Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Law and Contemporary Problems Article

My article from the most recent edition of Law and Contemporary Problems, on the role of the blogosphere in the lacrosse case.


Anonymous said...

On this subject, I recently had a paper in the Journal of Social, Political and Economic Studies, Vol. 33, No. 4, entitled: "The Hayekian Blogosphere: Was the Duke Lacrosse Case also a Case of the 'Spontaneous Order'?"


One has to be a subscriber to read the paper (and I cannot imagine anyone doing that for this paper). I spend a lot of time with K.C.'s blog.

The "theme" of the article is related to Hayek's 1945 American Economic Review paper, "The Use of Knowledge in Society," which is one of the classic papers in economics. Here is the abstract:

One of the most important phenomena that came from the infamous Duke Lacrosse Case was the emergence of an influential blogosphere that mitigated some of the effects of the mainstream news media. Because this coming together of large numbers of individuals seemed to originate from nowhere, one way to examine it, as Richard Posner has suggested, is through the lens of what F.A. Hayek called the “spontaneous order.” While Hayek was referring to the social effects of a market economy, which comes about not by central planning, but by individual plans, nonetheless this blogosphere had many of the same characteristics of social cooperation by people of many different backgrounds. Further, this article will consider Cass Sunstein's criticism of the analogy to Hayek's spontaneous order.

My point was that there were a lot of characteristics of the blog response to the case that mirrored the "spontaneous order" of which Hayek wrote in a number of papers and books. (F.A. Hayek won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1974.)

For sure, the blogs and alternative media sources are now becoming major competitors (low-cost) of newspapers.

Anonymous said...

Is Murphy a Communist?

Anonymous said...

This is an outstanding paper Professor Johnson, congratulations. Your powerful and concise use of the language continues to amaze.

I think there are three extensions of points you make which may be worth considering. One with the lack of trust with the MSM, another with cyber attack(s) against the blogs, and finally the authenticity of vile comments.

The first, the lack of trust in the media, is likely much, much worse than expected. Current stock prices notwithstanding, many, like me, had already reduced the amount of time reading or watching MSM outlets before this series of events occurred.

Why, because the MSM had already abdicated the trust between their reporting and their base long before the Duke hoax. The emergence of quality sites, such as DIW, John in Carolina, and Liestoppers proved immediately trustworthy.

A byproduct of the established blogger trust is the understanding that readers are sufficiently able to come to their own conclusions about both the material and comments being posted. There is mutual respect. The MSM, if it ever had that respect, has since lost it.

The other point to be considered leaps well beyond vile comments. I recall that Liestoppers was maliciously hacked and shut down, at least once, for several days.

As we rapidly move from an age of teenage hackers to significant attacks against our cyber infrastructure the Liestoppers attack should be considered a significant event. Some individual or group was attempting to violate the right of free speech and restrain efforts to uncover the truth.

The gravity of that event is subjective until you consider recent events such as the shutting down of the Estonian power grid, successful hacks on the Pentagon, and a Fannie Mae contract employee both modifying access controls and introducing a virus into their system. We have moved from internet pranks, on to criminal activity, and into an age where cyber attacks may be considered Acts of War.

Consider, in this fragile economic environment, the potential economic damage to our financial system had the FNMA cyber bomb succeeded. More importantly consider the damage done to the trust of the system which is already suffering a substantial lack of trust. Vile comments are only part of the blog story.

A lesser, but important issue, is source verifying the authenticity of the vile comments. This circles back to the trust issue. The MSM wants to belive the mythology of race, gender, and class metanarratives delivered by untrustworthy sources. For example, the hangman's noose on the door handle story involving Madeline Constantine at Cornell. We really do not know if these claims by the Duke faculty about racist emails sent to them are true. If they did received the racist emails that larger issue is to verify who were the actual authors.

Who rationally can trust Klan of 88 claims?

