THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT
THOU SHALT NOT GET AWAY WITH IT...

UNDECIMUS

Read the latest original blog from the members of XI:

03
GARVIN COUNTY HOLD ‘EM
Dealer’s choice: twelve peer low ball, deputies wild.

"In a bet there is a fool and a thief."  ~Proverb

        Anyone of a certain age has most likely heard the basic premise of gambling: Don’t make the bet if you can’t pay the debt. It’s a simple truth for poker, craps, blackjack, the ponies and quite unfortunately, the 21st District Attorney’s Office in Garvin County, Oklahoma right about now. That is, specifically, in the matter of the pending murder charges against Johnny Ray Speerbrecher from Paoli. Speerbrecher is a man who went ‘all in’ about two years ago. He got ahead of the flop, survived the turn card and is now facing the river card and possibly life in prison for the murder of his infant son, which the evidence so far doesn’t appear to show he committed. Taken as a whole, this crap shoot is a sad way to carry on judicial affairs in anyone’s county. Justice should not be left to chance.

                       “…Oh, look whos in the court. here they go agan, heckling the powers that be for some perceived 
                            wrong still with blood in their eye over the Ag teacher and ancient history. You wasting you 
                            time in that courthouse losers…”
                                                                                                                                                             JEK: Pauls Valley

        Possibly. But to be clear, beyond this scathing blog and our ever growing collection of hate mail, yes there absolutely has been an extraordinary and positive changing of the guard in Garvin County. This occurred as it turned out during a flare-up of negative opinion during the last general election and happened none too soon. True, we have a new District Judge, the very competent and so far quite objective Honorable Greg Dixon. Fresh new ADA staff have assumed their duties and a newly elected Sheriff has taken command and begun to reform a staff of deputies he found at a low point in their collective credibility.

        Backlog being what it is however, there are still some bad hands to be played out there and The Eleventh Commandment along with the rest of the citizenry have been witness to some terrible bluffing on an ill advised draw to an inside straight. The lingering murder trial, hung jury and upcoming re-trial of Speerbrecher, apparently replete with at least the appearance of sinister backdoor deals, questionable evidence and convoluted testimony, promises to be more of a spectacle in 2012 than the World Series of Strip Poker on late night cable.

                                “…thank you all for what you have done for my family. No one before dared to even try 
                                to stand up against them. I understand now how dangerous things have become. If the 
                                law and order stops working, our country stops working…”   
                                                                                                                                                                            SD: Norman

        Now before this blog is rubber stamped as garden variety authority bashing written by ‘disgruntled’ wayward citizens with a bone to pick, let’s make it clear where our opinion lies. Before any members of XI attended Speerbrecher’s first murder trial, we didn’t know him from Adam. We still don’t really, despite spending a good amount of hallway wall time with his family and listening to the extemporaneous matters of Garvin County Justice which allegedly take place in the dank corridors of the Garvin County Detention Facility and are not admissible in court. We did so as with all matters with the proverbial grain of salt.

        Speerbrecher doesn’t really favor his mug shot so we probably couldn’t identify him on the street if we had to. Admittedly, we as typical bible belt folk certainly believed him innocent until proven guilty but not being on the jury ourselves we figured then, likely as not, he probably did it. (FYI: “it” being the death of Brody Speerbrecher, Johnny’s 57 day old infant son.) Otherwise, why in all creation would the District Attorney go ahead with charges on a case they could not win? Just stands to reason, probably because that is the mantra we’ve heard ad nauseum from that office for nigh on to three years now. More on this in minute or two.
 
                                “...The whole thing boils down to stats. X dollars come in, XX cases come in. Most will 
                                        plea. Few stand trial. Most lose. Keep the stats right and nothing rocks the boat. They 
                                        have the fire power and the first and last shot. If they’re fouling up it’s because of laziness. 
                                        Take that incident with Judge Lucas as case in point…” 
                                                                                                                                                    POMAS: Oklahoma City

        The bruised egos of many a State’s attorney notwithstanding, The Eleventh Commandment supports the due process of law in all matters oddly enough and that includes a powerful Prosecutor’s office worthy of the name and possessing the wherewithal to put the bad guys into permanent lodging in Eastern Oklahoma. That’s their job and every Garvin County citizen wants or at least needs them to do it expeditiously and by the numbers.

        The other half of the law and order equation, you know the old ‘innocent until proven guilty, quick and speedy trial before a jury of peers with a zealous advocacy according to due process’ will sort out the rest. Or at least we hope it will. But therein lies the rub. Garvin County has had some issues of late. And they are pretty hard to overlook. Truth to tell, the Speerbrecher case was a high profile case filed during the failed administration of former acting Sheriff Steve Brooks which was our reason to be there in the first place. It’s going to take many washings of the apple barrel to get the aftertaste of a few bad ones out. This case was no exception.

                                “…let’s have this conversation in about ten years. That’s probably how long it will take 
                                        to outgrow the damage done by the desperadoes…”
                                                                                                                                                BT/OAG: Oklahoma City

        Try as one might to be objective when looking at a murder case unfold in those terribly uncomfortable courthouse benches, it is difficult to resist the urge to imagine that Johnny Speerbrecher wasn’t dealt a complete hand. Especially when one learns as the testimony unfolds about some of the Machiavellian shenanigans involving immoral attorney conduct, ‘wild one eyed jacks’, set-up witnesses hiding listening devices in their southern regions and a foot race to see who would be the first to get to roll the proverbial dice to make a deal. Spin to win. After objectively watching most of the entire trial it seems that the well meaning individuals at the District Attorney’s Office may have quite possibly bet the wrong horse with potentially dire consequences one way or the other.

                                        “…you know they never forget. Especially now that they’re miffed, nothing is going to 
                                        stop them from spending whatever to prove whatever however. A baby is dead and 
                                        someone has to pay. No two ways around that one…”
                                                                                                                                                                FADA: Pauls Valley

        But that’s enough for a minute. Hypertensive hallway outbursts towards our members by those having a bad day notwithstanding, we actually pride ourselves on ethics, objectivity and we hesitate to jump to conclusions. So let’s make it clear what we know about the job of the District Attorney so as to give both sides a fair shake. (*Licks and sticks card to head) Indian poker. No peek. Nothing up the sleeve.

        Pick any District in Oklahoma or in a similarly divided state for this example. The District Attorney is an elected official, if you didn’t know. An ordinary man or woman (albeit one who passed the BAR and who possesses an effective campaign support base). His or her office and its’ resources are funded by tax dollars. His staff are largely attorneys who do the work of prosecution out of a sense of obligation or duty and not out of thirst for wealth and therefore may or may not be the brightest bulb in the graduating class chandelier. Not to blow smoke, some of the most brilliant legal minds in all of Oklahoma were career prosecutors or spent many years in the trenches. This is a good thing. 

        The turnover in States’ attorneys is very high. The work load is crushing. Victories come in small batches and once every other blue moon. Thanks is nonexistent despite the outcome of trial. Politics is a reality every day, in every way. Criticism occurs often. (Pssst, even in places that don’t have upwardly mobile citizen’s action groups.)

        By their very nature, District Attorney’s prosecute citizens of Oklahoma for alleged crimes and if successful; deprive them of liberty, resources, freedom and sometimes even life for infractions of the state statute that we supposedly all agreed upon previously via the legislative process. Prosecutors still have to do this despite their personal reservations at times. They also have to do so despite citizens acting as witnesses who lie, fail to cooperate, forget, fail to appear and have the IQ of a dead ferret. We could blog for pages about the roulette wheel that is the Garvin County jury pool but suffice it to say that finding twelve honest people willing to give up their week to be fair and impartial is a feat in and of itself for both the prosecution and the defense.

        The DA’s office depends heavily on expert testimony and the word of law enforcement officials and the expertise of both to make a case hold water. And while we’re on that subject, Garvin County does not have the best record of late for expertise among it’s law enforcement officials, especially involving the Sheriff’s office. This is a trend that has gone back for some time now through a variety of administrators, some acting, some elected. The new Sheriff, Mister Rhodes has vowed to make a change in that area and we certainly hope he is successful. He has his work cut out for him to say the least.

