Striking gold

My dear friend Annie Keller of For the Lost fame found an old “Missing Person” poster for the Clinton Avenue Five cases: Randy Johnson, Michael McDowell, Melvin Pittman Ernest Taylor and Alvin Turner. Prior to this, for everyone except Alvin (for some reason) I had only very poor quality photos and the ages of each, no other information as far as what they looked like. Now I’ve got birthdates, heights, weights, clothing, hair and eye color and any other distinguishing characteristics. Yay!

Their story is told in their casefiles and in my previous blog entries; I don’t feel like recounting it again. I don’t doubt that the boys were murdered, but if I were on that jury I would have voted for acquittal too. The “tricked the five of them into going into a closet, locked them in and set the place on fire, leaving no physical evidence at all” story seems implausible in the extreme, and the star witness, a career criminal, was PAID $15,000 for his cooperation.

Those poor boys and their families never got justice.

3 thoughts on “Striking gold

  1. diamond414x June 9, 2013 / 9:38 pm

    I fully agree with ya on this one, Meaghan. I never believed the witness either, and think its ironically funny he got time after coming up with that story decades later, but the so-called killer was acquitted. I asked a couple of my criminal justice professors (who are retired LE about) could 5 humans burn to death in a closet without leaving 1 forensic trace and they all said no, stating
    Investigators would have found teeth, bone, clothing hooks or zippers, SOMETHING to indicate human remains or evidence of the door lock, etc. I do believe something bad happened to those boys, but I could’t have convicted Evans on such a flimsy case either. I do feel for the kids families though.

  2. forthelost June 9, 2013 / 11:14 pm

    You had Alvin’s info because when a news site reported on the murder charges, they showed a picture of his section of the poster I found.

  3. Elin June 12, 2013 / 2:41 am

    I am not sure I have understood the text about these boys correctly but didn’t they search for their remains long after they had died? If so, couldn’t what was left of them have been transported away after the building burnt down? Isn’t it usually so that they only leave parts of a building in the ground and the majority of the material is transported to a landfill or something like that?

    What we know is that the boys are gone and probably dead. If they were not killed the way the witness said, they were killed some other way. If they had left volontarily I am sure at least one of them would have later contacted their family, they didn’t seem like the type of people that would cut off all contact for ever with everyone they knew.

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