Your work is very important on so many levels. The shear number of unique visitors is staggering and making a difference. Just before Christmas I ran into a friend who had just come across your book and was learning the significance of this story. Well done.

Anonymous said...

An overall excellent piece, one that I will enthusiastically share with my friends. You lay out the components of the case in clear and convincing manner.
One minor quibble, however - to characterize The Daily Kos as 'left-leaning' seems rather like saying the Sahara Desert can get kind of dry. A brief perusal of that website should be sufficient to reveal its persistent hard-left virulence. 'Left-leaning' isn't even close.

Anonymous said...

A fortuitous day for Duke! The pool of potential Duke faculty hires has just been expanded.

U.S. judges seek massive California prisoner release

"...Trend setting California..." could be "Trend setting Duke University". They should get on it before the Ivy's beat them to the punch.

"Federal judges on Monday tentatively ordered California to release tens of thousands of inmates, up to a third of all prisoners, in the next three years to stop dangerous overcrowding.

As many as 57,000 could be let go if the current population were cut by the maximum percentage considered by a three-judge panel. Judges said the move could be done without threatening public safety -- and might improve a public safety hazard."

Just think, the next Angela Davis may soon be available.

Oh wait, "threatening the public safety" may be a problem after all. Well if they are able to secure release that certainly wouldn't disqualify them from becoming members of the Duke faculty or administration.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't you post the article in pdf format?

I can't read it as is.

I'm probably doing something wrong.

Anonymous said...

You could have knocked me over with a feather.

I wanted to check out the bona fides of the Journal and found:

"Law and Contemporary Problems is a quarterly, interdisciplinary publication of Duke Law School. Recognizing that many fields in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities conduct research and analysis that can contribute to the improvement of law, L&CP’s purpose is to collect and publish articles of value from all disciplines whose study contributes to the development of law.

L&CP was founded in 1933 and is the oldest journal published at Duke Law School."

Could you tell us KC- was this article solicited? If not, did you select this journal for publication to tickle your sense of irony or was it best suited for the subject in some other respect?

I love it.

RL alum medicine '75

Anonymous said...

Why do you always frame arguments in terms of the number three? It's always three major reasons, three potential drawbacks, three themes, three points. Religious numerology?

Debrah said...

Here is the link to the page of the Duke conference.

Scroll down to September 28th and KC's name on the panel.

Anonymous said...

For a 16 page paper, that was a surprisingly quick read.

Anonymous said...

I did not realize the response to the "clarifying" statement had been so negative. Good to know.

Marco2006 said...

A fair and accurate review on the Blogosphere's handling of the Duke Lacrosse case. However KC underplays his tremendous achievements.

We all owe him a big thank you.


Anonymous said...

For Anon 9:48




Anonymous said...

This is one article in an entire volume in Duke's Law and Contemporary Problems Journal. I will enjoy reading all the articles, although in a quick skim, I noticed that, in his article, the English chap, Professor Gavin Phillipson, cited to this: Susan Hanley Kosse, Race, Riches & Reporters—Do Race and Class Impact Media
Rape Narratives? An Analysis of the Duke Lacrosse Case, 31 S. ILL. U. L.J. 243 (2007).

And I believe that to be the worst law review article ever published. K.C. Johnson also wrote a memorable post about it.

In any event, a thoroughly excellent publication, Professor Johnson! MOO! Gregory

Anonymous said...

Professor Johnson, how do you "know" that any/all attorneys who might have been ethically restricted from making comments about the case on the forums, did not in fact use pseudonyms and do just that???

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 1:12 says:

"For a 16 page paper, that was a surprisingly quick read."

Yet thorough.

Anonymous said...

You can expand the article to full screen mode by clicking the right most icon on the Scribd tool bar.

kcjohnson9 said...

To the 4.15:

How do I "know" that you, in fact, are not me, posting under a pseudonym to create the facade that I approve absurd questions???

Anonymous said...

The blogosphere as a fact checker for the MSM. The Horror, The Horror, The Horror.