        Several recent trials have made it clear that the DA’s Office and the Sheriff’s Department (as well as all other law enforcement in Garvin County) are separate entities in which neither has an authoritarian or supervisory role over the other. (Cue the Law & Order television show sound) But they must work together, each giving their best or no other conviction will ever be secured again.

                                        “…if DOJ sacked him up, there would be five hundred cases appealed on his testimony alone. 
                                        That’s the downside to this sort of thing…” 
                                                                                                                                                                VRK: Pauls Valley

        A metaphor for the relationship between cops and DA staff was made recently by a former member of both who follows our efforts and blesses us with occasional advice. Cops are to Paramedics they go on to say, as Prosecutors are to Doctors. That is to say that in the realm of medical trauma, good emergency care can make a Doctor’s job easier and aid immensely in saving the life of a patient. It is the primary action that steers all other forms of treatment and it is indispensable. Said another way, the best sawbones on Earth can’t save a man whose condition was overlooked, botched, treated in error or worse, left to spiral unattended by sub-standard Johnny & Roys who wasted their time flirting with Nurse Ratchet.

        The same is true with cops and the DA. Even a less than stellar State’s Attorney who is utterly clueless about the intricacies of CLEET custody and control block can pull out a case without possessing the articulate skills of Jack McCoy if the police officers have their evidence laid out correctly (or even close to correctly), appropriately and with due regard to the vast number of laws and practices they are responsible for mastering. No small feat. Same reverse situation, different polyester: If the cops are too busy wearing out the courthouse furniture with Facebook Ferna, swiping competing campaign signs in the dark and otherwise forgetting to collect prints, nitrates, bloody towels, bullet fragments, flammable liquid samples or any witnesses that saw anything at all, often as not, the accused no matter how guilty he or she may actually be in the grand scheme will walk and our whole system of laws is quite clear on double jeopardy. If you come to the table, you bet, check or fold, period. In short, when the pertinent parties break down, the machine breaks down and when that occurs, every citizen in the 21st Judicial District suffers.

                                    “…make no mistake, his testimony is dreaded by every one who catches a case of his and he is a 
                                   favorite of defense counsel…” 
                                                                                                                                                                            CCC: Maysville

        As stated to some television reporters recently regarding the Speerbrecher trial, true, it was the first time in a high profile felony matter that we ultimately provided insight regarding a defendant’s plight and went on record for same. We stand by our comments that we would have voted to acquit had we been on that particular jury. Usually, of course, we’re receiving a heinous sunburn crying foul or otherwise beating down a door somewhere to determine why the DA declines to file charges against Weasel the Shaky Legged Dead Beat Dad or Slappy the Drunken Toe Shooter and the like.

        The reasons we did so were myriad but in one sentence, it was because the evidence admitted by the prosecution was not complete, convincing or otherwise compelling enough to determine that Speerbrecher and not some other dice rolling individual with their crotch in a sling was the one responsible for the death of that poor infant boy. Repeated images of the dead child were not lost on us, but nonetheless, absolutely nothing beyond a reasonable doubt was established in any way per our estimation, sadly enough. Once again a hamstringing issue for the prosecution, the hand the medical experts played was a pair of twos, tops and was utterly convoluted by the rambling ‘Engrish’ of OCME Pathologist Dr. Chai Choi. The rest of the medical evidence testified to by ER Doctors, State Pediatricians and our infamous local OCME field technician seemed to be as organized and consistent as a child’s game of ‘go fish’.

                                “…she actually has very good language skills when she so chooses to use them. This appears often 
                                enough to be a ploy. Hopefully Mrs. Fallin will force the retirement of a large section of the payroll 
                                if that agency is to survive…”
                                                                                                                                                                            BNUM: Tulsa

        Lastly, no one, not one witness (whether they spun the deal wheel or not) could put the defendant in a position to kill his son. No one saw it. No one heard it. No one from either side of the subpoena thought he was capable of doing it. Rather, the evidence that we and a wide majority of the jurors heard seemed to implicate another individual other than the defendant and otherwise establish a completely different scenario than the one being explained. Frankly, we wondered from the end of the Prosecution’s argument why exactly charges weren’t filed in exactly the reverse of what was contended. Given that the individual witnesses swore this under oath, it looks as if the same hackneyed story will be told again in the second trial to the tune of (if we stand by the established rules previously put forth by the DA’s office in other similar matters in Garvin County) many zeros paid for by all of us who live within the District.

        In short, following a typical Brooks era abbreviated investigation where less than everyone present was interviewed, where search warrants by the bucketful were not issued and served, where the actual cause and time and method of the death of Brody Speerbrecher is not known nor apparently will it ever be, the short sided decision of the DA in this instance to make deals with an admitted liar against an admitted pot head is a 50:1 long shot on the Exacta.

        During closing arguments, the impending blanket finish was made abundantly clear near the end of the proceedings when Prosecution Co-Counsel made what was very probably an intentional move to force a mistrial. This conduct was unnecessary, painful to watch and reduced the trial to an inquisition at best. Johnny Speerbrecher though liked his odds with the jury and turned away from the sure thing. He risked the ultimate debt to win the bet.

        The jury hung 9-3 for acquittal and was discharged.

        Following the mistrial, some of the real quick of the matter was exposed. The DA staff appeared to lick their figurative wounds and then allegedly attempted to circumvent Judge Dixon in a second trial by attaching the murder charges to an outstanding drug beef before a different Judge who quite immediately and appropriately recused. Johnny Speerbrecher applied to have his bond reduced and it was eventually granted following great debate and once DOC and the GCSO got on the same page regarding his time served. He’s at home now, he missed Thanksgiving by one day but I doubt he cares. He’s saddled with so many court ordered restrictions that he might as well be in jail, although he can’t have his court clothes held for ransom anymore at home and he can’t be locked up in solitary at the whims of deputies. Out of sight, out of mind. Until January when it will all begin again.

        Which brings us back to the seemingly arbitrary decision making processes utilized by the District Attorney to file murder charges of late. We’ve been watching for awhile and we can go way back. For instance, despite an exhumation autopsy and two pathologists screaming from the hill tops that Chanda Turner from Elmore City was most certainly murdered on Klondike road, no charges have been filed, none are going to be filed at least in 21st District given the realities of the pertinent parties privy to the case and that is that.

        The State Fire Marshal, the LPGA and the OCME all agree that Sheila Deviney was murdered and no one is prepared to even bat an eye. Even when eye witnesses come forward with even more stunning information. Like Chanda Turner’s file, Sheila Deviney’s file is rather empty and each agency appears to pass the buck around and lean upon one another like teepee poles.

        And regarding the Tom Horton case, former senior ADA George Burnett who allegedly cautioned against the Speerbrecher trial in the first place was also “70% certain” of Tom Horton’s death being a homicide following interviews with Grand Jury petitioners based on that evidence alone. Despite this fact and potentially compelling evidence available from a variety of other sources, his superiors were reluctant to inch toward an indictment that would result in a protracted yet flawed murder trial they were not  prepared to finance and had a high chance of losing.

        This seems exactly the issue regarding Johnny Ray Speerbrecher. Why risk a loss given the known facts which are already sworn? Since the affairs of the office have been largely reduced to a simple business proposition anyway, why throw good money after bad? Frankly if for no other reason other than being outraged tax paying citizens, our opinion is that repeated trials that can’t be or won’t be won based on shaky evidence from less than optimum officers of the court is simply a poor use of our resources. At the end of the day, while being the highest ranking law enforcement officer, the District Attorney must be a custodian of the public’s trust AND their resources. Sometimes those two way streets are a bear to merge on, huh?

        The conventional wisdom says that re-trials often aid the prosecution more than the defense for a variety of reasons. Isn’t this like reshuffling the deck? In a matter of speaking, with a new set of Prosecutors, a new jury pool and a near miss on a new judge, it is the same as. How many times are they going to bet on that sway backed pony? From our experience we know where we would place our bets were we a betting Citizens Action Group. (P.S. We’re not, and we’re generally against both liquor by the drink and casino gambling.)

