He sat on many literary panels during his writing career, was an accomplished, humorous public speaker, and quite a character. He emceed many “roasts” and parties. He could dance the “YMCA” like no one else!

Tom umpired for many years for Parkview Little League, as well as officiating slow pitch softball. He was a member in good standing of the Tom Club. In a last act of generosity after his death, his corneas were donated to the eye bank.

Tom is survived by his wife of 43 years, Judy (Wood) Basinski; sons Nick (Katie) of La Mesa and Joe (Talitha, and daughters Madison and
Brooklyn) of Murrieta; and brother Dan Basinski (Linda) of Arizona. He was predeceased by his parents Ralph and Mima (Hoskin) Basinski, and brother Leonard.

Services will be at 11 a.m., Saturday, April 11, 2015 at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 1120 Cuyamaca Ave., Chula Vista, CA 91911, with a reception following. Please RSVP by April 8 to

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Friends of the Chula Vista Library, P.O. Box 393, Chula Vista, CA 91912, or the YMCA at: ay/thomas.

In the short history of this blog, several blogs featuring the fiction and essays of Tom Basinski have appeared.  Two sum up his career and his battle with his fatal disease.  When you log on to Pillar to Post go to the search box and enter Tom Basinski.  His posts will appear.

Pillar to Post blog:
“Tough cop/author in trial of his life.”  Feb. 26, 2013

“Damn the luck, anyway.” Apr. 24, 2014


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