Posted in C-Haze

Be-Lo Murders

In honor of my recent return to my home state of North Carolina, I thought I’d highlight one of my pet cases from right here in the Tar Heel State.

Windsor, NC is a small town in northeastern NC, in what’s known as the Inner Banks part of the state. The population (as of 2018) is roughly 3,630 people. The town’s pretty diverse, compared to other small towns in the area- approximately 45% white, 53% black.

On June 6, 1993, two employees of the Be-Lo Grocery store locked up for the night. It was Sunday, and the store closed at 6 PM. Shortly thereafter, four members of a third-party cleaning crew that had been hired by the store owners arrived to begin their shift. By the end of the evening, three people would be dead, two would be seriously injured, and one would escape physically unharmed.

A man had come into the store earlier, prior to its closing, hiding inside until after the place had been locked up for the night. He robbed the store of more than $3,000 in cash and money orders, and forced manager Grover Cecil, along with cashier Joyce Reason to the rear of the store. He then made Cecil get four cleaning crew members to join them in the rear aisle.

The manager was then forced to bind the other five, using duct tape and dog leashes. When finished, the perpetrator bound Cecil in a similar fashion. He then stacked the six victims on top of each other in three stacks; two people in each stack, and began shooting with a .45 caliber hand gun. He fired three shots – one through each stack – killing three people before his gun jammed. The deceased were Grover Cecil, Joyce Reason, and a cleaning crew member named Johnnie Rankins. A second cleaning crew member was also hit by one of the three bullets, but survived. His name was Sylvester Welch.

With his gun jammed, the killer walked away from his captives, returning shortly with a knife, which he found in one of the rear storerooms. He then stabbed another cleaning crew member- Jasper Hardy- multiple times in the throat and back with such force the knife broke. The sixth victim, the final member of the cleaning crew, was left unharmed. His name, Thomas Hardy. Hardy had been placed on the bottom of one of the stacks the killer had shot through, so the bullets had missed him altogether. He pled with the murderer to spare him, claiming he wouldn’t be able to identify him anyway. The killer, it seems, believed him.

The man then gathered the money he’d stolen, the knife he’d found inside the store, and the store keys and left.

He has never been found.

Sylvester Welch, though gravely injured, crawled to the front of the store and called for help, leaving a trail of blood. The carnage was the worst first responders had ever seen. In interviewing the survivors, key information was learned. The suspect was described as a black male – initially thought to be in his 20s, this was later revised to an older man, possibly in his 30s. The man was tall, 6’0″-6’2″, with short hair, light brown eyes, and weighing approximately 170-200 lbs.

The man claimed to have been an ex-police officer, fired from his job over a drug deal gone wrong. Witnesses say they saw a small white car with Maryland plates driving north on US 17 immediately following the crime.

Authorities are skeptical that the man is ex-law enforcement, as this tip led nowhere. He may have just made up a story to tell to evade capture. Some have speculated that he may have been a current or past member of the military, as there are several bases relatively close by.

Was this his first time?

About a year after the brutal Be-Lo murders in Windsor, NC, another Be-Lo store was robbed in nearby Hertford, NC. The similarities are eerie.

According to assistant store manager Dwayne Gilliam (who had once worked at the Windsor store in the ’80s), a gunman hid in the Hertford store until closing. He bound Gilliam and a co-worker with duct tape and a dog leash, escaping with an unknown amount of money. Thankfully no one was killed.

Still…

Hiding in the store until it’s closed? Binding victims with duct tape and a dog leash? Stealing cash? If unrelated, it seems this was a copy-cat crime, at best.

If you have any information about this case, contact the Windsor Police Department at (252) 794-3111, or the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation at (800) 334-3000.

There is a 30,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the Be-Lo killer.

Posted in Barack Obama, Basketball, C-Haze, Current Events, Economy, Funny, Humor, NCAA, News, Politics, President, Sports

Duke Is Puke

I hear Duke’s Coach K doesn’t appreciate that Obama has been making NCAA Final Four picks.

He claims he thinks the Prez should be concentrating on the economy.

I have to wonder if he’d feel the same way if Duke had made its way into Obama’s bracket.

Anyway- I tend to agree with Obama on most issues- and his Final Four picks are no different.

My father, the UNC grad, taught me the following- I live by it:

Duke is puke

Wake is fake

The team I hate is NC State

GO TARHEELS!!!

Posted in C-Haze, Elections, News, Politics

Desperate Dole Manufactures Godless Hagan

What a week.

With all the political maneuvering, manipulating and mudslinging, I had to take a step back and regroup for a few days.

It’s a rare occassion indeed that the C-Haze finds herself at a loss for words… but really… I have been speechless.

I did learn that ugliness isn’t a tactic the GOP only reserves for national politics, in hopes of securing the presidency.

It’s a tactic that the party uses on the state level too, as we saw with Elizabeth Dole’s (R-NC) “Godless” ad campaign against challenger Kay Hagan.

Of course the ad is completely bogus… it isn’t even Hagan’s voice at the end, claiming “there is no God”…

Now I find myself shaking my heads at yet another example of a Republican candidate who still doesn’t understand that Americans are tired of this nonsense.

