Anti Violence Group Decry Crime in Charlotte

Twenty-two homicides. Fifty-four days.

Members of the anti-violence group Mothers of Murdered Offspring recited that grim statistic Sunday afternoon as they turned out to an east Charlotte cemetery to protest the surge in Charlotte’s murder rate this year.

Put another way, Charlotte has so far seen, on average, almost three murders per week in 2019. That compares to a little over one per week last year.

“We’re at the point that we could be at record numbers,” said Lisa Crawford, the administrator for Mothers of Murdered Offspring who was among those who turned out for the windy news conference. “And if we don’t stand up and say, ‘People look. It could be you. It could be me,’ we could be another Chicago.”


Dee Sumpter also showed up for the event at Sharon Memorial Gardens. That’s where her daughter, Shawna Denise Hawk, was buried in 1993 after she was murdered by serial killer Henry Louis Wallace.

“I can’t believe, 26 years later, that I’m still here. And I’m still making this plea,” Sumpter said. “We can’t let the blood of our children run through the streets of a city that views itself as progressive. It’s unacceptable.”

The event’s organizers urged Charlotteans to do four things to stem the murderous trend:

  • “See something. Say something.” They urged citizens to call Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department detectives or the department’s Crime Stoppers team at 704-334-1600.
  • Be aware that “Black Lives Matter.” Too often, Crawford said, black people are killing black people. “It’s become part of the norm,” she said. “We have got to stop killing each other.”
  • ”Be your brother’s keeper.” Often, Crawford said, people know when friends and loved ones have beefs with others – and they could step in before things turn deadly.
  • “Get involved.” One way, Crawford said, is to teach children that they shouldn’t celebrate violence. She pointed to the many kids who are allowed to play video games where the objective is to kill others. “Parents — What are we doing?” Crawford asked.

Sgt. Ricky Robbins, supervisor of CMPD’s victim’s services unit, also turned out for the event. He acknowledged that the city is going through a particularly murderous period, and said that police must work with others to determine what is causing it — and how to stop it.

“This is a business city,” Robbins said. “And people want to believe they’re safe. We have to keep them safe.”

It seems like history is repeating itself in Charlotte.  Here’s a video chronicling 1993 as being the highest murder toll ever, with 129 murders that year.


Media’s Lack of Coverage and General Society’s Lack of Compassion Regarding Serial Murders of Black Women (A Repost)

Media’s Lack of Coverage and General Society’s Lack of Compassion Regarding Serial Murders of Black Women

“This thing is serious business, until we know women are safe in this community, we will be out here every year,” – Activist Kathy Wray of the Imperial Women Coalition

“We all know, if these young women had been white, the whole town would have been shut down, until it was solved.”- Commenter Mike at Abagond regarding the Henry Louis Wallace serial killings of 11 young Black women in Charlotte
“The police don’t care because these are black women… . It’s not like Lonnie killed no high-powered white folks.  We don’t mean nothing to them.  We’re black. What the @@@@. Just another @@@@@ dead.  The @@@@ should not have been out there on drugs.”
Pamela Brooks, in “Tales of the Grim Sleeper”

This year will be the 10th anniversary of the Imperial House Murders(Anthony Sowell), the 25th anniversary of Henry Louis Wallace(Taco Bell Strangler), and the 40th anniversary of the  Boston Murders.


This will be a year-long series on how mainstream media and society disregards the serial murders of Black women in America.  Eleven years ago, I wrote a blog post, Crimes Against Black Women:  Four Casesregarding the neglect of media and police coverage regarding murders of Black women by people of all races and ethnicities as well as the insensitivity of the general public.  I going to discuss the Anthony Sowell murders, along with the Grim Reaper, and of course, Henry Louis Wallace(a.k.a. Bad Henry).  There has been other serial murderers of Black women in the past and current centuries.  Such as Gary Heidnikwho murdered several Black women in the Philadelphia area. Benjamin Atkins in Detroit in 1991-1992 murders of 11 women.  East Cleveland killer Michael Madison.  Larry Bright killed eight Black women in the Peoria area back during 2004-2005.  The Gary Indiana killer back in 2012.  The still unsolved serial murder case in Rocky Mount, N.C. in 2009.  But my focus will be on the four cases at hand.  The  police  should have warned that a murderer in the community and to make sure community has an input in solving murders and to bring the perpetrators to justice.  How the media should have had more sensitivity to those who are marginalized.