Like it or not, the MSM can no longer accuse the blogosphere of publishing half lies and untruths. The MSM is in the uncomfortable position of being fact checker and challenged every day. Often their reporting is found to be wanting by Blogs...

KC has opened up new horizons for the Blogosphere. Blogs as Legal analysis tools. KC was able to insure due process for the Lax players in a manner that the MSM and justice system wouldn't. In the search for the truth, the Blogosphere is now another source.

Anonymous said...

Selena Roberts when asked about her reporting on A-Rod and his steriod use:

Roberts: "...when we began hearing rumors about steroid use. You hear a lot of things in this business, so we went about our due diligence in nailing down the truth: Was this rumor or real? In a meticulous process, we verified and re-verified our information, because this is a human being here, so you absolutely do not want to be wrong."

Anonymous said...


Regarding 4:15.

Nice comeback

Anonymous said...

It is all well and good to puzzle over this legal aspect and that legal aspect or the affect or effect of the Blogosphere, but remember this whole case was driven in a very old fashioned way by lying, by people who want and who grasp for power, by people who were corrupt to begin with and who represent a bankrupt way of representing or repressing sexuality and race. They were mean spirited and corrupt people who were willing to lie.

I am not talking about Mangum here. I am talking about people who actually trained themselves to be that way even as they protested when the public began to realize that they were devious and corrupt people and that they somehow represented the Good of their society when really they were more akin to the Bad Witch of Wizrd of Oz fame.

Academia brought to the public stage the raging and screeching and pointing of fingers of a very bigoted group who were now out of the playhouse that was Duke and into a wider world with their selfrighteousness. Their horrible behavior allowed the public a look behind an academic curtain to find many there looking for a brain or courage or perhaps even a heart. The public never found any loking for the truth . . . perhaps one or two were off to see the Wizard.

Oz was more organize than that. They at least could follow the Yellow Brick Road. It is probably one of the reasons that KC called his efforts Durham-in-wonderland rather than something that had to do with the Tim Man.

The whole affair has been a pulling back of the curtain to see some of the worst behaviors and motives of even want-to be academics, and if you want to know the power of demigods, well, there it is. It is in the Duke lacrosse case.

As an aside and with perhaps an all too personal inclusion of the familiar, I would like to thank KC very much. I only met him once at a book signing in Durham at Duke, but thank you.

Anonymous said...

An essential difference between the blogs and the MSM is that the MSM must attract readers or viewers to survive. The tactics that they follow, "Dancer tells of ordeal" (the N&O's headline was something similar), do work in the short run.

I think the MSM would dispute the long term effects of such tactics. While they lower my interest in the MSM and probably the interest of many others that read this blog, is it clear that the big loss of readers/viewers is due even in part to these tactics?

Put another way, if the MSM behaved the way we would like, would their ratings/readership be better or worse?

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:50

"Put another way, if the MSM behaved the way we would like, would their ratings/readership be better or worse"

I can only speak for myself. I stopped subscribing to the Dallas Morning News five years ago when their constant environmentalist editorials made me nauseous. I won't even pay $.75 at the news stand for an occasional read. I stopped reading the NYT (web edition) about four years ago. IMO, the on-line news is light years ahead of MSM from both writing style and accuracy standpoint.

If they would compete for my readership I would certainly be reading them today.


Anonymous said...

KC one of the things about your blog since the beginning that has been helpful is the comments section. This has been informative to me and not just a congratulatory chorus for you. I appreciate the way you will take time to expand on certain points when a question comes up in the comments section. Back in the 0001 time of posting days it always amazed me how quickly people were on to the posts. this sense of evolution of the story was a difference from the MSM way of presentation which would never (mostly) correct a statement.
Sort of like how our government system has evolved to never admit a mistake. Right now it appears that Durham and Duke are in the reconciliation phase of this mess and the sooner they both would get with it the better off they would be for it in practice and spirit. But I will not hold my breath as entrenched parties are determined not to acknowledge the truth. Maybe that is why lady justice wears a blindfold.