This hateful, boogey-man-in-a-democrat’s-suit-who-will-take-all-your-money-and-turn-you-into-a-communist-heathen angle they seem to be pushing simply isn’t working.

The GOP is behind in all the polls… many prominent Republicans are outright endorsing Barack Obama… suddenly there’s the very real possibility of the Dems seizing both the presidency AND congress in just a few days.

And yet they still just don’t get it.

When Hagan sued for defamation, Dole responded with…

… yet another “Godless” ad.

Hagan is currently in the lead in the senate race.

This “scare the hell out of everybody- even if it means just outright lying about the opponent” tactic simply isn’t working anymore.

Bush sucked that particular line of attack dry.

People simply aren’t afraid of the GOP-concocted boogey-man anymore.

In fact, many of us would rather take our chances with this elusive boogey-man than live through another 4 years of what we’ve had shoved down our throats over the last 8.

Will the Repubs ever learn?

I’ve posted both of Elizabeth Dole’s ads below.

Here’s the first ad that ran:

And the second:

Posted in C-Haze, Funny, Humor, Memories, Nostalgia

St. Louis, New Jersey

I’m originally from Charlotte, NC. I was born in a little coastal town on the outer-banks of North Carolina, and moved to Charlotte to live with my “new” family (I’m adopted) when I was a relatively young child. My family was upper middle class… we took the nice vacations every year to Disney World, Washington, DC, the Space Station in Alabama, etc. We were close enough to the ocean to make day trips (or at the very least, short weekend trips). I never imagined I would find myself anywhere other than North Carolina. It had everything- the ocean, the mountains, historical landmarks, big cities, small towns, and the weather was awesome year-round. Plus, my dad’s alma mater, UNC was there. No way was I ever leaving.

We lived in a large house in a nice little neighborhood. We had several cars, and my older brother was driving a nice new Cadillac- at 17.

I have 3 brothers, one of which is about the same age as me (like me, he was adopted). Another is older- he was getting ready to graduate high school as I was finishing up 7th grade; the other was 5 years my junior.

For the purpose of this story, it was the end of 7th grade. I’d been having some trouble in school… fell in with the wrong crowd, skipped class, stole a car, got kicked off the school bus for fighting, and was otherwise terrorizing my parents. I think I was technically failing the grade itself.

On this particular night, my parents decided to take us to dinner, which was rare on a school night, in the middle of the week. My oldest brother had to work, so it was just my 2 other brothers, my parents and myself that would be going. They took us to a nice place, and as soon as the waitress brought our drinks, my mom looked at my dad and said, “Well, should we tell them?”

Uh oh. Tell “them” what?

My dad smiles and says, “No, why don’t we let them guess?”

Immediately I said, “Oh no. You’re pregnant”

My mother says, emphatically, “I better not be”

Ok, so what is it? I was stumped… are they finally making good on their promise to send me to military school?

I decided to take another stab- “Are we moving?”

Mom says, “Yes, but where?”

I’m getting annoyed. That’s it? That’s the big news? We’ve moved 3 times in the past 8 years, so what else is new? We always go to a bigger house, in a nicer neighborhood, but our school district always stays the same. Who cares?

So I say, “I don’t know, where?”

That’s when she drops the bomb. “St. Louis”

Where the hell is that? I ask, “St. Louis, New Jersey?”

Mom laughs, and dad just sits there (likely pondering how he raised such a dumb daughter). She corrects me by saying, “No, no. St. Louis, Missouri”

I’m dumbfounded… really? Almost immediately, I realize that this could be my ticket. This could change my life; I’m moving far, far away, and no one will know one thing about me that I don’t want them to. How sweet is that?!?!

My brother, the one that’s about my age, seemed devastated by this news. He immediately, without saying a word, puts his head on the table and starts to sob. Wuss.

My other brother, my youngest, is the most excited of all. He smacks his fist on the table, yelling, “Holy shit!” (in a positive way). His hand hits his fork, sending it flying across the room, hitting our approaching waitress squarely in the face.

Finally, I think to ask… “Why?”

My dad takes over the conversation by saying, “I’ve been called”

I’m confused. “Called by who? Like on the telephone?”

“No” he says, “I’ve been called to the ministry”

Ministry? What the hell’s a ministry? Like church or something? My dad’s gonna be a nun?

Turns out, yes. Exactly like church (not so much like a nun though). My father, at 45 years of age, was giving up his lucrative job as the VP of Finance for a prestigious healthcare company to become a minister. I then learned that in just a few weeks we would be packing everything, and moving from our vast home in Charlotte, NC to a tiny 3 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment in St. Louis. In fact, it wasn’t a real apartment we’d be living in. It was a dorm, on campus at Eden Seminary. He would spend his days earning his Masters of Divinity- for 3 full years- and then become an ordained pastor. From there, he’d be assigned a church, and where we’d end up is anyone’s guess.

Well clearly, it was time to buckle up and hang on for dear life. We were embarking on a hell of an adventure…

Geez. Talk about your midlife crisis.