Bad Henry: Nightmare in Charlotte amid the 1990s prosperity 
Here are some of Henry Louis Wallace victims from Bad Henry
Very beautiful young women victims of Henry Louis Wallace from 1994 USA Today’s group photo

 This Vice News documentary needs to be spread to everyone who is concerned with justice and compassion for the most marginalized groups in America.  

The invisible victims of Anthony Sowell:

The Grim Sleeper Documentary

Here are some of Chester Turner’s victims, pretty young women 

There will be at least four parts to this subject.  Because this is repeatedly ignored by the general public, society and media. Professor Cheryl L Neely of Oakland(MI) Community College discussed this lack of attention and police indifference in her debut book, You’re Dead, So What.  She discussed at length how media, law enforcement, and the general public indifference to Black female victims of homicide.  She give examples and comparison between the murder of Imette St. Guillen and Stepha Clark.  How the media and the police treatment of such women are base upon socioeconomic class and race.  

We all know that mainstream media often saturate missing and murdered women with stories about beautiful, middle class White and Latina female victims such as Chandra Levy, Mollie Tibbitts, Nixzmary Brown, Laci Peterson, Kate Steinle, etc. There’s a label for the aforementioned victims, coined as  the “Missing Beautiful White Woman Syndrome.”  They’re also considered victims deserving of sympathy, compassion, and empathy.  Sure, the pedestalization of White American women help solidify the idea of young, beautiful White women as worthy of remembrance. They, along with lighter-skinned non black women of Color are the standard of beauty in America today.   We Americans still refer to celebrity White women as American Sweethearts who captured the hearts of Americans and others worldwide.  They’re considered as sweet, easy on the eyes, and personable.  Also, non black women and girls get the assumption of innocence regardless of circumstances.

In contrast, society have very little compassion for Black women victims of crime, let alone serial killers.  As a matter of fact, Black female victims are labeled in American society and media as being “loose”, “fast”, “crackheads”, “runaways”, drug users, “sluts”,”whores”, “thots”, mentally unstable, “baby-making machines”, and “welfare queens”. Likewise, the mainstream American media and the general public tendency to label Black females as “street women”, “Chickenheads”,”prostitutes”,  “ghetto”,”junkies”, “ratchet” and so on.  For a very long time, Black women academics long contended that the controlling images of Black women(Jezebel, Mammy, Sapphire, Welfare Queen, Crackheads, etc.) are employed to stigmatize an already marginalized group of women. The jezebelstereotype especially. That stereotype justified abuse of Black women by White and Black men since slavery.  Such abuse rarely invoke outrage from the public.  That needs to change.

Going back to the Madonna/whore ideology. From historic times, society in general always label women as either good, chaste women, wives, mothers, nuns or they’re loose women, prostitutes, and mistresses/courtesans.  Renaissance artists reflected societal views of women through the Madonna paintings by famous artists Lippi,BotticelliRaphael, etc., or nude paintings such as the Venus of Urbino by Titian.  

In American society, the Madonna/whore ideology is strong, tinged with class and race components.  White and other non black women, especially East Asian women are considered the “sacred Madonna” while Black, Native American, and certain Latinas, especially the Caribbean Latinas are labeled as “bad women” deserving of their fate.  This view is far more widespread as the lack of coverage, the disparaging remarks in and out of cyberspace, and general indifference on the part of law enforcement to solve murders of Black women in America and Indigenous women in Canada.  

The Madonna/whore mythology were used in how the public reacted to murders of Black women.