Anonymous said...

Nice balanced article, KC: good to see it published.

And it flushed out one of the old inhabitants of the Cave: Weirdy of Woodhead! And to think I was naive enough to conclude that they had gone on to do something useful (like pumping gas) after being defeated in depth and in detail!


Anonymous said...

I am Woody of Woodshed! At least that is where I've been taken every day since I started posting about LAX, and, no, I don't have anything better to do!

Seriously, great article. In their own backyard, so to speak, no less. Why can't some of the 88 get published about the LAX case in the Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy? I believe that one of them is a "professor" at the law school now.

At a minimum, they should've been able to publish in the Duke Forum for Law & Social Change:

"The Duke Forum for Law & Social Change (DFLSC) is the newest addition to the Duke Law family of journals. Created from a mission to bring concrete social issues to the forefront of the Duke Law community, DFLSC will feature articles covering a wide range of social issues .... While DFLSC will produce a yearly publication, it strives to become a 'forum,' by going beyond publication. DFLSC has already begun many of its forum initiatives. In early March, the DFLSC held its first Diversity Town Hall Forum ...."

Anonymous said...

Nice article K.C. Concise, balanced and to the point.

Anonymous said...

Excellent piece ....I bet all the 88 wish they could think so clearly and write so well. History is showing the 88 for what THEY truly are: Racist morons.

A long time reader

Anonymous said...

Woody Of Woodside said...

Professor Johnson, how do you "know" that any/all attorneys who might have been ethically restricted from making comments about the case on the forums, did not in fact use pseudonyms and do just that???

2/10/09 4:15 PM

This is a good example of "begging the question" that I have seen in some time: The writer implies that the Lacrosse Boys' attorneys were subject to a gag order and then he asks KC if the attorneys may have used his blog to surreptiously violate the order.

There was no gag order in the Lacrosse Hoax. The defense lawyers were free to comment here or elsewhere in the media. So, that was a Hoax Question, befitting of the mindset that sought the destruction of the Lacrosse Boys and has now turned its sights on the Boys' champions, like KC.

It should be noted that the racist NC NAACP did seek to impose a gag order -- but one directed at the defense advocates, not at Nifong -- on the insane grounds of "preventing the defense attorneys from prejudicing the 'victim's' right to a fair trial." I suppose only the NAACP could hire a lawyer, Al McSurely, who would be too stupid to understand that it is defendants, not "victims", who have such a right.


Anonymous said...

Speaking of Al McSurely, who has been the "man behind the curtain" in the Crystal spoof masquerading as a "book," there is another interesting story about him. Early in the case, Kirk Osborn offered to show McSurely the case file so he could see firsthand the evidence.

He refused. Gee, I wonder why.

And RRH has given the CORRECT definition of "begging the question." A lot of people get that one wrong, as they think that "begging the question" means there is an implied question that has not been asked.

Instead, "begging the question" is a fallacy in which an assumption is also seen as a conclusion. We saw this fallacy at work many times in this case, and will continue to see it.

Anonymous said...

I'm at a loss to explain exactly why, but when I saw the following it made me think of Duke, the Klan of 88, the abettors, Durham, etc.

"We’ve lost two people in my family because you dickheads won’t cut trees down" - Warwick Spooner.

Mr. Spooner lost his mother and brother, as well as the family home due to "green" policies that prohibited them from removing dry brush around their home. His comment was made during a community meeting outside of Melbourne.

Choking back tears he (the local Fire Captain) told them: "I'm so terribly sorry. We desperately wanted to protect you but we couldn't.

Angry Survivors Blame Council...

Maybe that last comment is what got me - a person in a position of responsiblity realizing his fundamental job is to protect and he failed them. While at Duke/Durham the administration, faculty and other abettors, while in positions of trust, actively have tried to ruin several young men.

