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.