Isn’t mail both intriguing and…


Isn’t mail both intriguing and wonderful? It brings you things… it takes some things away. Sometimes it brings you bills- sometimes checks…sometimes pain…sometimes pleasure- sometimes a card with a heartfelt wish or  memory. And sometimes a note of thanks or a well wish for a speedy recovery. And sometimes… it might just make you pause to think twice about tokens you send through the mail to others.

But yesterday, it was  a good day. Yesterday I received this:

“Dear T.A. Powell,

We’ve just changed out our book cover banner and your book cover art is now part of the rotation.  The banner located in the bottom half our homepage at  Your book cover art will be available there for the next week…”

Check it out, Valdosta!!

Am I happy? Yes I am. Going global with this book, Grim– you up for it? You are gonna be famous- just like you wished!

Now, how many people do you think have read the book about Charley’s murder so far? The book,  The Thin Gray Line: A True Crime Investigative Memoir. How many more will read it now with this kind of advertising?  Hmmm? Let’s see…what is the population of Valdosta? Of Georgia? Of the South in general… or of the United States and folks who can’t get enough of true crime and unsolved mysteries? And let’s not forget the over seas sales through Amazon!

Because my internet was down most of the morning, I took the time to revisit several documents from the file and happy that I did so. Why? Because I have recently done some other work on this case, as well as the next book about the Dixie Mafia. In doing so, I had this folder still out on my desk. Inside were copies of the  original statements and investigation file by the investigating officer. Very interesting reading, but one thing struck me that I had somehow overlooked before. In the file, the deputy said he had told a certain person- an agent, to accompany another certain person-an agent, to go tell the widow about Charley’s death. And then, 2 pages later… this same deputy contradicts himself by saying he and this other person-an agent, left the hospital morgue together and went back to the scene –again, together and stayed there till daylight. Then in another segment, the agent himself said he left both places to go to the federal building to look for a truck? So how is this possible?

Now, I’m up for a little bit of magic just like anybody else, and yet I find it just a tad bit hard to believe that this other ATTD agent could have actually existed in three places at the same time…and oh so very far apart from one another?  So, my dear friends, which lie  do we decide to go with? The one that says he was at the victim’s home, the federal building parking lot, or the one that says he was 40 minutes away at the scene-the hospital morgue- then the scene all night? Hmmm…I think we should go with the one they didn’t bother to finish writing! The one that says he  went to the federal building to look for something. And then the other one where he went to the victim’s home- told the wife Charley was dead, blocked her driveway so she couldn’t leave and then refused to take her to the hospital… all so they could go through each room and closet of the Covington home  to collect all of the weapons they could find. I liked that part- it shows us just how incredibly thorough they were about trying to figure out what the devil they were gonna do about having to hide the fact that there were 2 guns at the scene, 2 guns used to kill Charley. The truth that didn’t match the lie they have told everyone for 47 years. You know the lie- that Charley shot himself twice in the head with his own weapon and then carefully put it directly underneath him so that the big hero officers wouldn’t have to look so far to find it after he was dead! That LIE that told the world that both bullets matched the weapon shoved under his body. The weapon, that by the way- Charley never owned.

My other personal favorite was when they printed in the newspaper in an article entitled, Tests Confirm Covington Killed With His Own Gun, written by Tenney Griffin back in 1966, stated that:

“…Ballistics tests of slain agent, Charles G. Covington pistol show what investigators have believed all along–that Covington was killed with his own weapon. Results of the tests were made public Wednesday night by William L. Hendry, agent of Moultrie in charge of the probe of Covington’s death. Hendry also said paraffin tests of Covington’s right hand reveal he had fired a weapon. The investigator said, “This does not indicate at this time as to who killed Covington and our intensive investigation is still continuing…”

And later in the article:

“… results of the ballistic and paraffin tests had been returned…Hendry declined at the time to reveal the results. He said he did not want to make public the test findings until the agents were further along in their investigation. Hendry, however, disclosed the information after he said it had been prematurely released without his knowledge and refused to speculate on who had made it public. Besides the federal agents, Hendry said the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department and possibly others had access to the information…”

Gosh, who might have benefited from that?

And in another article written much later by Tenney Griffen…

“…Discussing the scope of the investigation, Agent  Robert Caldwell of Moultrie, said; ‘…the investigators are checking out scores of tips or leads that are being telephoned into the office. We even had a woman in today to say she saw a man run across the road and hide in the bushes,’ said one of the agents….”

Now I can’t blame the messenger, Griffen- and I don’t. But still, in another article, they talked about a witness who asked about seeing a car and another truck  at the crime site- and somebody who had to have a vehicle pulled out of the mud at the same spot. All which were never investigated because, according to Hendry- “…they were unrelated.”

Now, I know there aren’t many- if and/or any copies of these articles anywhere else in town just lying around for folks to review and question…but that does not mean they don’t exist? I have them- so I’m betting do several others. So, how hard do you think they actually looked for the owner of this little truck? Because according to divorce records, the alleged mistress had a truck of the exact same color and make –just like it back then. And she lived just down the street from another law officer who had to have seen this truck a million times.

So, how hard did they search the country side looking for answers to all these clues? Not hard at all, really. And how about some of the other facts?

The interpretation of Crime Lab Report is the real historical fiction in this case! Page 2–the missing page 2- the ballistics results are the one thing that still gets me though. It clearly states the signatures of the bullets and yet…nobody knew how to read that! Or how about how the news paper clearly states in the another article by Griffin, “Special Team Probing” which stated, “…Also, a bruise was found on the back of the head. There is a feeling he [Covington] could have been hit over the head before he was…”

Now why do I bring this up? Because clearly all the folks in this little charade forgot who they told what, because this article contradicts the statements made  by the deputy in his file that  stated; “…We saw no signs of abrasions or bruises of the body, other than wounds of the head.”

Gosh, one would think you might have noticed something with all the time you took at the Morgue, but hey… what do I know? And yet, the very so called absence of abrasions and obvious bruises says what to you?

It says to me first that huge lies were told. But even if that somehow were the absolute truth? Then how the hell do you blow your head off twice from either a standing or kneeling position, bank shot your face off  the pavement and not have scratch anywhere on your face? Survey says…


The lies have it! Take that Grim.

Six lands and grooves from one bullet, three lands and grooves from the second bullet and yet  you all swore a blue streak they both came from the same gun! A .38 caliber with a serial number that has never matched ANY weapon Covington ever owned. Now that’s some kind of magic trick!

Grim loves that one too! So does old what’s his name. They are the only two that ever asked that silly old question. Odd, don’t you think?

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