Maybe Duke students could compare and contrast the Fire Captain's reaction to their fires to the Duke response to the lacrosse hoax when they are next assigned a writing assignment from their neo-Marxist "teacher".

Debrah said...

Bill Chafe lends his expertise to this article.

No surprise.

If he and Tim Tyson didn't have this subject matter to use as the base of their lives, would they even have an identity?

The NAACP is struggling to survive because the organization is obsolete.

Debrah said...

From the N&O, we see that Tyson will be teaching a "free" class this Spring.


Tyson to lead Lenten course at Amity

Tim Tyson, a research scholar in the Department of History at Duke University and the author of "Blood Done Sign My Name," will teach a six-week course at Amity United Methodist Church from March 1 to April 5.

The textbook for this Lenten study is "The Cross in Black and White: Transcending Our History." The classes will explore Southern history, the religion of Jesus and paths toward redemption and reconciliation and will also use African American spirituals, Howard Thurman's "Jesus and the Disinherited" and the theology of James Cone.

The class will meet from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. on Sundays and is free. The textbook costs $7 and must be ordered in advance. Registration deadline is Monday, Feb. 23; register by calling the church at 967-7546 or email secretary@amityumc.org. Amity is at 825 N. Estes Drive.

Tyson's award-winning book has been used by dozens of colleges and community reading programs, including UNC-Chapel Hill in 2005. It is the autobiographical account of the 1970 murder in Oxford of a black U.S. Army veteran and the subsequent racial unrest that erupted when three white suspects were acquitted in a high-profile trial. At that time, the Rev. Vernon Tyson, Tim Tyson's father, was minister at Oxford United Methodist Church.

The award-winning "Blood Done Sign My Name" will return to its roots in a stage version of the historic events of 1970 on Friday, Feb. 13, at the Oxford City Hall Auditorium in Granville County.
In Mike Wiley's adaptation of the book, 20 characters are portrayed in the 90-minute show. The play is underscored with live music by gospel singer Mary D. Williams. Serena Ebhardt is the director. A motion picture based on the book recently completed filming in Shelby.

The show is set for 7:30 p.m. and is sponsored by the Granville County Human Relations Committee and Granville Little Theatre.

General admission is $10. Reservations can be made by calling the Granville Little Theatre box office at 919-482-0777 or online at tickets@granvillelittletheatre.com.

The auditorium is located at 300 Williamsboro St. in Oxford and will be open Monday through Thursday.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but in what must be the definition of chutzpah: rumor is that Duke is planning an eight-year, multi-billion dollar fundraising campaign.

Chris Halkides said...


Thank your for another clearly written article. The only area you do not discuss is the blogs that vilified the lacrosse players, which is something apart from the vile comments that you do mention. You would know better than almost anyone else, but it seems to me that Collin Finnerty and Ryan McFayden bore the brunt of much blogging, commentary that anyone will be able to find with Google for the foreseeable future. The least offensive of the negative commentary consisted of bargain basement psychological theorizing, and it only gets worse from there. One of the parents of the Duke three brought this point up with Leslie Stahl in the second 60 minutes segment on the case. The hate-filled blogs are probably the price that must be paid for DIW, FODU, liestoppers, and the other fine blogs that made such a difference.


Anonymous said...

Terrific piece. I am forwarding it to all my buddies. That the the article is published in a Duke Law School journal is rich indeed.


Debrah said...

Can't believe that I missed this one today.

That's what I get for not reading the paper.

Karla FC marinates once again in the subject she loves best.

Anonymous said...

Debrah, thanks for posting that link to the latest outrage from Karla Holloway. Her theme stuns me, as she now is complaining that Duke and other universities should not make it so obvious that they are recruiting a certain group of talented kids precisely because of the fact they are African-American.

Now, this is rich, very, very rich. If there is anyone who throws race into about everything, it is Holloway. Does anyone remember "white innocence means black guilt" almost three years ago? Yes, here is someone who insisted that the outcomes of this case be predetermined by race.

