Never Heard Of The Pearcy Massacre? One Guess Why Not!

Diane Sawyer devoted some of the world's most expensive and precious airtime on ABC World News January 28 to Scott Roeder, who during his trial confessed on the witness stand to killing abortionist George Tiller.

But you won't see Sawyer—or NBC's Brian Williams or CBS' Katie Couric, for that matter—devoting any of her precious airtime to the November 12 mass murder in rural Pearcy, Arkansas, of

  • 80-year-old Edward Earl Gentry Sr.,;

  • his 56-year-old son, Edward "Eddie" Gentry Jr.,;

  • Eddie's 52-year-old wife, Pam;

  • Eddie and Pam's 24-year-old son, Jeremy;

  • and Jeremy's 19-year-old girlfriend, Kristen Warneke.

All of the victims were shot to death. All the corpses, save for that Edward Gentry Sr., were burned when the killers set the son's family's mobile home on fire.

Both homes were at 3450 Old Airport Rd. Edward Earl Gentry Sr. was found dead in his house; his son's mobile home was next to it.

Some expensive wire rims and flat screen TVs were missing.

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Edward Earl Gentry Jr.'s torched home Edward Earl Gentry Sr.'s home

Edward Gentry Sr. was a decorated U.S. Navy veteran who had served in World War II, the Korean War, and the War in Vietnam. 

Pearcy is about 15 miles southwest of Hot Springs and 55 miles southwest of Little Rock.

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Edward Gentry Sr. Edward Gentry Jr. Pam Gentry
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Jeremy Gentry Kristen Warneke

The five murders were committed on November 12. But the only national media coverage I have found were two brief items from CNN.

Since when is mass murder not a national story?

When the victims are all white, and the suspects are all black—that's when.

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The late Marvin Lamar Stringer Suspect Samuel L. Conway   Suspect Jeremy Pickney

About 15 minutes before the fire at the Gentry place was called in, Edward Earl Gentry Sr.'s pickup truck was found burning in nearby Hot Springs, the Garland County seat.

On November 18, Little Rock's KTHV reported police as having said that "the suspects stayed a while", and that the four victims whose corpses had been burned had to be identified via dental records. [Five Murder Victims Identified And Released To Family, by Katherine-Marie Yancy, November 18, 2009.] 

The "stayed a while" remark had ominous echoes of other recent home invasions—such as the Knoxville Horror, in which black thugs tortured, raped and murdered a young white couple, also trying to burn one of the corpses, and the "Wichita Massacre", in which black thugs tortured, raped and murdered four young whites (one survived).

KTHV's November 18 report added,

"Officials with the Garland County Sheriff's Department say they don't have any suspects at this time, but evidence leads them to believe folks in the community shouldn't feel threatened."[Five Murder Victims Identified And Released To Family, TodaysTHV.com] (My emphasis)

After all, it was just a gang of racially-motivated black mass murderers victimizing white folks!

And folks up North think that Arkansas is backward. Why, Arkansas is Clinton Country!

During the first week, Garland County Sheriff's Department Lt. James Martin reportedly said that "investigators have had dead-end leads and calls the case aggravating. He says FBI agents from Hot Springs began working the case Tuesday."[FBI joins investigation into Pearcy deaths Associated Press - November 19, 2009]

On the night of November 19, sheriff's deputies sought to execute a no-knock warrant—i.e. they can break down the door without warning, a sign the suspects were viewed as dangerous—to arrest Marvin Lamar Stringer, Samuel L. Conway, and Jeremy Pickney in Room 139 in the old National Park Inn in Hot Springs.

Stringer, 22, opened fire, shooting Deputy Jason Lawrence in the arm. Conway and Pickney fled. The deputies shot and killed Stringer and, over the course of a long night, managed to effect separate arrests of Conway and Pickney [2 others arrested in Pearcy killings Suspects face capital murder, robbery, arson charges By: Don Thomason, The Sentinel-Record, November 21, 2009] (subscription required).

Deputy Lawrence was initially in serious but stable condition, but has since fully recovered. So has Deputy Felix Hunter, whose pre-existing heart condition had kicked in during the shootout.

According to KARK 4 News, "Arkansas State Police, Hot Springs Police, the F.B.I., and the U.S. Marshal's Service assisted [Garland County] with the investigation." [Update: Suspects ID'd in Garland County Shootout, Murders, November 20, 2009

Though they didn't admit it at the time, the Garland County Sheriff's Department apparently had leads beginning the day after the murders. A confidential informant told investigators that "Conway showed him a gun and Pickney offered the stolen wheel rims and televisions for sale the day after the killings," saying that the items were from a "lick" (robbery). But it took some time before a judge signed off on the necessary search warrants. (Conway and Pickney were both reportedly from Hot Springs.)

