the state


-of staunton murders; chloe sevigny by jgrimsrud
Sunday, 25 January 2009, 21:01
Filed under: -of bios, -of civil rights, -of jgrimsrud, -of politik, -of style, -of the new year

the new york times ran a piece today about sharon diane crawford smith, who in 1967 killed two coworkers at the high’s ice cream store in staunton, and herself died last week.  the times got a (horrible) quote from a local cop about the cold case that ms. smith’s deathbed confession seems to have solved:

Ms. Smith, 61, died Monday, more than a month after her arrest in the deaths of the victims, Constance Smootz Hevener, 19, and her 20-year-old sister-in-law, Carolyn Hevener Perry, on April 11, 1967. Ms. Smith told investigators she shot both women in the head in the back room of the ice cream shop because they teased her about being homosexual, Mr. Robertson and the police chief, Jim Williams, said.

“That was different in 1967 than it is today, extremely different,” [commonwealth attorney] Mr. Robertson said. “It would have been a matter that it would have had different ramifications that it would today if it had been made public.”

so i guess attitudes about “it” are a little different than they were in 1967…maybe by 2020 or so virginia’s public officials will even be able to choke out the words “lesbian” or “homosexual.”

an interesting piece of this is that, according to the times and the waynesboro news virignian, smith said then staunton police investigator davie bocock “buried the gun in a metal box,” and protected smith during the subsequent investigation.

sounds like the public will probably never learn the details of the ’67 tragedy.  but the whole affair reminds me a bit of the story behind the 1999 film boys don’t cry, in which chloe sevigny played brandon teena played the girlfriend of brandon teena, a transgendered teen murdered by his girlfriend’s family in 1993 in nebraska.

which reminds me of chloe sevigny’s great role in hbo’s big love, set to begin its 3rd season, the first season for this mormon-themed love-polygon since the church of jesus christ of latter day saints’ role in promoting california’s anti-gay proposition 8.

all very sobering topics, but ¡we’re looking forward to see what chloe has in store for us this year!


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3 Comments so far
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Ray Robertson did use the word lesbian in his initial statement regarding Smith’s motive. I believe the quote from the NYT was from later in the press conference. The crazy thing is later on Friday someone from the Staunton News Leader turned the gun over to the police. Bocock gave it to her husband, also a Staunton cop. Incredible to see a Valley story grabbing national headlines like this. Someone told me they also saw it on CNN’s frontpage.
Oh and, Hilary Swank portrayed Brendan Teena. The truly sad thing is that the Brendan Teena story occurred 26 years after the High’s Ice Cream murders and 5 years before Matthew Shepard, etc., etc…

Comment by TM

yes, thanks–didn’t hillary swank win her first oscar for that role? chloe sevigny was my favorite part of the film, tho looking at the biography around the people who inspired the characters, she doesn’t seem like quite as glowing an example of human decency.
i’m sure robertson used the word lesbian at some point, since the point got out in the news–but butchering the grammar of his sentences w/ awkward pronouns struck me as sad, considering his point about how much things have changed since ’67.

Comment by vastate

[…] of him painted in this profile? a prosecutor whose two main achievements seem to be closing out a cold murder case & doing something (what exactly?) to stick it to a staunton porn vendor seems a questionable […]

Pingback by -of porn; staunton « the state




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