And who can forget Holloway's spreading of the fifth-hand lie of what some players allegedly said when the strippers arrived. She was trying to stir up racial hatred, and succeeded.

Holloway is yet another faux scholar who writes in garbled and dense prose, and wants us to think that such writing connotes brilliance. Right. Take away her ethnic status and she is just another Marxist blathering on and on. With Holloway, she can add her racism to the mix and -- Presto! -- she is a "brilliant" scholar instead of another mind-numbing rambler of obtuse words.

I would advise anyone to read K.C. and Holloway side-by-side and you would see what I mean. One person writes clearly, concisely, and actually says intelligent and perceptive things. The other, well, you know what the other person does.

Anonymous said...

From the KFC-H post...

"And let me be clear -- whatever incentives the university might design to attract minority students' consideration of our significant opportunities are absolutely necessary and appropriate interventions in the institutionalized patterns of racial privilege that emerged from years of de jure and de facto segregation."

What the hell kind of sentence is this?? For someone well known for their constipated verbiage, this is still quite an accomplishment. Unbelievably bad prose for a humanities "Professor".

And by the way, you pretentious little twit, it is customary to italicize the Latin phrases.

ES Duke 1990

Anonymous said...

The only "the institutionalized patterns of racial privilege" at Duke or any U.S. university are the ones that make "professors" like Holloway possible.


Anonymous said...

"For example, the hangman's noose on the door handle story involving Madeline Constantine at Cornell."

Madonna Constantine, not Madeline.

Anonymous said...


Interesting,... but, with all due respect, the intersection of the blogosphere and events as they unfold(ed) is a bit more complex and deserves a viewpoint of both the protagonist and antagonist. Although you have accurately portrayed contributions that clarified the understanding of interested readers, a more thorough analysis of the impact of those contributions on subsequent real-time thought processes could be quite revealing. Did the blogosphere's commentary affect the actions or thoughts of various actors in the case? If so, was there an iterative response with the blogosphere accurately identifying the actor's action/response and its relationship to the blogosphere?

You have touched on a quite interesting issue -- but one which deserves more study and a more robust set of examples.

But, as always, thank you for your thoughts.

Debrah said...

"Did the blogosphere's commentary affect the actions or thoughts of various actors in the case?"

Of course the commentary on the blogs---(most scorching to them was KC's work simply because they could not run from his vast knowledge of the academy)---affected their subsequent behavior and spawned endless attempts to rewrite what everyone witnessed in the Spring of 2006.

In almost every instance, the antagonists have been unsuccessful.

Since people like the Gang of 88, their mascot Timothy Tyson, Orin Starn, etc.....and the Duke administration are accustomed to changing the script when advantageous without anyone objecting, they fully expected to be able to "move on" from the Spring of 2006 without push-back.

Many of them still send in their little op-ed offerings to the local papers as a way to rehabilitate themselves.

None has ever answered for what they did and none has ever apologized.

This past week when I reminded a Tyson defender and close friend of his role in the Lacrosse Hoax, her response was to try to conceal her identity and post nasty comments on another forum which had nothing to do with the subject matter being discussed.

I will never comprehend how such people are allowed to teach at any reputable university in the country.

These characters are very disturbing to the senses.

Anonymous said...

@ Bill Anderson

I agree with you that KC knows how to write good English prose and Holloway does not. But her words are not "obtuse." Words cannot be obtuse, which means "stupid;" only people can be obtuse. Words can be obscure in that they are not widely known, e.g. "Hayekian." But there is nothing wrong with an obscure word if it captures the intended meaning precisely.

Actually, Holloway's words in the article cited by Debrah are not individually obscure. Rather Holloway has not organized her words so as to make her intended meaning clear. Too lazy to persuade, she merely tries to impress. I think the commenter who used the word "pretentious" made the more accurate diagnosis.


Anonymous said...

From the Holloway piece:

"I suspect there are quite a few parents like me, who hope that our children come to notice because of their character, integrity and intelligence."