        If there is one truth to this whole issue it is that a baby is dead and therefore someone has to pay. We get that. And we agree with that. Wouldn’t it be best if the person who pays is actually the one who committed the crime? Anything else is less than justice.

        Thou shalt not get away with it…

Art by KKAS@ XI
Brainstormed by Exeter, Ponii and Archangel@ XI
Proofread by Archangel@ XI
Furiously typed with fundamental formatting errors by El_C @ XI

COMMENTS: 23
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Stay tuned for new UNDECIMUS topics here at THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT and remember:

 THOU SHALT NOT GET AWAY WITH IT...

***Following the initial publishing of this blog, The Eleventh Commandment website was flooded with comments for this section. Due to the sheer number and the information contained in many of them, the decision was made to hold back comments until the 21st District Attorney's Office reached a final decision on Johnny Speerbrecher's case. At the time of this writing, The District Attorney has decided to allow Johnny Speerbrecher to plea No Contest to a reduced charge of Enabling Child Abuse in lieu of a second murder trial. Below are selected comments, redacted as neccessary per our standard guidelines.--XI

"...I wouldn't care if he told me the sky was blue, I wouldn't believe it. How he stayed on staff, I'll never know but he made a point to threaten Johnny if they lost. They are going to and I feel for him. They'll plant something on him, you watch and see..." GDH: Pauls Valley

"...Good blog about Johnny S. Why the hell they brought that sickly case to trial based on a deal with HER over him is beyond me..." PR: Pauls Valley

"...They barely got the dope charges to stick. I doubt they can find twellve people in Garvin County who haven't been at one time rail roaded or somehow or another ****** over by Deputy Slime..." TO: Paoli

"...Saw your website mentioned on KOKH Oklahoma City. I had heard about Garvin from some of the other news. Hats off to your cause and a very well written blog. I agree that every person's freedom should not be left to chance. It cheapens the sentence of even the most hardened criminal who is convicted when it is done that way. If you don't mind, I would like to share this with my students, (I teach *************** at ****************)..." IFT: Oklahoma City

"...FOR SEERBRECHER BLOG--Mashburn has to run for election sometime. He promised to help the poor forgottens in McClain and Garvin Co and not play tiddly winks with the Cleveland county cases. How much of my tax dollars went to ramrod this redneck so the good old boys will look good for once?... TD: Purcell

"...Deputy Dog ********* both apologized and threatened this man in the same hallway in the same afternoon. I would have liked to have watched the trial..." RDR: Pauls Valley

"....I served 90 days GCDC from ************* to ************ and I seen how they acted towards him, Deputy ******* and *********** in particular. They even charged him double. He ain't gon get that back. Every time he turnd around, punished. Take something from him, court clothes, books, confinement. Suprised he made it out of their at all... NWBR: LWBR

"...I'm a supporter of ************ office or was, until his slip started showing early on. The Lucas flap tore it for me, but I've been keeping my mouth shut for awhile. Until he wisens up and stops fielding so many flawed cases which depend on so many idiots running around with so much baggage, he is never going to get anywhere. He can't have it both ways. If this was such a high profile case of such great importance, why didn't he see fit to come down and try it himself instead of allowing his 2nd tier stooges to ramrod this. This should have been a pop fly play, instead, they need to be sent back to farm league..." CCD&R: Oklahoma City

"...First time I ever realized that this could have happened to my son. (Son and grandson.) My prayers for that family for their loss and for having to cope with such a mess..." WCD: Paoli

"...SPEERBRECHER BLOG: Glad Johnny got some decent lawyers, finally...." RT: Paoli

"...This situation is the living end. So glad you've seen fit to focus on the issue which is that dead baby boy. ALternately, I think they should have pressed them all, every living person who was around that baby until someone cracked. I could have lived with them all being charged for that matter..." NDW: Pauls Valley

"...Once again, the illustrious medical examiner's office and their circus like antics ruin another one. Was Dr. ****** speaking English this time or gibberish? When is the State going to wake up and take notice? A Coroner who can't find water if they fall out of boats or one run by the gestapo is going to hamstring every case from here on. If that were my baby, I would sue everyone, everywhere, for everything..." JJI: Oklahoma City

"...Brody Speerbrecher. Rest in Peace. 57 days. Forever will be longer for you. ******** has a long time to think about what ***** did to you..." ADW: Pauls Valley

"...Um, hello? This is nothing more than a normal afternoon in Garvin County, people..." DSDK: Pauls Valley

"...I am for prosecution but prosecution for everyone who dared fail that kid. I fail to see why the DA didn't just try them both. They don't want to go back to court on this any more than the Daddy does. Something smells. Same old stink... FEO: Pauls Valley

"...Crazed kid murderer who needs lockdown and life without parole, but okay, sure let him out with an ankle bracelet to go home with. Perfect..." TIM: Paoli

"...Whatever happened to the QUICK AND SPEEDY TRIAL part?..." PP: Davis

"...They can't win this case. Too many fumbles and too many backdoor deals with morons..." LM: Oklahoma City

"...But the way they do it is, they let him out and let a luilttle Garvin County Justice take over. I'll bet ***************** can't wait to see him off. If JS is smart, he'll get the hell out of Dodge while the getting is good..." TAY: Maysville

"...Bad cops + Bad Doctors + Bad Lawyers = no justice..." DD: Wynnewood

"...Bankrupt a man, ruin his reputation, drag him through the mud, threaten him until an inch of his life and then let him go. That's Garvin County..." WRY: Pauls Valley

"...interesting how another baby gets killed like across the street and no one can come up with a name or what have you but everyone remembers "Johnny Speerbrecher" all day long when they write the story. Where's the inquisition here? Where are the 8 x 10s of their front yard? That's what I thought..." NWBR:Pauls Valley

"...They could have solved that case real easy. A jury would have hung ***** if they had played it that way. And it would have made a whole lot more sense..." POR: Pauls Valley

____________________________

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what’s called a ‘cold opening’…

“…dear eleventh commandment: I want to put something in your blog about Mister Horton, he was my teacher too. (Class of ****) I smell Bull **** and I AM NOT A RANCHER. That must have been some very special TEXAS STYLE MEDICINE...” FG: Davis

“…Anyone believes that hoopla couldn’t tell the difference between rabbit poop and Maraschino Cherries! And for some of those up-standing citizens of GC who worked with and carried on business with Tom, maybe they should reevaluate their definition of friendship…” MV: Lone Grove

“…Don’t that beat all. He was acting like he had been ‘smoking cigars with the plastic still on’. Ole USPO has no driver’s license and yet he drove right past the law and waved...” DD: Wynnewood

And so begins our second installment of UNDECIMUS:

02
GOOBER IS COOKING FREEBASE AGAIN:
and other problems here in Mayberry

 “Somewhere wandering loose around Mayberry is a loaded goat.”
                                                                                                                          
                                                                                                               
Sheriff Andy Taylor

        It’s either a side effect of age, too much TV or both, but when you get old enough, as Wynnewood City Marshal Ken Moore would have us believe, your memory starts to blur. You start to remember things only in black and white with a nifty whistling soundtrack. True story: Moore has (or did have before the sparks began to fly) an autographed publicity photo of Barney Fife hung on a wall in his office. (We could all wish for Jack Webb but what’re you gonna do?) While we’ve noticed lately that Chief Moore has taken to wearing a fedora at a rakish angle during election time, we certainly hope he is carrying more than one bullet in his shirt pocket. Just stands to reason.

        None of us here at the XI quite remember running off barefoot to the crick with a cane pole next to Pa, but many of us do remember skipping over to the drainage pipe next to the junior high and luring crawdads out with bacon. We yanked out some fat ones and we would wave to Police Chief Louie D as he drove by in his boat of a Plymouth on his route to keep us all safe. Louie D was the closest thing any of us ever had to Sheriff Andy Taylor. He was a kind man with an impeccable haircut and a patient manner. But, I’m told, he wasn’t above swinging the hickory as the need arose. The world was a dangerous place then too, believe it or not. Anyone remember a lost officer named Willie Turner? Blown away in 1971 while doing what was asked of him, God rest his soul. He was shot after only three months on patrol and that was BEFORE crack cocaine, bling-blingers, crystal meth, thrash metal, heroin speedballs in the hot tub and those nifty tear shaped tattoos under the eye lid. 