For example, the Cleveland convenience store owner showed sympathy to Anthony Sowell, whom he said in the Unseen interview that “he took out the garbage”.  That’s a blatantly hateful remark.  He saw the victims, living and dead, of Anthony Sowell as being “worthless” and “undeserving” to him.  In referring to the slow reaction on the part of Charlotte police in connection with the Henry Louis Wallace serial murder case, a concerned young woman in East Charlotte stated that the police did not care because they viewed the young female murder victims as “fast girls who hang out a lot”.

In the December 2014 issue of Vanity Fair article covering the Grim Sleeper and how law enforcement turned a blind eye to the serial murder of Black women, Franklin’s son Christopher describes meeting L.A.P.D. officers who asked if they could shake his hand, aware that he was the son of the Grim Sleeper. Broomfield was dumbstruck by the revelation. “Christopher told me his father had a lot of fans in law enforcement. Some police officers actually admired Lonnie for ‘cleaning up the streets.’ That seemed, to me, too incredible—that a serial killer could be a person who was respected within certain sections of law enforcement.” Unfortunately, those attitudes are widespread in society, seeing poor, Native American, Latina, and Black women as being of lesser value than other American women.  

There’s a deeply troubling disparity in reporting the disappearance and homicides of female victims reflects racial inequality and institutionalized racism in the social structure. Oftentimes when reporting, there’s a considerable bias when it comes to Black American female murder victims.  The reporters always want probe into the backgrounds of such women, their sexual histories, criminal records, the neighborhoods where they reside, their work/education backgrounds, history of drug/alcohol addictions, and whom their associations were as if they done something wrong to cause their demise.  

They were rarely described in the media as being attractive, beautiful, smart, intelligent, serious, wonderful wives, good mothers, or pretty.  Those descriptions are reserved for middle/upper class and/or famous non black victims.  With precious few exceptions, there are very few media outlets cover Black female homicide/serial murder victims with sympathy and compassion.  

The Cleveland victims of Anthony Sowell  received coverage and even some compassion from local newspaper journalists. Writer Steve Miller wrote a compassionate book focusing on the victims and their lives in the book, Nobody’s Women:  The Crimes and Victims of Anthony Sowell. They didn’t focus too much on the victims’ drug/alcohol addictions, criminal records, poor family lives, etc.  Instead, they discuss about their lives before circumstances took them away.  Even the Grim Sleeper victims are rehabilitated by author Christine Pilasek in her book, The Grim Sleeper:  Lost Women of South L.A.  Of course, the beautiful victims of Henry Louis Wallace.  Although they didn’t get much coverage outside of Charlotte, they were written sympathetically as well.  

Ten years ago, I wrote a blog post about violence against Black women.  I wrote this in an attempt to get America and the world to acknowledge the violence done to Black women in America. 
 So many people, lurkers, scholars, crime experts came to this website for knowledge and information.  However, I will discuss the various serial murders of Black women in full detail and to bring more awareness to the public.  Here’s the link to my old blog post:

This will be at least ten segments regarding media and societal disregard for Black women and girls who are victims of serial murder.  They’re not in the media and the general society don’t care in the least about them unless they’re passing judgment regarding Black serial murder victims like the owner of a Cleveland convenience store featured in the 2016 documentary, Unseen.

Black women and girls were devalued both in life and death.   That attitude needs to change.

In the year-long series, I will be discussing at length the Anthony Sowell murders and his victims, living and dead.  How the city of Cleveland neglected impoverished Pleasant Hill neighborhood, the failings of the police, the residents, and business owners in detecting the murders and the smell of death along with it, the fallout of the Sowell case, and of course, the survivors of  Sowell.  Their voices matter as well.

In the second series, I’ll do a lengthy series on the victims of Henry Louis Wallace.  Third, the Grim Sleeper, and finally the 1979 Boston murders and how feminists and Black groups organized to bring awareness of the murders of Black women in Boston.


