One of the most compelling non-fiction books I have ever read is ‘In Broad Daylight‘ by Harry N. MacLean, a true account of the life and death of Ken Rex McElroy, a thief, conman and all round deplorable excuse for a human being from Skidmore, Nodaway County, Missouri USA.
In vivid and shocking detail, MacLean exposes the truly psychopathic nature of McElroy as he intimidated, terrorised and abused his wives and children and the local population over a period of several years. Justice was a long time coming as McEIroy repeatedly thwarted attempts by the local police to catch him in the act, and used the legal system to get away with his egregious behavior. Eventually, after McEIroy shot a local store owner, the townspeople were galvanized to take the law into their own hands, and McEIroy was shot dead ‘in broad daylight’ on a street in Skidmore as he sat in his truck. No one was ever charged with his murder. Few, if any, mourned passing.
I was reminded of Ken McEIroy’s story recently because the residents of a town in the same Nodaway County Missouri (and not far from Skidmore) have been in the news.
In January 2012, 14-year-old Daisy Coleman and a 13-year-old girl friend sneaked out of Daisy’s house in Maryville, Nodaway county, at around 1am and met up with a couple of ‘jocks’ from their local high school. One of the ‘jocks’ Matthew Barnett and a friend drove Daisy and her friend to Barnett’s house. Daisy was given a tall glass of clear alcohol that the boys called the “bitch cup”, after that, she remembers nothing until a few hours later when, in a state of near hypothermia her mother, Melinda, found her scratching at the door of her house. It was while Melinda was helping Daisy to bathe that she saw the redness around her daughter’s genitalia and buttocks. It hurt, Daisy said, when her mother asked about it. Then Daisy began crying.
The facts of the case are pretty clear. Daisy was drugged by the boys in Barnett’s house, raped by Matthew Barnett, carried incoherent out of the house and driven to her own house and dumped outside in sub-zero temperatures.The boys cared not whether Daisy lived or died. One of the boys later testified that, as Daisy was carried to the car, she was crying. Daisy’s friend was also raped by one of the boys, who admitted in an interview with the local sheriff that the girl said “no” multiple times.
Realising what had happened, Daisy’s mother immediately called 9/11 and was told to take her to St. Francis Hospital in Maryville, where, according to Daisy’s medical report, doctors observed small vaginal tears indicative of recent sexual penetration. The following day police interviewed all of the boys at the Barnett house that night and collected evidence, included a cell phone that had been used to record the abuse.
Barnett, who was arrested and charged with sexual assault, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, (a misdemeanor), admitted to having sex with Daisy and to being aware that she had been drinking. He insisted the sex was consensual. Barnett’s friend, Jordan Zech, was charged with sexual exploitation of a minor for recording the abuse. Within two months however, the charges against both boys were dropped.
Small town America – Same as big town America
Maryville, like many towns in that part of the USA, are regularly described as “close-knit communities”, which, in this case, appears to be a euphemism used by the mainstream media for ‘a town populated and dominated by narrow-minded, backward, conscience-less idiots and their offspring’.
The aforementioned author of ‘In Broad Daylight‘ Harry MacLean, commented that Maryville is “a big town in a rural area, but it’s still a rural area,…they do tend to revolve around the influence of several families. All of those small towns are like that there. There’s four or five or six families that carry the weight.”
The Barnett family name is said to hold a lot of sway in Maryville and the state of Missouri itself. Matthew Barnett’s grandfather, Rex, ‘served’ four terms as Republican State Representative before stepping down in 2002. Rex denied using any influence to ensure the charges against his grandson were dropped, yet given that he is a former long-term US politician, little trust can be placed in anything he says. Rex Barnett also has political ties to Robert Rice, the Nodaway County prosecutor. Barnett’s granddaughter worked as a volunteer on the campaign of U.S. Rep. Sam Graves, and Graves employs Rice’s sister as an aide in constituent services.