        Our precious out of the way burg is most assuredly NOT Mayberry even though we wish it were. And as much as we would like to think we need a starched and pressed Andy Taylor to drink hot coffee down with the fellas while Otis is sleeping it off, what we really need is a slightly ticked off Andy Taylor who got up and ran five miles this morning before work and who drinks lukewarm coffee out of a dented thermos in his front seat while posting up on the dope house that is selling skunk weed down from the high school. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. This blog is supposed to be a first amendment fueled rant peppered with two dozen outraged letters from miffed off voters about how many things went FUBAR when the Ag teacher got shot in his sitting room, so let’s focus.

        Have any you ever had a splinter under your finger nail?  You can’t ignore it and it hurts like hell when touched. The only sure fire cure is to simply sit down with a needle, some rubbing alcohol and a wad of paper towels and take it out. Yes, it will be painful for a period of time but it will be much better after and it will soon heal. Probably won’t even leave a scar. It’s either that or the thing will fester and come out eventually anyway with other icky and dire consequences. One thing is for certain: Wynnewood and Garvin County in general has a very large and painful splinter under their collective fingernail.  And that splinter is Mr. Tom Horton or more specifically, the death of Mr. Tom Horton and the icky and dire consequences that have followed.   

        One can only imagine the turmoil, confusion, anguish, and desperation that went on in the Horton residence on the afternoon of December 10th 2008. And to clarify that statement, we don’t mean for the wet guy rolling around on the floor with his junk out of his trunk trying to get an Oscar for best supporting actor in front of the police. We mean for the poor man who died in his chair that cold afternoon. Unfortunately there were no cameras or other eyewitnesses that say exactly what happened between 1:30 pm when the call came that something was amiss back at the homestead again and 4:30 pm when all hell broke loose. Of course the only living person that could have shed light on all the gruesomeness was, to quote KFOR news, “Intoxicated and passed out” or as DD from Wynnewood wrote to described them as, USPO. (Up Stairs Passed Out.)

        DD, a former close acquaintance of Mister Horton who sends us e-mail quite often, also wrote this in one of his or her more seething moments of shear unadulterated voter re-registration fury:

    “…So let’s recap. USPO was USPO when a person or persons broke into the house and used USPO’s personal phone eight or ten ****** times, stole the truck keys and went on a joy ride, returned the keys, beat the hell out of Tom, vomited on the floor and cleaned up with lemon cleaner, vacuumed the carpet, then left. Then Tom blew his own chest out with a 12 gauge double barrel shotgun and it landed conveniently in his own lap. Then the person or persons unknown (or maybe it was a bunch of whiskied up heroin addicted leprechauns, who can say?) came back and stole the towels from the downstairs bath room and took the small bloodied up rug, that for years laid beneath Tom’s feet  in front of his chair.  All this happened and USPO didn’t hear a damn thing.  But it gets better...”

         SED, another close personal friend of Tom Horton and hailing from an anonymous town at his/her request wrote us this piece as well:
 
        “…Spots were found by **** on the white lace window drapes, all the doors, in the shower, on a bar of soap, on walls, inside of the parlor closet and on door jambs, lamp shades, smeared on walls and other places throughout the house. I don’t guess Barney Fife cares to do anything about it…”

        There’s that comparison again and it deserves the question: If City Marshal Moore had an autographed copy of Hill Street Blues Officer Andy Renko on his wall instead of Barn, would there be such subliminal tendencies? Hmmm. Kent Malloy, perhaps? We think not. Simply put, if Mister Moore had illustrated the slightest inkling of intestinal fortitude and done the job of City Marshal well or even close to well, none of this post December 10th ‘unpleasantness’ would have occurred. What we mean is that if he had figuratively squeezed the pertinent players found rolling naked on the parlor carpet like they were a proverbial tube of aqua-fresh until the minty fresh truth came out (not rolled from the bottom, but squeezed right in the middle) then the differentiation could have been made at ground zero. Namely, was our beloved Ag teacher truly the victim of a self inflicted gunshot? If so, fine. Let’s mourn him and go on. Let’s be proud we knew him and proud to watch our kids tend sheep under a six foot banner of his name and proud he taught us something we can remember.

         Or, on the other hand, was he the victim of the meltdown of a drug addled, narcissist manipulator caught with a vein full of smack and unjustly labeled with such a bruising insult as suicide?  If so, grant us the serenity of knowing that the justice system works and fix it. Maybe it was something altogether different. A little bridge burning Mexican standoff on the decorative rug and someone’s finger slipped, maybe? Sure would explain a lot. Whatever the hell happened in there, it wasn’t so cut and dried and we would like to know. Believe us, we would like to know, no matter how many paper towels it takes to staunch the bleeding. We would like to know so we can let it go. Trust us on this. It is not better for the family and the community to leave that splinter in place. No forgiveness, healing, justice, closure, understanding or acceptance can occur with that huge throbbing boil staring at us day and night.

        When a rag tag group of family and friends methodically took their valid concerns up the legal hierarchy of Oklahoma in the spring of ’09, the OKC news media heard about it and got involved. Although he declined comment several times, Chief Moore ultimately did appear on camera and explained that the WWPD does not have a crime scene unit. (Nobody thought to take a poll of towns of similar size to find one that does of course.) His unforgettable quote, “mistakes were made” reverberated throughout our community like fingernails on a dusty chalkboard. “Mistakes were made.” Kind of like saying that water is wet right before he continued with the implication that anyone who dares question anything regarding Tom Horton’s death is a nutcase of the highest order. Including presumably; a wife, sister-in-law, two sons, nephews, nieces, a dozen family friends, employees, neighbors, colleagues, Aunt Bee, Opie, the old coot in the overalls and straw hat and that long haired jerk up on the hill with the high speed internet connection.

        The primary mistake over all others and the one that he will be held accountable for most during the next election is Chief Moore’s decision to vacate the Horton house in a huff and leave it to the influence of his counterpart in the GCSO. You know, that Supervisory Deputy who barged into the scene (which by the way, was already classified as a suicide according to his own report) and began throwing his weight around on the townies. [Pssst, the one requested specifically by the fella doing the Uh Oh dance in the towel.] Apparently, while the Ag teacher was getting cold and USPO was DATTO (Downstairs And Taking Things Out) the Chief and this Deputy were engaged in a badge measuring contest on the freshly vacuumed carpet. Meanwhile, no one remembered to secure the scene and a ‘mystery clergyman’ who to this day has not been identified began walking around the residence like a lost puppy. Or maybe he was a just a wayward Seventh Day Adventist out spreading the word ironically in the right place at the wrong time. It looks like we’ll never know.

        VRK from OKC, one of our regular contributors (and a retired officer of the law of some renown) had this to say:

        “…First of all apparently the scene was not secured. Bad juju right off the bat. Apparently people came and left at will and some carried things out of the house as eyewitnesses have stated to me and others. I wonder if there is even a scene log? That item should have been the sole responsibility of WPD even if county mounties were running things. **** happens, but it’s hard to imagine that a responsible Police Department could forget such a routine but critical item given how much CLEET drills it in.  Gentlemen: First rule is that if it is not in the report or log it may just as well not have happened…”

        
Bummer. Because none of what former WWPD Officer Shane Rich told the Horton family and other petitioners about the first moments of the call is written down. Nor is what his veteran partner, former WWPD officer Paul Thacker experienced written down either. You know the whole up the stairs, down the stairs, chase the naked guy, ‘who’s shot here’ fiasco. Yeah, that one. No addendum report, not supplementary, no 3 x 5 post it. Nada.

        A bunch of stuff isn’t written down as it turns out, such as Deputy Travis Crawford’s assertion to Susie Horton in March of ‘09 that he was actually there because of a drug tip called into the narcotics hotline regarding USPO’s SMOT (Special Medicine Of Texas).  Yes, Crawford allegedly SAID it but it isn’t written down. Sadly, he only finished the report three months later because Susie Horton pressed him for it and he finished it right in front of her. Drat.