At a press conference the day after the bloody shootout, Lt. James Martin of the Garland County Sheriff's Department announced, "No questions now, no questions tomorrow, please don't wear us out, callin,' because you're not going to get anything".

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Lt. James Martin, Garland County Sheriff's Dept.

I was able to reach Lt. Martin on January 29. Although he was congenial and as helpful as he could be, as the following exchanges show, he was handcuffed from giving me the information that I sought.

Nicholas Stix: "I'm calling regarding the November 19 incident, in which your department attempted to make three arrests … regarding the Pearcy mass murder case.

"I haven't seen any updates on the conditions of Deputy Jason Lawrence and Deputy Felix Hunter."

Lt. James Martin: "Correct, and you won't. There's a gag order in effect on all of that. I can tell you that they're both doing good, and that's about it."

NS: "So does that mean I'm wasting my breath, trying to get a hold of the autopsy?"

Lt. Martin: "Uh, no. I mean, you can contact the crime lab, and do what you can do about getting a copy of that from them. We haven't gotten anything yet, and as far as we know, the [Hot Springs] Police Department hasn't, either…."

NS: "There was a vague statement that I read somewhere. It wasn't attributed to anyone, it was a police official, so I don't know if it was you or someone else. It said that the killers "stayed a while" over at the Gentry place, and I was wondering if that was referring to them having done other things like maybe rape or something."

Lt. Martin: "No, I don't know who that statement would have come from, but I haven't heard that one, myself."

NS: "You haven't heard anything about any rapes occurring before the murders?"

Lt. Martin: "I haven't heard anything about it. I've distanced myself from it, and they distanced their self from telling me anything, so that I can't screw up and tell you [we both laugh]!"

NS: "Wow. So, you don't know anything about hate crimes being charged or anything then?"

Lt. Martin: "No, haven't heard anything like that, either."

NS: "Then the next hearing's in March, right?"

Lt. Martin: "I'm not even sure about that. You know, public relations or media relations or whatever are a very small part of my job. I'm actually the training officer…."

Perhaps the most valuable information Lt. Martin gave me was that it was Garland County District Court Judge David Switzer,[Email him] who had imposed the gag order. Judge Switzer was not cited in that context by any available print news sources.

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Garland County District Court Judge David Switzer

On the telephone with the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory's Rick Gallagher, I explained what I sought. In response, he patiently explained Arkansas law to me.

Rick Gallagher, ASCL: "Let me explain to you what the law in Arkansas allows. Once anything comes to our laboratoryand the medical examiner works for the Arkansas Crime Laboratoryunlike most states. The state law states very plainly that we do not control the records after that information comes here. They are strictly within the purview of the prosecuting attorney that would have jurisdiction over the case. And he, and he alone, or a judge from the circuit court of that county, are the only two ways that those records can be released. Even after they go to trial. [Emphasis by the speaker.]

"And so, even though they are generated by us, and are given back to the prosecutor and the law enforcement agency of record, we do not control them. I can't give them to you, because they don't belong to me. It's essentially what that means.

"You would have to have permission, authorization, so to speak, of the prosecuting attorney, which Garland County, "Pearcy, is within the purview of Mr. Stephen Oliver, he's the prosecuting attorney in the 18th Judicial District East…

"And he is in total control of it. And like I said, even after they had a court trial, and of course you would think then that if it's in open court, that the record becomes public. Well, in a sense it does, but to me, the way the law is written, it never becomes public.

"I still have to have the authorization. I have a file on my desk right now, that I'm waiting on the prosecutor to give me permission to talk to somebody, it's 33 years old…."

Next stop was Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Oliver's office, where a staffer responded to my request: "I wish I could give out the information, but there's a gag order".

Back on November 22, Larry Auster wrote in his View From The Right blog:

"I have not seen any reason for the gag order. But it's not hard to guess: the authorities in liberal society automatically understand the need to conceal, tamp down, soften, and delay the release of any facts about blacks murdering whites."

However, the terrible truth is that, given the politically correct gag order already in force in the newsrooms of today's Main Stream Media (see here, here, and here), there really was no need for one from Judge Switzer.

