If you're like I am, you've heard scores of media reports about the 2006 Duke University rape case, in which three white lacrosse players were falsely accused of raping a black stripper at a wild party at the home of one of the team members. These guys, convicted by the news media and Duke faculty, were later found innocent. It turned out that Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong was running for re-election. In seeking the black vote, he concealed DNA evidence that would have exonerated the lacrosse players.
You might remember hearing scores of stories about the 1998 murder of James Byrd, a black man who was stripped, chained to a pickup truck and dragged through the streets until he was decapitated in Jasper, Texas. The incident provided fodder for the NAACP and others to attack then-Texas Gov. George Bush, during his 2000 election campaign, for not supporting hate crime legislation. It turned out that two of Byrd's murderers were sentenced to death, and the other, life in prison.
I don't know about you, but it was just recently that I heard about a gruesome murder in Knoxville, Tenn., that is far worse than the false charges in the Duke rape case and is at least as horrible, if not more so, than the dragging death of James Byrd. Unlike the Duke rape case and the Jasper lynching, the national news media's coverage of the interracial Knoxville murders paled in comparison. On Jan. 6, 2007, University of Tennessee student Channon Christian and her boyfriend, Christopher Newsom, were carjacked and kidnapped in Knoxville. Both of them were later murdered.
According to a 46-count indictment, suspects Darnell Cobbins, Lemaricus Davidson, George Thomas and Vanessa Coleman, all blacks, are charged with committing rape, including sodomy against Christian and Newsom, both of whom are white. After being raped, Newsom was shot several times and his body was found burned along nearby railroad tracks. Christian was forced to witness her boyfriend's rape, torture and subsequent murder before she was ultimately raped, tortured and murdered. The police discovered her body inside a large trash can in the kitchen of the home where the murders took place. Before disposing of her body, the murderers poured bleach or some other cleaning agent down her throat in an effort to destroy DNA evidence. Trial dates have been set for next May.
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