        In said report Crawford stated the area around Tom had been freshly vacuumed, but doesn’t mention the vomit not four feet away. Talk about selective memory. If we didn’t know better, we would think this is similar to turning on the light in the kitchen at night and finding the kiddos and their friends and the neighbors kids and their friends all ransacking the cookie jar, their faces all covered with crumbs, half chewed nilla wafers held behind their backs and all pointing at the other and saying, “but he made me do it.”

         Mistakes were made…
 
        And speaking of HAPPENED, when did it ‘happen’ that someone decided that the shooting death in the parlor was in fact a suicide and thus not really all that necessary to follow homicide S.O.P., just to be on the safe side? WWPD officers responded in emergency mode to a person shot and a person shot they found. (As well as a wet, naked guy attempting to elude them but that’s a whole other ball of bloody soap--I mean wax.) County deputies converged for ‘assistance’ and by the time they called their boss, it was already a suicide.

        It was suicide by the time the elected City Marshal arrived. It was already suicide by the time the case officer assigned by the City Marshal got on scene. It was already suicide by the time Boss Deputy showed up fashionably late with his colleague/office mate/wife and started calling friends of Tom to come and assist with the suicide. It was already suicide by the time the mysterious preacher walked all over the **ahem** ‘not a’ crime scene. It was already suicide by the time the investigator for the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner drove up and started the actual death investigation per the state statute. It appears that USPO decided it was suicide simply by telling a BFUS-TWAOTA. (Big, Fat, Unbelievable Story That We Are Obliged To Accept.) right before pulling rank and demanding the presence of City Marshal Moore and Boss Deputy before agreeing to straighten up and stop acting a fool. Or so it appears.

        CSP from Tulsa told us this when it was clear that the OCME scandal was one of epic proportions and that our desire to have Mr. Horton’s remains properly autopsied was not going to happen coming on the heels of the mess concerning the Chanda Turner case:

        “…Keep this in mind the Oklahoma Medical Examiners office is under a microscope and has been for some time.  Do any of you think they would admit to a screw up of this magnitude? Not going to happen, my friends…”
 
        It was most assuredly labeled suicide and the details were already being set in concrete by the time Tom’s two sons arrived with blood in their eye and began pointing out that things were not and should not be so quickly filed away without all facts being taken into consideration. Some of those facts ARE too horrible to reprint in a blog. Fingerprints? Nitrate tests? Pashaw! This ain’t CSI Miami, fellas. Naked Boy says the old man was suicidal and his friends don’t dispute that and we don’t have batteries for the camera anyway and besides, the Chief left and the Deputies say everything is five by five. Night.

        Major mistake again, Chief: vacating the scene before all the ducks were in a row. Especially while the deceased’s family is turning over major evidentiary information by the bucket and your colleagues are walking around going, ‘sniff sniff—smells like lemons in here.’ Apparently it smelled like a lot of stuff in there including:

        “A strong odor of lemon cleaner and vomit was on the floor just inside the threshold of the door next to Tom’s chair…" JS: Wynnewood

        So far, no one has claimed ownership of the hooch and Cope tinged vomitus or any of the other body fluids discovered in the Horton residence. Dead men don’t toss their cookies or dip snuff and they certainly don’t spiff up the place, shower, drive to points east, call in cell phone prescriptions to La Farmacia Mejor Del Tejas or heist linens. Closing this one out after allowing Bonnie to interview Clyde outside in the Mounty Tahoe about ‘this or that’ seems a might premature. Mistakes were made. Water is surely wet.

        CA from Wynnewood told us the following when a Grand Jury was finally empaneled after forty three days of blistering heat, a visit to the State Supreme Court and some Starsky and Hutch action in Pauls Valley:

        “…I can’t believe one of Wynnewood’s most devout men and leading citizens, a teacher, father, and mentor of many children, had his death taken so cavalier. Hell, why not set up refreshments and invite the whole  town in?…”

        
BR from Wynnewood, after hearing some of what transpired at the Grand Jury proceedings through the good old Garvin County Grape Vine sent us these:

        “…Chief, just go to the damn dollar store and buy a throw away camera or more batteries. For the love of Pete…”

        
“…This is my opinion and mine only. No autopsies was performed because basically the case was already closed before the ME arrived and the Crime Scene was destroyed and so many basic rules had been violated either out of ignorance, apathy or deliberate neglect no one could be prosecuted anyway.  So it was best to say Suicide and let it die. Like Tom. Bury Tom and the investigation and let it go away. What was not anticipated was family and friends driving such a huge stake through the heart of it with the Grand Jury. There is no doubt the crime scene was destroyed and WPD and GCSD are responsible for it.  Wynnewood  and Garvin County and Tom’s family and friends and most certainly Tom deserved better…”

        
Mister or Missus BR has a point, especially when other mistakes are taken into account. Such as intentionally tossing out the chair Tom was shot in, especially after all the hushed whispers involving the back of it. Done deal, toss it in the dump. The rats and possums will take care of the evidence. And while we’re at it, let’s ixnay Tom’s bloody boots, clothes, and wipe down any possible latents off the gun. Let’s toss out any ammo collected at the scene just in case it points to some other possibility other than this one. Nitrate tests my eye. If those morons complain, we’ll stroke them and tell them that we did it as a service to them so as to make their healing process begin faster. Brilliant! What? Camera crew? Grand what? Ah, crap…

        
And Mister Moore: Destroying evidence in a criminal case, or in any case for that matter is a felony in and of itself. Really, if you want to prove that the suicide note left at the scene of the death was written by the dead man so your case all fits together nicely, test the samples sent in against what you know and see what becomes of it. The truth will set us all free and will shut the pie holes of any high order nutcases who don’t know what they’re talking about. Tossing evidence in the can is not going to cut it. What did you say to the arriving OSBI agent who came to pick up that bit of evidence? ‘Oh,…sorry. Hey, check out my new George Lindsey photo. I’m going to hang him right next to Don Knots. Hey, wanna go watch me write some stop sign tickets? I know this particularly lawless punk who needs his house renovation project delayed again.’ According to the OSBI statement on the news, prior to their involvement in the Horton case and the primary reason why their collective hands were tied thereafter was, **ahem** because MISTAKES WERE MADE. [slaps forehead.]

        
Anyone who watched Ken Moore’s favorite show from the black and white days until Technicolor knows that even Barney achieved the rank of detective and got to carry all six bullets eventually. Dear Andy himself even made a mistake from time to time and when he did, he accepted responsibility for it and made it right before the episode was up. I don’t mean fouling up matters of the interpretation of the city municipal code (Well go ahead, Opie, shoot those squirrels. Mr. Sprague up the street uses a 16 gauge shotgun. Have fun.) but just general errors in judgment. Human failings of which we are all err to.

        
Of course, Andy Taylor never saw heroin or ketamine in his life. He never had to cope with the weekly influx of crack cocaine prepared by Fred and Jimmy C and trucked into town under the cover of confidential informant status either. Otis never tried to jump out of a moving vehicle on the way to rehab and he never bragged about spending his in-laws’ coin after they were gone. Nobody ever got whacked in a Dallas motel room under Andy Taylor’s watch and the low down in Mayberry wasn’t so desperate that Goober would snag a choice, numbers matching Mustang motor and sell it for the weight of scrap so he could buy his components to cook freebase in his garage. Signs of our times.

        
If he had been subject to something so sinister, surely Sheriff Andy would’ve been given the go ahead to break it off in the baddies by the town council without much ado other than some catchy debate for dramatic effect. On the same note, none of the Mayberry Deputies ever had tattoos on their necks nor were gangsta-licious off duty I might add and none ran from a subpoena like little girls. I wonder how Sheriff Andy would have handled the whole Taser issue? It’d be real hard to carry one of those square cartridges in your shirt pocket along with your smokes, little black book and your one bullet. Cumbersome.