Prosecutor Rice claimed that the charges against the boys were dropped because Daisy and her mother both ‘pleaded the fifth’. Daisy’s mother however has since provided recordings of her conversations with Rice where she makes clear that both she and Daisy were always fully committed to pursuing the case against the boys. Melinda admits that, when most of the charges against the boys had been dropped, and only one misdemeanor charge was still pending, she did briefly suggest that she did not want to continue with the case out of concern for Daisy, but within a day she changed her mind and told Rice so. It seems, therefore, that Prosecutor Rice disingenuously used Melinda’s concern about the effect on Daisy’s mental health of a public prosecution that would result only in a minor charge against one of the boys, to blame Daisy and her mother for the entire case against the boys being dropped.
The truth appears to be rather more sinister.
Worse still, Rice apparently failed to even inform Melinda Coleman that the case had been dropped. A letter written to Rice by the Coleman’s attorney on March 19, a week after the charges had been dismissed, states: “I called your office multiple times last week in an attempt to obtain accurate information so that I could explain your decision to my client. You did not return my telephone calls.”
A majority of the local townspeople appear to have sided with the two boys and their families. Daisy, her mother and her brothers have all been defamed and attacked in comments written on Facebook and Twitter. One of the many hate-filled tweets read: “F— yea. That’s what you get for bein a skank : ),”.
A parent of one of the teens at the Barnett house that night told a local newspaper: “Our boys deserve an apology, and they haven’t gotten it yet.” Prosecutor Rice said it was a case of “incorrigible teenagers” drinking alcohol and having sex. “They were doing what they wanted to do, and there weren’t any consequences.”
Matthew Barnett’s attorney said: “Just because we don’t like the way teenagers act doesn’t necessarily make it a crime.”
Sheriff White who investigated the case maintains, however, that there is “no doubt” a crime was committed that night. The doctor who treated Daisy the following morning called the prosecutor Rice’s decision to drop the charges “surprising.”
One longtime Missouri attorney believes the Colemans’ status as relative outsiders played a part in the cases’ dismissals. “The fact that the family wasn’t from Maryville made it a lot easier for the prosecutor to drop those charges,” he said.
The mother of Daisy’s 13-year-old friend who was also raped put it more bluntly:
“If that had been one of my sons – and my sons would rather cut their hands off than do something like that – but had that been one of my kids, they would be sitting in a maximum security prison somewhere doing 25 years. There’s no doubt in my mind.”
When Daisy’s mother was suddenly and inexplicably fired from her job as a vet at a local clinic, and with most of the town and the judiciary system against her, she decided to move back to Albany, a town 40 miles away where she had lived before moving to Maryville. But the residents of Maryville weren’t finished yet. Melinda Coleman still owned a house in Maryville. Earlier this year, several months after their move back to Albany, the Coleman’s Maryville home mysteriously caught fire and burned to the ground.
According to Capt. Phil Rickabaugh of the Maryville Fire Department, the cause of the fire wasn’t immediately determined. “We started to dig in and investigate it,” he said, but the structure was deemed unsafe. “Several weeks later, an insurance investigator came in, and it was heavily investigated by private parties. (But) we never have heard anything else out of that.” The cause, Rickabaugh says, remains unknown.
But in the almost 18 months since the case against the boys was dropped, pressure has slowly been building for authorities to re-examine what is clearly a serious miscarriage of justice. It was recently announced that Prosecutor Rice would re-open the case into the rape of Daisy and her friend by Matthew Barnett and Jodran Zech. The activist group ‘Anonymous’ is credited with bringing attention to the case, and a few days ago, Daisy Coleman wrote a heartbreaking article about her experiences and the two suicide attempts she has made as a result of the rape and her subsequent vilification by the upstanding townsfolk and authority figures of Maryville.
I was suspended from the cheer-leading squad and people told me that I was “asking for it” and would “get what was coming.”