Here is the outline of the upcoming segments regarding serial killers of Black women:

I   Anthony Sowell:   The Imperial House Murders
    A.  The Victims and Survivors of Anthony Sowell
          Deceased Victims

          1.  Tonia Carmichael
          2.  Tishana Culver
 3.  Leshonda Long
          4.  Crystal Dozier
          5.  Michelle Mason
          6.  Kim Y. Smith
        7.  Amelda Hunter
          8.  Nancy Cobbs
          9.  Diane Turner
        10.  Janice Webb
        11.  Telacia Fortson

          1.  Latundra Billups
          2.  Vanessa Gay
          3.  Shawn Morris
          4.  Gladys Wade
          5.  Vernice Crutcher
          6.  Melvette Sockwell

    B.   Media Coverage and Trial

           1.  Trial
           2.  Witness testimonies
           3.  Testimonies from Survivors
           4.  Sentencing Phase

    C.   Legacies

          1.  Documentaries
               a.  Unseen
               b.  Vice’s Right Red Hand:  The Cleveland Strangler
               c.   Investigation Discovery Killer Instinct

          2.  Books
               a.  Nobody’s Women by Steve Miller
               b.  House of Horrors by Robert Sberna

          3.  Memorials
               a.  Proposed 11 Angels Memorial

          4.  The Victims’ families’ continued pain  
               a.  Lawsuit and subsequent settlement with the City of Cleveland
               b.  Lack of counseling for the victims’ families
               c.   Survivors of Sowell and their perspectives
          5.  Activism
               a.  Kathy Wray of the Imperial Women

          6.  Podcasts

II  Henry Louis Wallace:  The Taco Bell Strangler, a.k.a Bad Henry
      A. The Victims and their lives
           1.  Tashonda Bethea
           2.  Sharon Lavette Nance
           3.  Caroline Love
           4.  Shawna Denise Hawk
           5.  Audrey Ann Spain
           6.  Valencia Michele Jumper
           7.  Michelle Denise Stinson
           8.  Vanessa Little Mack
           9.  Brandi June Henderson
         10.  Betty Jean Baucom
         11.  Debra Ann Slaughter

      B.  Media Coverage and Trial
            1.  Venue change and jury selection
            2.  Trial and Sentencing

      C.  Legacies and Memorials
            1.  Mothers of Murdered Offspring
                 a.  Dee Sumpter-  Shawna Hawk’s mother
            2.  Documentaries and Movies
                 a.  Investigation Discovery Bad Henry
                 b.  Southern Fried Homicide:  Too Many Women
            3.  Academic Case Studies

            4.  The Victims’ families’ legacies
                 a.  Tribute To The Victims of Henry Louis Wallace 

            5.  Memorials
            6.  Podcasts
            7.  Sheriff Gary McFadden

III  The Grim Sleeper Murders/South Side Murders in Los Angeles
           A.  Why so Long?

B.   Police and Public Apathy

C.   Victims

D.   Arrest and fallout of the LAPD

                  a.  Labeling of victims:  NHI(no human involved)
                  b.  Troubling support of the serial murderer by the LAPD

E.   Trial and Sentencing

F.    Media and Academic Studies

                  1.  Book:  The Grim Sleeper: The Lost Women of South Central L.A.
                  2.  Only Good Victims Need Apply:  Tales of the Grim Sleeper
           G.   Activism
                  1. Margaret Prescod 

IV   The Boston Murders
        A.  The media coverage of victims
                  1.  Criticism
            B.  Feminists and Black community criticism of the handling of the murders
                  1.  Six Black Women:  Why Did They Die?
                       a.  Combahee River Collective
                            1.  Barbara Smith