        
Mister Moore, The Eleventh Commandment and your voting constituents are impressed by your choice of classic television programming. You are also a spiffy dresser. Your membership in the clergy is also something that is a respectable endeavor overall. However, without a clear cut answer on the death of any one citizen, the rest of them are naturally filled with fear and loathing. Please act and act expeditiously to remedy this horrible chapter and pull this splinter out. Not our preference, but we could even live with a T.J. Hooker photo above the desk in a pinch. –XI

Brainstormed by ThH @ XI
Proofread by Archangel @ XI

Furiously typed by HighDef @ XI

COMMENTS: 19
To have your comment attached, send it to us via our contact page and write BLOG in the subject header.
Stay tuned for new UNDECIMUS topics here at THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT and remember:

 THOU SHALT NOT GET AWAY WITH IT...

"...You jerks! I laughed so hard, I slipped in the snow and spilled coffee down my leg. Sides still hurt..." MAC: Pauls Valley

"...If Andy wants to remain Marshal, looks like he would enforce the traffic laws equally, don't it? Anybody who listens to the scanner knows that a certain select few have the get out of jail free card--or should I say, the drive without a license anytime card..." DD: Wynnewood

"...Tom did deserve better than this..." JSK: Wynnewood

"...Mr. Moore should remember that people notice when Barney blows it. I was an eye witness to fat boy in the striped polo trying to play cop when he drew down with the tazer on ***** downtown. I made my irritation known, though it didn't seem to do any good..." ANON: IP *
**.***.**.*** 

"...I seldom leave comments on blog, but I have been to this post which was recommended by my friend, lots of valuable details, thanks again. TRDC: Montpellier

"...FOR ANDY GRIFFITH BLOG: I hope you have the nerve to post my message and if you do, you can sign my name in big bold letters. Let me see if I have this right: The WW city charter says the Marshal has to live in the city of Wynnewood, yet ours currently doesn't and hasn't for several years. Nor even in the same county.  Doesn't that make him a law-breaker of sorts? Yeah, I know, small potatoes but enough is enough.  And if the city council knows he doesn't meet the qualifications and allows it to go on anyway isn't that collusion? And if they have discussed this between themselves or with Chief Moore and decided to  just 'let it ride'.. isn't that the very definition of a conspiracy? Remember, bog bold letters..." TH/THW: Wynnewood

All messages displayed on our webpage regardless of content are kept strictly confidential with NO exceptions.--XI 

"...BLOG: I just want to tell you that the Chief DOES live in the city limits of WW. We've been around this carousel before, folks--last election. He lives in a closet in his burned out trailer on Gardner Street that ***** **** burned down. He keeps a spare uniform in there and some granola to snack on. Let's move on to more important matters, already..." SGK: Wynnewood

"...I wish he would just put up a Charles Bronson photo above his desk and be done with it. I found this link on youtube and I laughed out loud because I had just gotten through reading the blog: MSM:Wynnewood

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7X1apt6zOa8

"...Similar to the Sheriff Election, I hope people will remember Tom Horton when they go to the polls for the Wynnewood Municipal Election and vote their gut..." CD: Pauls Valley

"...Bah haha. Just saw USPO HAAKADU (High As A Kite And Driving Unlicensed) down town WW. Chiefy is turning the other way I guess due to the election. Typical...." YSK: Davis

"...Have also seen **** at the wheel repeatedly. Makes one wonder of Mister ***** has filled out the appropriate I-99 Tax Forms for this  animal husbandry endeavor or would this be another issue of PUTT (Paid under the table)?..." CM/SM: Norman

"...All kidding and tongue in cheek aside, I'm going to exert my right to vote out everyone responsible for this mess at Tom Horton's house. And I'm going to do it with a straight face. Enough is enough..." ES: Wynnewood

"...the law ain't never been a priority here and it shows..." BW: Pauls Valley

"...I really hope that the era of the moron thug cop from Wynnewood who looks the other way for the select few is soon to be over with..." JHK/RK: Wynnewood

"...Kenneth Moore lost my vote and all hope of ever gaining my respect when he pandered to those he did and let justice slide right into the gutter..." GEW: Pauls Valley

"...Andy gotta go. To many looks the other direction has worn his neck out..." WW: Wynnewood

"...I will never buy this crap story about Mr. Tom Horton. I do not think he killed him-self..." AD: Pauls Valley

"...That ain't all goober is pushing around the wood..." SAU/TU: Davis

[XI NOTE: Due to the contentious nature of the April 5th Wynnewood Municipal Election up to and including possible ongoing investigations, further comments on this blog are locked until further notice.] 

_________________

01
CIVICS WITHOUT PITY

        
        "All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing."

                                               

Edmund Burke

        A number of dramatic events have unfolded in the two years since the individuals who make up The Eleventh Commandment have been attempting to find closure in the suspicious shooting death of a Wynnewood man named Tom Horton and others. In fact, other supporters and friends of The Eleventh Commandment have been at it even longer, some since July of the year 2000. That’s ten years, going on eleven if you were keeping count. A decade and then some. For comparison sake, that’s about the same amount of time it takes for a pimply faced freshman to complete college, attend medical school and complete a residency to become a physician. It boggles the mind. 

        
During that time a number of conversations have taken place with personalities up and down the legal hierarchy of Oklahoma from patrol officer to the Attorney General of the State. The point has been made over and over that there is a distinct discrepancy between ‘the way things are’ versus ‘the way things should be’ and the sooner we get that fact through our thick skulls, the better. Oh, we’ve heard it all. Such tidbits as: ‘Things have always been that way’, ‘things will improve after such and such retires,’ ‘we would like to act, but frankly, our hands are tied because X agency didn’t do their job correctly.’ It goes on and on. ‘We’ll see what we can do about that, meanwhile just go on as if things are normal.’  Time heals all. Right?

        
We don’t think so. A partially paralyzed woman who was raped and brutalized in her own residence and later threatened with her life for demanding due process never forgets such things for as long as she lives. By the same token, a family who had to bury their beloved daughter twice make sore enemies at the ballot box and in every other way. The parents of a young mother who have a sack of official documents detailing her murder, a camera and a lot of time on their hands tend to seethe. And let’s not forget the simple truth that they don’t paint a man’s name on a school building in four foot high letters because he sold a lot of Blue & Gold sausage. They do it because of the man. You can bet that this particular man’s people won’t be forgetting the matter any time soon.

        
Faced with many hastily built brick walls in every direction one is left with three distinct choices or as we like to refer to them: Plans A, B and C. Plan A is the simplest. It goes something like this: Accept the status quo. Pack up and go home, or as it were: accept that one’s daughter was shot in the chest and dragged gagging to her death into the front yard. And by the way, no one is going to broach the subject with those responsible for depriving said daughter of medical care while watching her die because it cannot be proved. Or -- and feel free to enter any scenario here you would like – your daughter was burned to death in your front yard after dropping off her kids at school. Over money by the way. The shameless fact lingers that a few thousand dollars in legitimately owed child support was worth taking someone’s life over. No one’s interested. Plan A means pack up all your documents that say over and over that your child was murdered and just live with it. Move on.  

        
Plan A is very difficult, impossible in fact to most anyone with a soul. Who could just move on when a man they respected—a man who spent hours teaching them and acting as an example of how things should be takes a load of buckshot in the chest for his trouble? In broad daylight in his easy chair on a Wednesday afternoon, we might add. Who could accept such a farce as explained in Wynnewood on December 10th 2008? Certainly not the 2,736 outraged people we talked to about it last year. 

        
Drunken alibis wet with bloody soap and lemon cleaner don’t digest very well, it seems. Pointed allegations of conspiratorial tendencies by the powers that be to anyone who questions the story notwithstanding, the oft quoted theory of Occam’s Razor certainly applies to the debacle that took place in Tom Horton’s sitting room. That is, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one. Where there is smoke, you can usually follow it down to a fire. Where there is a trail of bloody hand prints, you can most often follow them to the scene of a violent crime.

        
Which brings us to Plan B: Whine about it. Complain to whoever is listening. Turn on the water works and be sad and blame all manner of cabal and conspiracy on whoever is handy until your hair is grey and your stomach is eaten out with ulcers. Nail yourself up on a cross if it suits you—you’ll be higher up so everyone will have trouble missing you up there. Grumble under your breath as they all point at you with contempt. Play right into the darker tendencies of human nature. Listen to the gossip: ‘Well of course they can’t do anything. She was running with the wrong crowd’ they say. Or, ‘she tempted fate. She should have known better’. Or how about this one: ‘Well it’s better for the family to just let this lay. Things will be better with time.’ 