On my first reading, I just thought it was nonsensical, which I expect from Holloway. After reading again and giving it some thought, I realized she meant 'be noticed.'

Was I being slow, am I overly critical of her writing or is she as ES Duke said, a pretentious little twit?

Debrah said...

TO (12:53 PM)--

I came upon that article late at night.

I'd already tossed the N&O print edition for the day because I didn't have the time to read it.

Before going to bed I went over to their website and checked the editorials.

It took me forever to finish reading Holloway's tortured op-ed.

Never begin reading anything written by this Gang of 88 bandleader when you're sleepy.

I find Bill's analysis on point.

Holloway has twisted herself into a pretzel....doing a 180 on this subject.

Gary Packwood said...

Holloway's Come To Notice

I think that is exactly what she meant to write.

Several times in my life I have encountered relatives and business associates who speak and write in 'high' British English in both Great Britain and India.

For example,

It has come to notice that...
How crimes come to police notice

I thought she was having a little fun with privileged 'white folk' English...just to see if anyone was awake.

I stopped saying anything negative about black dialect after watching (slogging through) my first English comedy on the Telly.

Anonymous said...


You are good, really good. I have learned something from your comments and absolutely agree with you.

I also loved the "constipated verbiage" line from ES Duke 1990, and it is so true. As for the "noose" at Constantine's door, gee, it sure appeared at an opportune time, and everyone knows that the Ku Klux Klan runs wild at Columbia University.

In other words, that noose was planted, something a person like the supposedly-intelligent Karla Holloway should know. Of course, maybe she does know it, but wants to throw in her "constipated verbiage," anyway.

Debrah said...

Here is a comical Gang of 88 mascot Tyson update.

Anonymous said...

Debrah has been raising this book that Tyson wrote, Blood Done Sign My Name, a few times recently, and a DiW visitor has directed us to a website that purports to discredit the book.

To recap the central incident: On May 11, 1970, after consuming an unknown amount of malt liquor, a 23-year-old black man, Henry “Dickie” Marrow and a number of other black men approached a white-owned business where a young white wife, Judy Teel, and her 18-year-old husband, Robert, were working. It is undisputed, even by Tyson, that Marrow said to Mrs. Teel, “Do you want to fuck?” When young Mr. Teel objected, saying, “That’s my wife you’re talking to!”, Marrow said, “I’ll fuck her and your mother, too!” (Marrow’s comments are characterized by Tyson, in a phrase adopted by the fawning media, as “flirtatious remarks”. One wonders how Tyson would have characterized identical remarks if made by Lacrosse Boys to “Precious” Mangum.) What happened after this is a matter of dispute.

According to Tyson, he was ten-years-old at the time of the incident and describes it this way:
”A boy that I played with every day [Gerald Teel, the son of Larry Teel, brother of Robert Teel, and step-brother of Roger Oakley] came up in my driveway and said, ‘Daddy and Roger and ‘em shot ‘em a nigger.’ And what he was telling me was that his father and two of his older brothers had murdered a man named Henry Marrow. Henry Marrow was 23, he was just home from the military, had two little girls, and his wife was pregnant with a third. And he went in the Teele’s store out at the crossroads of 158 and 96 and may have made what was perceived to be a flirtatious remark to Mr. Teele’s daughter-in-law, and paid for it with his life. They killed him as he lay on his back, pleading for his life, about 150 or 200 feet off of their property, completely immobilized by the beating they had given him with their guns.
“Now that was what Gerald was telling me about. I didn’t know all of that at the time. I did go down to the corner a little while later with my sister and see Ku Klux Klansmen all over the front porch of Gerald’s house. And when we went to school the next morning, there wasn’t any play class left in Oxford, we had had a big riot. That summer we had a murder trial in which my friend’s father and one of his brothers [Robert, but not Roger – many accounts state falsely that Roger was also a defendant] stood trial for murder. “

See also, this Tyson version.