My Analysis on The Family That Preys and Lakeview Terrace


My analysis concerning these two movies that were released around the time of the election of Barack Obama in 2008.  These movies reveal the cultural shifts and old-time prejudices of America society.  The election of Barack Obama to the highest office in 2008 was a watershed event.  Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys deals with interracial friendship between rich Charlotte and working class Alice, with their dysfunctional children.  Charlotte’s son, William Cartwright, is known for his cruelty to his employees and an habitual womanizer who have affairs with women in his office.  The other is Lakeview Terrace.   That movie is about an interracial couple being terrorized by Abel,  their next door neighbor who happened to be a police officer.  In the following year after Barack Obama became President Obama, Disney released The Princess and the Frog.  A story about a poor Black New Orleans girl falling in love with a disinherited Prince Naveen from Maldonia.  These movies are less about Black women, more about rehabilitation of White men, who historically exploited and abused Black women, then disinherited their offspring on the grounds that they have Black ancestry.  Are we going to believe that they changed from their past exploitation, abuse, and disenfranchisement of Black and Brown people?  Should Black women vet non black men when going out on dates, before marrying the men, and meeting their family and friends?  I’m going to examine three movies involving Black women and non black men.  How racial/gender dynamics of the past affect today’s relationships and the mythology of a post-racial society as heralded in mainstream media after the election of then-president Barack Obama.  Hollywood and the media made sure that White women are excluded from the possibility of being involved in interracial/interethnic relationships(witness the backlash against the 2013 Cheerios commercial).  Men of Color, too, are largely excluded from such relationships as well, with few exceptions(The Big Sick comes to mind). Since 2009, there are essays and academic dissertations made mainly by people of Color critiquing one-way view of interracial relationships from the mainstream media and society.  Black women led the way in such criticism because of the traumatic and deliberately forgotten history of White-male initiated and coercive interracial contacts in America, both past and present.




Tyler Perry’s The Family That Preys tells a story about a friendship between Charlotte Cartwright and Alice Evans that crossed racial and class lines.  The movie begins in Charlotte’s palatial Atlanta mansion.  Mrs. Cartwright was preparing the wedding for her best friend’s daughter, Andrea Evans and Chris Bennett.  Right from the start, Andrea Evans wasn’t comfortable with the idea that her mother’s best friend is hosting the wedding because it was patronizing.  Her husband to be was in the other room, having cold feet at the prospect of marrying Andrea, his best man, Ben, reassured him that she’s a good catch and that their marriage would be a successful one.  Chris went ahead and married Andrea.  During the reception, the couple was congratulated by William and Jillian Cartwright.  William subtly manipulates the couple by offering jobs in his prosperous construction company after their honeymoon.

That action recalls the historic practice of patronage of select Blacks by the White elite.  William Cartwright’s action is a mixture of patronage and manipulation, for he placed Chris in the construction site, while he places Andrea in the office suite, preferably next to company president’s suite so he can manipulate and exploit Andrea sexually.  We are living in an era of Me too and time’s up campaign against powerful men sexual harassing women in Hollywood and media.  We have a sitting president whose behavior toward women is beyond atrocious.  William Cartwright behaved in the same way as those powerful men mentioned.  He saw women in his office as fair game for his lustful ways.  He didn’t care whether the women were married or not.  He sees women as objects to be consumed, then discarded after use.  Never as human beings in their own right, having agency, feelings, and aspirations.  He even view his former lower middle class wife as naive and docile who wouldn’t fight back.  He took her for granted while pursuing mainly Black women in the office of his family owned construction company.

In previous Tyler Perry movies, successful Black men were shown as abusers to Black women(Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Why Did I Get Married, Madea’s Family Reunion), the Family the Preys showed a manipulative, entitled White man as an abuser to the Black women in the office.  Also, his depictions of Black women are both negative and stereotypical in the majority of his films and plays.

The movie both downplayed ambitious Black men.  In the movie, Andrea’s husband, Chris, was looking for funds to jump-start his future construction company he eventually started.  He’s rebuffed by both Andrea and his best friend, Ben, who had doubts about the idea of owning a Black owned business, saying that he was unrealistic.  As for Andrea’s scorn toward her husband, she was treated well by her boss who was her lover.  He went to several Atlanta banks, only to be turned down before going to Cartwright of all people, to get backing.  William rejected Chris’ vision of starting his very own construction company.  But William is the last person to go to for funding of any kind, for his greed, incompetence, and lust is well-known in the city.  Nevertheless, he persisted.  He wouldn’t let obstacles to his ambition stand in his way.  American society is set up for the dominant group to have a lion’s share of the wealth, property, privilege, and power while everyone else fights for what scraps the group left.  That group happens to be upper class White men.