        
Plan B sounds better than Plan A because it hints at the possibility of everything being okay. Someday. Sure, you have to be a social pariah for a time for Plan B to work correctly but that’s okay, right?. You weren’t exactly part of the influential crowd to begin with were you? Just be an outcast who dared question their lot for a time. A buffoon. A flake. A wanna-be. ‘Trust us. We know what’s best-- ***hack***

        
Sorry. The sound of that dictated out loud caused my typist to partially choke on his coffee. Where were we? Oh yeah, if one can’t bear living with it and one despises complaining about it then they’re really only left with one option: Plan C. Instead of being idealists turned realists (which is called being a cynic if you didn’t already know that. See Plans A and B above) Plan C is about being a realist idealist. In one sentence: If you don’t agree with how things are, work to change them to what they should be, torpedoes be damned. Or better said as: they can feed us this crap sandwich and the side dish of hokum but they can’t make us like it. Or even better still: they have to sleep slash send in a new budget at the beginning of the fiscal year slash run for re-election sometime, sister! Thou shalt not get away with it...

        
Plan C means getting upwardly mobile while understanding that you may in fact be about to lose some skin off your back. (or some lug nuts off your work truck or some moolah out of your wallet due to a pile of random traffic tickets as the case may be.) Just go ahead and add any flowery language you want here, but basically, it means GET INVOLVED. Work to help your neighbor. Otherwise, how can you expect your neighbor to ever help you?

        
If you’ve followed along this far, you’re either one of the hundreds of citizens who supported The Eleventh Commandment since the beginning (possibly one of the blessed souls who brought us iced tea and ice cream when we were standing out in the heat or some of that most awesome beef jerky when our knees were knocking) or alternately; you’re one of those who wrote Plans A and B and keep copies of same in your glove box for rapid acquisition. Since our supporters understand us already, we’re going to address this blog to the naysayers; the ones who told us we would never get enough signatures to seat a grand jury in Garvin County, the ones who fill up our guestbook with spam on a regular basis, the ones who stole campaign signs, tormented sad families with spotlights and worse, the ones that killed pets, vandalized vehicles, threatened, intimidated and otherwise wasted our time and our tax dollars.
 

        We’re going to answer a question today (although oddly enough it had no question marks) sent into the XI server several months back and unsigned by a simpleton whose fingers (if they had all of them) were not opposable enough to find the caps lock key. It reads in part: “…WHERE YOU GET OFF QUESTIONING THE FNDINGS OF LAW OFFICERS. yOU SOME KIND OF HOLIER THAN THOU COP JHATER *******. LOSERS AND OLD GEEZERS COULD HAVE DONE BETTER I SUPPOSE. YOU DON JOHNSON. YOU DONT KNOW THE FIRST THING ABOUT WHATITTAKES TO BE OUT THERE. YOU SHOULD LOOK TO YOU OWN….”

        
CRYPTIC—Oops, caps lock key again, sorry. That’s better. 

        
We won’t bore you with the details of the time and place and IP address that particular message originated from but we like to refer to him or her as Eight Finger Joe or 8FJ. We could wish that 8FJ was the anonymous handle of a run of the mill nincompoop who is yanking our chain for dramatic affect but the particular circumstances unfortunately do not allow that explanation. Not to run down a 8FJ’s grammatical failings but what we think was said was something close to this: How can we justify repudiating the opinions of the authorities in these instances? We most certainly must be a bunch of smart aleck arm chair quarterbacks who know nothing whatsoever of what it takes to be a law enforcement officer in Garvin County, Oklahoma. We should look to our own affairs lest we tempt the ire of an even worse consequence. (And something about our mamas which is not really at issue and was redacted.) Point noted. We ought not to lip off nor poke the bear. Bear sensitive. Bear has claws. Bear nasty.

        
To which the astute reply is quite simple, there, Eight Finger Joe: Civics. That bus stop that we get off at to ‘QUESTION THE FNDINGS OF LAW OFFICERS’  in a trio of homicides is between Tax Payer Avenue and Law Abiding Way. Uptown from Common Sense Arena next to Registered to vote and do so often. You know, civics. I.E., the role of the responsible citizen in the oversight of government. The theory of people understanding that the whole is only as good as the sum of the parts. Rolling up the sleeves and with a straight face, without guilt and without pity marching straight down the throat of the current idiocracy and planting a flag on the tonsils that says in great bold letters, DON’T TREAD ON ME. The kind of civics we were all taught right here in our local public schools, that is if we saw fit to pay attention. Reading, writing, spelling and the preamble to the constitution. The Bill of Rights. Due process of law. Is that ringing a bell, 8FJoe? Freedom of speech and of the press and the right of the people peaceably to assemble. Freedom from unwanted mobs of uniformed hooligans trying to prevent an arthritic man with sore feet and his two dollar wal-mart clipboard from causing any more unpleasantness.

        
Remember that part about petitioning the government for a redress of grievances? (Psst: It’s up close to the top.) Pretty major theme in that whatcha call it – constitution -- thingamabob. Sometimes it appears this has been long forgotten. It would stand to reason that that last part covers being able to walk into a publicly held Grand Jury selection hearing and not fear being thrown out on your can by a red faced, hypertensive brute in a cowboy hat, but we digress.

        
Back to replying to good old Eight Finger Joe who reads our website everyday and who is probably reading it right now. Eight Finger Joe, not a single member of our citizens action group qualifies as SOME KIND OF HOLIER THAN THOU COP JHATING *******. Nor are any of us any other of a long list of nouns put together to elicit a prescribed response which would only result in more traffic tickets and missing lug nuts. 

        
Let us make it clear in this scathing blog right now that most—a vast majority, of law enforcement officers of every rank and file in our state (and our county) are the best we have to offer and they rank with the best of any other state and often better.  Despite the embarrassingly low pay they often receive, they do what we ask of them without crossing the ‘thin blue line’ into corrupting the very ideals they swore an oath to protect. Their job, if not the hardest physically, is certainly one of the hardest mentally and ethically to do well. It takes a toll on even the most even headed person. It’s also fraught with danger and is made more dangerous by apathetic citizens who take law enforcement officers for granted. Occasionally though, desperation in municipal hiring breeds strange bedfellows and an officer sneaks on the payroll who can’t pass the certification exam, is a wife beater who allows lortabs to be sold out of his house and flounces around town wearing two guns like a bloated, scruffy chinned Wyatt Earp and it makes every other officer suffer.

        
And while the Don Johnson comment was funny, no one in The Eleventh Commandment subscribes to any theories that Sonny Crockett, Nash Bridges or Jerry Beck could have done anything whatsoever to further justice in Garvin County. Because they’re imaginary people, Eight Finger Joe. And we’re the real deal. Yes, we’ve certainly experienced our share of loss and failure from time to time and we’re definitely old. (Is that what you meant by losers and geezers?) But within the context of the three homicides in question at this moment, we do think any one of us could have done better. Although we know that we have the gift of 20/20 hindsight. 

        
We’ll even do you one better than that, 8FJ. We don’t think we’re alone when we say that we all want to believe that all of our cops are deeply ethical men and women, beyond reproach and their reports are perfect and concise without fail every time. Yes, it’s flawed thinking but we’re optimists and we want to believe in the good in people. We want to hope that their ranks are full to brimming and multi-layered; city cops backed up by county deputies themselves backed up by narcotics agents and OSBI agents followed by a whole gang of three letter federales all of whom get along like brothers and share and share alike with all their toys, files, and information. It sure would be great.

        We want to assume that all of our judges are most certainly shrewd masters of the law who never smoke marijuana with their cronies, are never corrupt and our prosecutors all exist within deeply funded and staffed offices and are of the finest stock our schools of law can produce. They are under absolutely no political pressure whatsoever to creatively pick and choose their cases and would at the drop of a hat risk their entire career to stop the suffering of a family anywhere in their district. It’s a dream every person who lives here likes to have at night tucked into their comfortable bed.