In defendants’ version of events, the father (Larry) and step-brother (Roger) came with guns to Robert’s defense after Marrow threatened Robert with “a large knife”. As Marrow turned to flee, Larry shot him with a shotgun in either the thigh or the buttocks (accounts vary). Roger then shot Marrow in the head, accidently, he says, when he was jostled in the melee. Larry and Robert were acquitted of murder charges by an all-white jury. Roger was never tried.

Robert Teel says that Tyson could not have heard on the evening of May 12, 1970, from Gerald Teel that “Daddy and Roger and ‘em shot ‘em a nigger” for two reasons: First, Robert claims that the Teel boys were not friends with Tyson, and that in fact they disliked him. Second, Robert claims that the Teel younger children were taken into hiding immediately after the incident, so that Gerald Teel could not have made this remark to Tyson even if he wanted to. (“Immediately following the shooting incident we locked up the businesses and went straight to the Police Station in Oxford. My brother's [sic] left Granville County on May 12, 1970 in the morning hours.” Robert supports his recollection with a newspaper article that states that the younger Teels “did not return to school in Oxford after May 11.”)

Robert Teel also disputes Tyson’s contention that after Marrow’s death “men draped in white robes and hoods” stood guard over the Teel’s property. Most devastating to Tyson’s version of history is Robert’s evidence contradicting Tyson’s claim that a memorial march for the dead was fired upon by Ku Klux Klansmen. This contention is disproved by three different contemporaneous newspaper accounts of the march. This is a strange error for Tyson to make, given that he claimed to have read all the newspaper accounts of the incident.

Finally, there is a bizarre “contract for legal services” apparently penned by Tyson and signed by him and Gerald Teel in 1984. What can be the story of this I cannot say. Others are free to try to interpret the contract’s origin and meaning.


Debrah said...


You've done well with that general analysis.

I wish you would lend your expertise to the person on that website.

It is indeed a serious issue if Tyson has used whipped-up tales for that little book of his.

Judging from his oily fabrications and lies about Reade, Collin, and David, I would have no trouble believing much of his tale is just that.

Of course everyone knows the racial climate in the entire country at that time.

That's why someone like Tyson would easily embellish to turn his peripheral experience into one that was an up-close account.

That little scribbled "contract' that he signed along with the defendants is very telling.

He lied to them to get inside information.

He made them think that he was on the story with their interests in mind and he lied when he said he was going to law school.

That changes the entire complexion of things, IMO.

Someone really needs to do a thorough investigation into Tyson's account of this and how he's lived off the tale all his adult life.

By the way, I had no idea that Marrow said those words to the man's wife. Tyson has always downplayed it into mere flirtation.

I can think of a lot of men who would react viciously if another man had the indecency to say such a thing to their wife.

That certainly does not excuse murder; however, it still has not been proven that it was murder.

I simply have great difficulty in believing anything that Tim Tyson says.

He has always known that with the slightest embellishment people would dive right into his tale.

Similar to the Lacrosse Hoax.

A certain element loved it.

Lastly, would it not be grand justice if as a result of Tyson trying to thwart due process and do harm to three innocent young men in 2006 that his little book would be discovered to have so many fabrications that it destroys his race-hustling career?


Kantian said...


Thank you for being so observant to the
website and you did a good job on your summary of the information there.
You are seeing Tim Tyson's lies and embellishment of the book.
If you don't mind keep a eye on the website, because there will be some more information coming.
The book is a piece of cake to discredit.
If you can read into this, struggling with releasing information due to the movie.
You just had some of the Teel's names confused on your post between the father and sons.No big deal. (LOL)


Kantian said...

To Debrah,

Thank You!

Anonymous said...


You're right: I got the names of the father, Robert, and the older son, Larry, reversed. The cause for my confusion is that the son's full name apparently is "Robert Larry". I hope this error of mine will not render my summation completely unhelpful. The narrative on the site itself is not a model of clarity.