The sun has broken forth…


The sun has broken forth and I am overjoyed that the ice may now begin to melt. It’s not that I haven’t loved the snow and the winter wonderland scene outside my window these last few days… but it is time to get back to the business of life.

While there are new clues to explore; they tend to set my sails adrift and perhaps there is something on the distant shore of one of them that will help in the over all picture of this case- but intuitively I continue to cling tightly to those things that speak to me from the recent past. Things like the items on the receipt from the Morris Pawn Shop. Let’s recap.
Charley bought only 4 things that day:

Some saw blades
A head guard
A lighter
And a 30 carbine

Saw blades I can see easy as he was building homes on the side. A head guard? Uncertain what this refers to, but perhaps something also construction and/or landscape related paraphernalia… or even in regards to his ‘qualifying test’ on that Friday in Moultrie. (Which explains the evidence of wad cutters recorded for one of the bullets- as they are used in target practice.) The third item, the lighter again remains of significant importance to me, to Hazel, to G and to Charley’s area supervisor. The last item is a 30 carbine- a rifle. What did Charley need with another rifle… I don’t know?!

Here’s the part that gets to me.
His area supervisor was desperately trying to reclaim one of the items he believed would have been in the pawn shop bag- if they could have found it. Well, we can immediately disregard one of them. A 30 carbine rifle cannot fit in a bag and so we are left with just the first three items. I would bank money on it being the lighter.

It was silver with an engraved design throughout. Now… we can see that the excuse Charley gave Hazel was false- he said that it was a gift from A-Bonding Company, but she rejects that and it does not fly with a description like that. The other suggestion was that this was a gift from G to Charley a week before his Birthday which was in late September- 3 weeks before his death. Now, the question that tugs at my sleeve is this:

If G had given it to Charley as suggested a week before his Birthday- that would have been on September 15th…right? Hazel sees it somewhere right around his Birthday- it doesn’t match the others he’s gotten and so for her it doesn’t jive. So he does what-pawns it to keep the wife happy- or fibs to keep her safe from what he truly knows? If it’s just a white lie from one spouse to another, then why would Charley buy it back two weeks later for $3.00 on October 6th, just three days before his death? To goad his wife? Maybe…but that doesn’t quite jive when we add in other clues and even more interesting when we consider how everyone reacts to this $3.00 lighter. Everyone scrambles to give this lighter an explainable history- including Charley’s area supervisor who after Charley is declared dead by self inflicted wounds-still goes out of his way to find it? This guy was from Atlanta. First of all, how could he have even known about it? Why would a man half a state away be so interested in this little $3.00 lighter and if it was that important and/or incriminating… then why did they leave the receipt in his wallet when they clearly went through it searching for other stuff…like his P.O. Box key for instance? Stupidity? Panicking? Hindsight only after the widow decides to fight back???

Hmmmmm…It doesn’t make sense, unless…

Either this lighter belonged to G and they wanted to use it to build their case for the affair or…
It had been found at the scene of another murder and/or victim’s house and then pawned to get rid of it or…
Or it had the tell tale design of a lighter just like one owned by someone who could not afford to have his name mentioned in connection with another victim’s last known residence… a love shack… or murder scene.

Ok… so we know the facts are:
1) Hazel saw a lighter Charley had that she had never seen before.
2) Charley told her it was from a company he had gotten lighters from before, but Hazel didn’t bite.
3) They claimed G gave it to him for his Birthday.
4) Charley bought this lighter for $3.00 three days before he was murdered.
5) The area supervisor was extremely interested in retrieving it- though he shouldn’t have even known about it… so much so, that he was bold enough to make mention that they had not found the bag and demanded that if Hazel had it, she should return it to him immediately. Now why would you make mention of such a thing to Charley’s grieving widow after the fact of Charley’s death- if indeed they had the weapon, the motive and the investigative declaration of suicide??? Pardon the pun, but it seems a bit of overkill.

So what’s the significance of this lighter? It can’t be because it was of such superb craftsmanship- even though it was silver and had a fancy design… C bought it for only $3.00’s- not a huge amount of change, so the value was not intrinsic.

So the value must be in one of the following:

a) Who owned it?
b) Who found it?
c) Where was it bought?
d) Where was it found?
e) Who pawned it?
f) Who owned the damn thing in the first place?

And finally…
g) Were there any other markings on it?

We know that the pawn shop was a local hang out. A place where they used to watch porn and party hearty in the upstairs room. We know that there were associations between some of the key players and the pawn shop personnel. We know they (agents) bought a lot of their ammunition and such from the pawn shop. We also know that the MOT was retired from Sears and Roebuck before his demise… this fact is mentioned in his obit, along with R’s other clues, including the one eluding to information about the “watch”.

Now we also know that storylines are important to keep in the background, so let’s lay out an impressive timeline including both:

Valdosta officials have a close tie to Atlanta political figures and high ranking officials.
Valdosta has ties to Hollywood personalities and high stakes poker games- along with illegal activities; porn, gambling, moonshine, bolitas, etc…
Our first victim in this investigation is a young female named Jessica, who worked at the American Legions Club and was sometimes hired as entertainment for high ranking officials who liked to party when they come to town. She and Roxanne are friends; they work together and are also known as entertainment for the locals- law officials and law enforcement included.
There is a special out of town ‘love shack’ in place for certain visitors who cannot afford to be seen with either one of them.
Jessica gets pregnant sometime late spring/early summer of 1966.
She is rebuked by the father-tries to commit suicide by slashing her wrists, spends the night in the local hospital and is treated, then sent home to recoup.
Jessica confides in Roxanne and Charley about her condition and the identity and reaction of the father.
Jessica goes missing and is taken out of the picture on or about July 11, 1966. Same time a local concrete community pool is being poured!
Roxanne follows on her heels on or about September 29, 1966 after pressing one of the four in flannel as to what happened to Jessica.
Charley hears about Roxanne’s body being found floating in a lake around the 1st of October.
Snitch tries to set the moonshine deal up for Charley to be there on Redland Church Rd. at 9:30 PM October 3rd, 1966.
Charley misses the October 3rd Sunday night moonshine Redland Church Rd. deadline because he is out of town visiting his ailing mother.
Snitch continues to call him that whole week -reminding him about the Redland Church Rd. moonshine deal being set again for the following weekend- Sunday the 9th of October, 1966.
Charley buys the lighter Wednesday, October 6th, 1966.
Charley is in Moultrie qualifying on that Friday, October 8th, 1966 and gets phone call from Atlanta supervisor about a huge raw materials bust for that weekend- a bust and a deal that never happens.
Charley is placed on stand-by all weekend by this supervisor with only one back-up; his partner who is heard from the last time around 8:30 PM and not again until he shows up at Hazel’s door to tell her Charley is dead.
The area supervisor is the one that also calls back at 8:30 PM and releases Charley from that stand-by 1 hour before the Redland Church Rd. deal is to take place-all the while he has been reminded by the snitch several times earlier that day that he should get out there and inspect the situation.
Everyone has checked on his whereabouts all day- his widow’s too- as was evident in the trial info.
Charley leaves the house at 8:55 PM to ride out to Redland Church Rd. area.
They find him murdered at 10:30 PM-October 9th, 1966 just down the road from that intersection.
The MOT who was there the night Roxanne was taken out, is then severely beaten October 15, 1966 and left for dead in a downtown hotel room, because he would not hand over what they were searching for.

Soooooooooo, my dear readers…what was so frigging special about this lighter?

I could tell you, but it will cost you…got $3.00’s????

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