        We certainly want to think that all of the ancillary offices, such as our Chief Medical Examiner have enough expertise, money, manpower, and material to make certain no question could ever linger over a suspicion of wrongdoing. And all this is made certain or so we wish it was by the efforts of our elected officials in Oklahoma City and Washington who all have our best interests at heart all the time and regardless of whether they ride a Donkey or an Elephant to work, they all love America and apple pie and would never hatch a plot in a pancake house to defraud anyone for any reason. What were we saying again about how things are?

        
We do know how things are not. Things are most certainly not like they appear to be on TV, Don Johnson or not. That cursed square headed demon called TV has in fact impaired the ability of police to get anything done a lot of the time. Ask any officer and they’ll probably be quick to point out that not a shift goes by without the completely misplaced judgments of what can and cannot be done decided by some Hollywood hack who writes episodes of whichever three letter flavor of the week forensics or homicide show is trendy right now. The real world is staffed by real people and is complicated enough. Justice isn’t decided by spiffy twenty-somethings in Hummers in 48 minutes. Anyone with half a brain knows that. That’s why the sons of a man shot to death in his living room bristle at being told that Wynnewood PD is not ‘CSI Miami’ and that a twelve gauge shotgun blast doesn’t eject enough nitrates to be detectable. (say again, over?) ‘Fingerprinting is not needed. Repeat after me, blood in the house is normal. We have it well in hand. Move along’. Priceless. 

        
Any person with any rational thinking could have done better, Senor Ocho Dedos. In fact, we think one member’s 14 year old brainiac cousin could have done better. We’re even fairly certain a posse of your average freshman FFA students could have done better with a pen, a pad, a clear head and a roll of crime scene tape to start. Any fourteen year old in any school around here knows that smoke is a direct result of combustion. They could also conclude that bloody towels and missing soap are a direct result of a cleanup of some sort by someone. Dead men don’t shower and they damned sure don’t do laundry.

        
Oh, and by the way, 8FJoe: We here at The Eleventh Commandment actually do have an inkling about what it takes to do the job of a law enforcement officer out there. Civics is like that. Not only have numerous members of The Eleventh Commandment served the public trust previously in several capacities, we make it a point to pay attention to every thing which is written in newsprint, every word spoken on TV and every word mentioned by the officers themselves who are doing it right so we know what it is they need to continue their work when it comes time for our part of the equation—intelligent voting. We support them quietly most of the time and loudly when they need us to. We mourn their passing and honor their memories. We pray for their safety so they can go home to their kids and do it all again tomorrow. We grant them great power over us and in turn, we demand great responsibility from them. It’s a really well thought out system and it works most of the time. 

        
We bet you weren’t ready for that much of an answer when you badgered us with your poor typing, did you, 8FJ? Guess what else we know by heart? It’s this: Law enforcement in general as well as the prosecution of crimes, the court systems, the work of corrections officers and prison systems, the work of coroners and criminalists never turns a profit. Not one red cent. It’s a black hole of resources. And it’s costly. If you want law and order, you get what you pay for. If you want the best cops and best collars and safest streets, pay for them. Provide decent benefits and a decent environment filled with the appropriate tools so that you can attract the finest pool of individuals to choose from. Not to throw in a movie quote in the middle of a political blog, but fund it and they will come. And as a bonus, they will also be less likely to pilfer seized drug money and written off dope and party like its 1999 on our dime or on our courthouse furniture.

        
Here’s an economics lesson to boot, 8Fjoe, just in case your head doesn’t hurt yet. Garvin County is a smaller than average one of seventy-seven others seated a bit South of the buckle of the bible belt. County resources are generated through taxation of the sparse number of folks who live and work here as well as what meager supplements can be eked out of the Federal and State coffers through grants, special programs like the I.C.E. housing and transportation contract, creative negotiations via the legislature and outright begging. Double so for the municipalities within the county. To make matters worse, the current environment of economic crisis nationwide spells out an unfortunate fact simply enough: There ain’t enough hay for all the reindeer and Rudolph’s nose is going to have to go bulb less for a season or two. Ironically enough, times of great economic upheaval where the hardest thing to pay for is new cops is exactly the time they’re needed the most. Impoverished people who are desperate commit more crime. They don’t seem to drink less whiskey or use less heroin, but they do commit more crime.

        
What was that last thing you mentioned, 8FJoe? Something about looking to our own? Minding our own business, watching our own six o’clock, we gather? If that’s what you meant, then well, we did. Civics again. Any adult person who has lived through the past twenty years knows—and most probably knows the hard way that personal responsibility is the root of all other civic virtues. That means taking responsibility for everything you do, everything you say, every word typed into your website and every person wearing a blue silicone bracelet that says ‘thou shalt not get away with it…’ You better have your ducks in a row because no one is going to line them up for you and likely as not, if they think they can get away with it, bad cops will do what bad cops do and attempt to sack you up and tell the judge you ran a stop sign. 

        
The only things a citizen really has in this world are their word and their deeds. And speaking of deeds, the Supreme Court of the United States has legally determined that the police have no actual duty to keep us safe. So if they accidentally allow us to be 86ed in our easy chair or our truck burned by wayward youths smoking weed, it’s nothing they were legally required to do anyway. Kind of makes one feel vulnerable, huh? Or were you actually trying to insinuate another threat there, 8FJoe?

        
Because the fact of the matter is that the past ten years have proved beyond a reasonable doubt that there are many more good people here in Garvin County than there are bad so your bluff if that’s what it was, holds no water. We’re winning. Honesty and integrity are still important and a stiff handshake and eye contact are still the rules of the game. Yes, there are some who tried to use their so called ‘influence’ to sway things a certain way but it seems that door was heavy and tends to swing both ways. Sometimes karma leaves out the gate in a  go-kart and comes back from the third turn in a freight train. Every person who stood up to change things is already as scared and perturbed as it is possible to be and they did it anyway so do your worse. Just remember, it’s a long way from the courthouse to the Table Tops and we’re heavy. We’ve been sitting and typing at this keyboard for a while now and we ate a lot of turkey. -- XI

Brainstormed by ThH @ XI
Proofread by Wildheart @ XI
Furiously typed by Archangel @ XI

COMMENTS: 9
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Stay tuned for new UNDECIMUS topics here at THE ELEVENTH COMMANDMENT and remember:

 THOU SHALT NOT GET AWAY WITH IT...

"...I for one do not feel safe in 'Wynnewood R.F.D.' This rotating game of keysone koppers has got to end. Who's going to get wasted next and chucked to the curb?..." KJ: Wynnewood

"...Oustanding and funny to read. It's about time the thugs have their feet held to the fire so the dedicated officers can work. I'm so glad someone has the guts to call it like it is... OC: Wynnewood

"...Amen. We get what we pay for..." GH: Wynnewood 

"...I read with a grain of salt but I have to say that I am pleased that you practice what you preach. I think you hit the nail in the head when you credited the police who do their job correctly everyday and pointed out how hard it is for them to stay above it all with this kind of BS the norm. I'll look forward to the next edition..." DS: Pauls Valley

"...FOR BLOG: Funny. I LOLed. You need to start an interactive blog. I read your facebook as well and plenty of people would like to get involved with this. Upstairs passed out is ********. Inquiring minds want to know..." KW: Wynnewood

"...And Caesar's spirit, raging for revenge, With Ate by his side come hot from hell, Shall in these confines with a monarch's voice Cry "Havoc!" and let slip the dogs of war, That this foul deed shall smell above the earth With carrion men, groaning for burial..." WS: Norman

"...You got that part right. We ain't forgot. No matter who we have to voet out, we ain't forgot a good man was closed out by the actions of a drugged out punk who had his **** covered by dirty cops..." TD: Wynnewood

"...since you got the other one locked, please put this one under another blog. I pay my taxes like everyone else and I want to feel safe in my home at night. Period..." NWBR: Wynnewood

"...I resent having to watch ****** driving onto school property drunk in full view of the police. This is sad..." OI: Wynnewood