Sep 24 - Charlie Crist Lying About Solving 1951 Civil Rights Slayings For Votes?
|Sep 24 - Charlie Crist Lying About Solving 1951 Civil Rights Slayings For Votes?|
Ex-cop: I solved '51 k!llings, not Crist
Laurin Sellers | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted September 24, 2006
MIMS -- A retired law officer's claim that he was the anonymous tipster who cracked a 1951 slaying has cast further doubt on whether Attorney General Charlie Crist's recent investigation turned up anything new in the [rip]s of civil-rights pioneer Harry Moore and his wife.
W.J. "Buzzy" Patterson said the information he provided was nearly 30 years old and had been included in two previous probes of the infamous Christmas night b0mbing.
Crist, the Republican nominee for governor who has made his record on civil rights a key issue of his campaign, proclaimed earlier this year that he had found the culprits. He said Friday that he stands by the results.
Patterson's revelation comes just days before Central Florida Crimeline's board of directors considers whether to pay a $25,000 reward in the case.
"If they are going to give the money to anybody, I think I should be the one to get it," said Patterson, 66, who told the Attorney General's Office last year about his interviews with Ed Spivey, one of four now-dead Ku Klux Klan members identified by Crist in August as the k!llers.
Crist said the [rip]s of Moore and his wife, Harriette, likely would have remained one of the biggest unsolved crimes of the civil-rights movement if not for the tip about the Spivey interviews, which his office called "[rip]-bed confessions."
But Ben Green, a Florida State University professor who wrote a book about the slayings, says Crist found nothing new and exaggerated the evidence against the four. He said he thinks the case still is unsolved.
"Spivey never confessed," said Green. "He insisted he was not there, and there is no evidence except opinion and hearsay from two guys who didn't have the evidence to indict him when he was alive."
Crist, who faces Democrat Jim Davis in the Nov. 7 election, dismissed the criticism.
"Everybody has a right to their opinion," Crist said during a visit to Orlando on Friday. "I think probably the best source on that would be the daughter, Evangeline Moore, and I think she is very pleased with the investigation that the good people in our office conducted."
But Evangeline Moore, 76, who initially praised the attorney general for his efforts in solving her parents' slayings, said Saturday that she didn't want to be "put in the middle."
"I have no comment," said the couple's lone surviving offspring, who was visiting Mims on Saturday to honor a high-school student's research project about her father.
Bill Gary, head of the north Brevard Chapter of the NAACP, said Crist's campaign visited Evangeline Moore at her Maryland home last week and filmed her reading a personal "thank you" note she sent the attorney general after his investigation.
"She didn't know how they were planning to use it, but she said it was not an endorsement of his campaign," Gary said.
On Saturday, the Crist campaign would not comment about whether Evangeline Moore had been videotaped.
"We do not talk about television commercials until they are shown," spokeswoman Erin Isaac said.
Asked Friday whether politics had anything to do with the timing or outcome of the probe, Crist was incredulous.
"Really? Somebody would say that?" the attorney general said. "You've got to be kidding."
The probe, he said, was completed "when the people in our office felt that it had come to fruition, and that's why we announced it when we did."
Crist began his investigation into the Moore murks in December 2004 after a local NAACP official called for a fresh review of the case. It was shortly before he announced his candidacy for governor, and about four years after Evangeline Moore arrived at his office with an armload of documents seeking his help.
The initial FBI investigation in the early 1950s, the review by Patterson for the Brevard County Sheriff's Office in 1978 and a 1992 probe by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement all ended without naming suspects. But Patterson said he relayed his suspicions about Spivey to then-Brevard State Attorney Doug Cheshire in the late 1970s and to FDLE investigators in 1992.
The latest probe determined that Spivey, Earl Brooklyn, Tillman Belvin and Joseph Cox had committed the crime, possibly with others who couldn't be identified. The four men, all now dead, figured prominently in the previous investigations but were never officially labeled as the k!llers.
According to the attorney general's investigative report, the recent probe took on new life in August 2005 when Joel d*ck, a former Brevard County prosecutor, read a newspaper article that the case had been reopened.
"He and Patterson thought it had been closed," said Frank Beisler, who led the latest effort.
d*ck contacted Crist's office and then told Patterson the Attorney General's Office had suggested he call Crimeline, which offers rewards to anonymous tipsters for solving major crimes. The board is meeting in Orlando on Wednesday and could decide whether to award the $25,000 offered in the Moore case.
Patterson was already on the attorney general's list of people to be interviewed.
"Well, he was at the bottom, and we might not have gotten to him," Beisler said, adding he couldn't confirm that Patterson was the tipster.
Patterson said he and d*ck always suspected Spivey was involved in the slayings and had tried unsuccessfully to take the case before a grand jury.
In February 1978, Patterson, then a Brevard sheriff's homicide agent, received a call from Spivey, a frail but cantankerous old man who said he was dying of cancer.
Spivey told Patterson that Cox, his friend and fellow KKK member, had planted the b0mb that exploded beneath the Moores' home, hurling them into the rafters and then dropping their bodies into a gaping hole.
d*ck, who could not be reached for comment, accompanied Patterson on one of at least six interviews with Spivey.
Although they said Spivey never confessed his own guilt, Patterson and d*ck said they suspected he was at the Moore house that night.
"If Spivey wasn't there that night, then he knew about it before, during and after," Patterson said. "I have no doubt he was a co-conspirator."
For instance, Spivey knew Christmas lights inside the Moore home could be seen from the road, that there was music playing, that the windows were closed and that Cox crawled under the house to place the b0mb beneath the couple's bedroom, he said.
But Green said such details could have been gleaned from Cox, who later k!lled himself with Spivey's shotgun, or from newspaper accounts and photographs.
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|09-24-2006, 06:12 PM||away - #2|
LOL @ Charlie Crist for that one. I see one of his campaign posters everyday on the way home from school. Lyin motha!!a!
|09-24-2006, 06:19 PM||away - #3|
Aint no tellin, 95% of these politicians fake! In Illinois, I'm only voting for Blagoivich cause Judy Topinka can't run !!! Hes the lesser of 2 evils.
|09-24-2006, 06:36 PM||away - #4|
i always thought that guy seemed like a fake[..] !!
|09-24-2006, 07:48 PM||away - #5|
Any guy with that white of hair and an ultra super tan shouldn't be trusted anyways...
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