Of CNN's two brief items on the motel shootout and the arrests, the original story on the shootout, now available only in cached form [Police: Suspect in slayings killed in shootout November 20, 2009 10:37 a.m. EST](and soon to disappear into the ether), provided no photographs of the victims or suspects. It has since been replaced, at the same URL, by a story on the arrests, which carries pictures of the suspects, but none of the victims. [Two charged in Arkansas killings, November 20, 2009 10:51 p.m. EST]

The AP's Jon Gambrell wrote a couple of stories on the crime, one of which was rich in details and was run by Arkansas Online with pictures of the suspects (but not the victims). But his stories typically ran without photographs, got little play outside of the South, and always suppressed the crime's racial character.

Archive searches of the New York Times turned up nothing.

A Times search for the same periods under "Hot Springs," however, proved more fruitful. The Times had run two stories about Hot Springs, Arkansas in the past 30days alone! But both of them about horse racing (here and here). Mass murder didn't rate space in the self-proclaimed "newspaper of record".

The most popular blog, the leftwing Huffington Post, reduced Gambrell's story to a brief, 185-word item that suppressed all mention of race. Republican web site Breitbart.com ran the identical version.

 Of all of the stories that I have seen on this atrocity, only one, by Don Thomason in the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record (November 21, 2009—subscription required), showed pictures of both the victims and the suspects.

And none, of course, gave any contemporary or historical context of black-on-white violence.

By contrast, MSM news stories and opinion pieces alleging racist white-on-black violence routinely cite purportedly similar previous cases—even when either the previous or current case consists of a race hoax.

Heck, not only did the national MSM variously refuse to report on or suppress knowledge of this racist atrocity—even the Republican Web site Free Republic censored it.

There was a discussion of the atrocity there last November. But either GOP activist-censor Jim Robinson, who maintains the site through users' (?) donations, or one of his deputy censors, killed the thread—exactly as Larry Auster predicted.

Robinson has never had much stomach for threads about black crime, or for that matter seriously debating immigration. His function seems to be to divert the populist energy of Middle American protest into paths that instead serve the Republican National Committee—in other words, to help the very GOP elites who have long been busily destroying Middle Americans' lives.

The savage 2008 rape-torture-murder of Anne Pressly did receive some national coverage because she was a celebrated Little Rock TV anchor. But even that included the New York Times' morally perverse gloating over the crime:

"The beating startled much of the state and horrified Ms. Pressly's neighbors in the prestigious Pulaski Heights neighborhood, an enclave of old houses, and where residents considered themselves essentially exempt from violent crime."[Arrest in Killing of a TV Anchor, November 27, 2008]

Pressly's killer, Curtis Lavelle Vance, has since been convicted of the crime. But he was not, needless to say, sentenced to death.

Seeing that Marvin Lamar Stringer sought to kill the Arkansas law enforcement officers who went to arrest him, I think he can safely be removed from the "suspects" category, and added to that of "murderer-robber," etc.

Samuel L. Conway and Jeremy Pickney are now defendants, charged with capital murder, aggravated residential burglary, and arson.

Their next court date is scheduled for March 5.

According to court papers, police and prosecutors claimed that the motive for the five murders was "robbery."

"Robbery"? What does mass murder have to do with robbing people of some flat screen TVs and wire rims?

Similarly, the AP's Jon Gambrell wrote, "Court documents outline a case of robbery gone horribly wrong".

The theme of a "robbery gone wrong" (often expressed as a "botched robbery") has become law enforcement and journalistic boilerplate to cover up racially-motivated, black-on-white murders.

Arkansas needs a Freedom of Information law, so that prosecutors and judges do not have the right to sit on crime files in perpetuity.

Such a law could have conditions requiring the redaction of the names of confidential informants and undercover officers, whose lives might be endangered by being publicly revealed.

My conclusion:

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men is the celebrated 1941 book by writer James Agee and photographer Walker Evans recording the lives of three "invisible" white sharecropper families in the Deep South.

The Pearcy Massacre must be added to the ever-growing list of racial atrocities committed by blacks against whites (and against blacks who love whites) made equally invisible by the national MSM:

As far as the MSM—and our political elite—is concerned, it can truly be said of the victims, in the words of the passage in Ecclesiasticus from which Agee drew his title:

"And some there be, which have no memorial; who are perished, as though they had never been; and are become as though they had never been born."

Nicholas Stix [email him] lives in New York City, which he views from the perspective of its public transport system, experienced in his career as an educator. His weekly column appears at Men's News Daily and many other Web sites. He has also written for Middle American News, the New York Daily News, New York Post, Newsday, Chronicles, Ideas on Liberty and the Weekly Standard. He maintains two blogs: A Different Drummer and Nicholas Stix, Uncensored.