Atlanta hasn’t always have the “city too busy to hate reputation”.  Historically, Atlanta was segregated along racial and economic lines and still is, with Black and Brown residing south and eastern part of town, while affluent Whites live north, especially in Buckhead.  The city was the center of the historic 1906 riot that killed many Blacks back then.  I really don’t think people of Atlanta, Black and White, truly healed from that traumatic and tragic violent year.





I went to the movie to watch Lakeview Terrace.  I confessed that I watched the movie to see Samuel Jackson acting, not so much the others.  However, there were several cringeworthy moments and actions from that Chris character played by Patrick Wilson.  The Chris character was very unlikable, as he was able to navigate society without thought, consequence, or any obstacles unlike the characters in the movie.  Despite being married to Kerry Washington’s character, he has racist views toward Blacks and at several occasions, showed his racism toward his newlywed during the movie especially.

The movie was directed by Neil LaBute who previously directed the acclaimed movie, Children of Men.  Will Smith consigned the movie.

The movie starts out with Abel spending his morning with his children at home moments before new neighbors moving in next door.

The movie was set in the LA’s San Fernando Valley where the jurors acquit four LA police officers for the brutal beating of Rodney King in 1992, leading to the LA riots following the verdict that last for several days.

One movie reviewer wrote:

“But for the entirety of the movie the viewer is never presented with even a semblance of an example of what these two have in common. There is no exploration of their characters, no scenes of them interacting as human beings with each other outside of having sex or arguing. And all of their arguments center around the same tired theme of him saying something racially contentious or being hesitant about having children,   followed by his wife getting upset and Chris frustratingly losing the ability to communicate, as if he were a 2nd year French student attempting to dissect La perception du changement. Beyond that and without spoiling the plot, there are two scenes involving his wife being in peril or possibly injured and he reacts in a completely sterile, inhuman way. Who could countenance something so horrendous happening to their spouse while reacting with less visceral emotion than someone who was late to work or had spilled coffee on their keyboard? A scene begging for empathy, rage, anything real or revelatory is about as insipid as a dentist’s gloves digging around in your mouth.”

Chris whines about being teased and questioned by two affluent Black men, yet I neither seen nor heard about being persecuted by Whites who are hostile to interracial relationships including the Black women/White men partnerships such as the one Chris is in.  In fact, in the film, it is Black folks who expressed opposition to interracial marriage/relationships rather than White and other non Black folks who are actually far more hostile to such relationships to the point of using either violence and/or the law to persecute interracial relationships.  We never get to see Chris’ family and how they handle their son’s marriage to an affluent Black woman.  Never.  In fact, no White family members and friends were present in the movie.  It’s all about Black men vs. White men in battle royale for access to women of various races.

Tambay A. Obenson of Indiewire wrote the following back in 2014:

“(Samuel)Jackson’s Turner tells Wilson’s Chris, the white husband, how much he hates the fact that, as a white man, he can arrogantly have whatever or whomever he wants, without pause, without concern, without having to ask, or worry how he might be received by the rest of the world. And, as Abel sees it, in his emotionally unstable mental state, Chris’s marriage to a black woman exemplifies all of that, and he challenges him in ways most of us probably wouldn’t so readily consider.”
According to Tambay A Obenson, the movie is less of an interracial relationship than it is about struggles between White and Black men and their claims to dominant patriarchal ideal of ownership of women.  In fact, women are incidental to the film’s plot.


In conclusion, those movies show Black men and women in a negative light, that only a White man can save her from her so-called marginalization and inferiority White Supremacist society place her throughout history, that Black men are less than and unworthy.  Those ideas in the end exploit and destroy Black women and girls.

I want to give a shoutout to Professor Tru Leverette for inspiring me to write the lengthly blog post.  Thank you so much Professor Leverette.

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