Why would I even want to believe in a God? Why would a God even allow this to happen? I lost all faith in religion and humanity. I saw myself as ugly, inside and out. If I was this ugly on the inside, then why shouldn’t everyone see the ugly I saw?
I burned and carved the ugly I saw into my arms, wrists, legs and anywhere I could find room.
On Twitter and Facebook, I was called a skank and a liar and people encouraged me to kill myself. Twice, I did try to take my own life.
When I went to a dance competition I saw a girl there who was wearing a T-shirt she made. It read: “Matt 1, Daisy 0.”
For their part, the two rapists appear to be bearing up quite well under the ‘stress’. Both are now members of Northwest Missouri State University athletic teams, and Matthew Barnett is enrolled at the University of Central Missouri, his grandfather Rex’s alma mater. Based on his Twitter account, before it was locked to non-friends, the events of the past two years appear not to have dampened his enthusiasm for preying on the opposite sex.
In a recent retweet, he wrote:
“If her name begins with A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z, she wants the D.”
A Culture of Psychopathy
The world would surely be a better place if Matthew Barnett’s parents had never procreated. Then again, the same would logically apply to his grandparents and great grandparents and so on, back to a time before the evident deviant ‘nature’ entered into that particular genetic line. But how many other people are there out there to whom the same applies?
But blaming genetics doesn’t really fit as a complete answer to the serious problem of the obvious pathology that is running rampant through Western ‘culture’ and ‘civilization’, in particular the USA. The very fact that these teenage boys had a cup called “the bitch cup” out of which they would encourage young girls to drink copious amounts of liquor is evidence of something seriously wrong with the version of ‘morality’ with which young people are being indoctrinated by society.
That Matthew Barnett would think it appropriate to write the above ‘Tweet’ after raping a 14 year old girl is profoundly shocking and disgusting, and, to be honest, I’m trying to come up with a way to avoiding ascribing full responsibility to him as a fundamentally immoral and evil little bastard who, in times gone by, would and should have enjoyed the same fate as Ken McEIroy. But something seems to have changed in the minds and attitudes of small town Missourians in the 30 odd years that have passed since the events in Skidmore in 1981. Rather than join forces to neutralize a clearly pathological individual in their midst, the good folk of Maryville closed ranks around pathological individuals and blamed the victim.
Is such an anti-human response to a fellow human being who has been the victim of a brutal crime ‘normal’ for human beings? The answer to this question is important, because the case of Daisy Coleman produced the exact same response from Fox News ‘expert’ and criminal defense attorney Joseph Dibenedetto, when he commented on the case:
So is this kind of an attitude towards a victim ‘normal’ for human beings and therefore the cause of it being repeated by the mainstream media, or has the mainstream media succeeded in establishing such an attitude as ‘normal’ by way of decades of incessant propaganda?
American ‘culture’ today appears to be based on psychopathic, and therefore fundamentally inhuman, ideals. We can be fairly sure that “bitch cups” (and much worse) are not popular only in Maryville but part of the common teenage discourse in towns big and small across the USA. That’s not to say that there aren’t still many good people out there, but they are increasingly in the minority and increasingly unable to stand against the tide of barbarism and heartlessness that will soon wash away what is left of America’s conscience. If this was a uniquely American problem, (the real nature of American ‘exceptionalism’), it might not be such a major issue. The problem however is that, for many decades, much of the rest of the world has been subjected to and infected with this same soul-destroying view of life and other human beings by way of US state propaganda (aka the mainstream media), US warmongering and the US government’s other main agents of Empire – multinational corporations.
To answer my own question; I don’t think it’s normal for human beings to treat victims the way Daisy Coleman was treated by the officials and townspeople of Maryville, regardless of whether or not they had vested interests in protecting the perpetrators. Such indifference to the plight of another human being and total disregard for the idea of justice can only be made ‘normal’ when it constitutes an imposed deviation from normal human values by an outside force. In this case, that outside force is psychopaths in positions of power around the world, and consolidated, most notably today, in the US of A.