Archive for January, 2014

Two days went by and then I received a…

January 30, 2014


You know how you are going along and you have a plan in place and so you follow the plan and then one day, you get something brought to you that halts you in your tracks- takes you by storm and changes your direction?

Well… I do.

Four days ago I was headed in one direction; then I received a contact through my web site and bam! Things are changing rapidly and I have to hold onto my hat, catch my breath  and grab a pair of running shoes so that I can keep up with where I am being led. And where am I being led? I cannot tell you yet, but dear God in heaven…could this state be any more corrupt?

Six nights ago I went to bed- asked for guidance, as I always do and was shown the profile of an older woman; stringy silver hair plastered against her head, with several strands dripping across her sallow cheeks. She was gray with the pallor of death and her eyes vacant and devoid of history- she reminded me of the painting, “The Scream.”

I awoke and thought to myself- “What does this have to do with Charley?”

Two days went by and then I received a contact/hit on my site.

One day after that I saw a crime scene photo.

It was the face of this same woman, only there was more to the photo that I will not- cannot share with you now.

Things happened this way with Charley too. I was writing one book and then suddenly, Charley got dropped in my lap and I was off on another direction.

Angels lead where the universe has intended us to be; my job is to follow.

Stay tuned- this is one trip you won’t want to get left behind.

Breathe, breathe…before the oxygen gets sucked from your lungs the way mine was!

Don’t die on me now!

January 21, 2014


Uncharacteristically of late, the skin of the lake was stretched tight and still across the horizon and you could see the tinges of pink that embroidered each cloud as they rolled overhead, reflected in its surface. What is it they say? “Red sky at morning…sailor take warning!”

Like that sailor I have now been warned several times that I am placing myself in a very uncomfortable spot in the course of these Dixie Mafia investigations. To be certain, I academically understand the danger of metaphorically unearthing certain bodies that have lain dormant for decades and take great precaution to honor the wishes of anonymity for those who hesitantly follow down this same path with me. Please  know that I appreciate your candor and your singular bravery in sharing what you know…what you have seen and what you fear. Just as with Charley’s case, an entire township and its countrysides have been swallowed up in fear of retribution for decades and struggle to release themselves of the echo of fear.

But let me ask you very frankly, retribution of what?

In Charley’s case, the remaining ‘four in  flannel’ are now old men; sucking on dentures and pulling at their puds to pee. Their days of glory and causing folks to shudder is over and so I beg that the citizens of Valdosta to see these men now for what they are—geriatric a__holes who no longer possess the where-with-all to change their own soiled diapers, let alone terrorize an entire county. To be fair, they once ruled the seedier part of your town-but if that wasn’t your reality- they still had no power over you. Both you and they need to stop living in the past. Social Security is now their only security, don’t you see? Grim measures his Metamucil along with his morals and finds them both to be insufficient to clean out the stench of his rotting insides. Your fears are now his fears…why?

Do you think this man and his two other cronies wish to be seen as the crumbled, egotistical sycophants they truly are? No my dear readers-egos will not allow such! They want you to remember them as they were in their glory days- young, strong, ruthless and virulent. Nothing sucks the fun out a long awaited “perp walk” than a walker or a wheelchair now, does it Grim? I feel for you old pal. Once bright and shiny as your badge, you are both now, worn and tarnished. In fact, there was an article in an AARP magazine recently about one of Valdosta’s oldest friends from your hey-day…Omar Sharif, who used to fly there with Jack Palatin from Hollywood to play high stakes poker with your good old boy Sheriff , who incidentally died in prison. My how time flies when you’re becoming incontinent, doesn’t it, Grim?

You see, time was and is not necessarily your friend anymore old sport. Sure it bought you decades of false dignity and you had the chance to hide and shuffle your wealth from here to there…but did you get to spend any of  it? How about you, Einstein? That was a mighty healthy tax return in 1968, wasn’t it? If only the feds knew where all that money had come from! lol  But seriously boys, you had the glow of abuse and manipulation about you that smelled like pheromones to some and the audacity to lie to your wives about your fidelity and fake honor, while you corked everything but an empty wine bottle out of your pathetic need to dominate…but did that buy you any real manhood? Nope, your carnal lust and need for dominance bought your town  two corpses though- Jessica and Roxanne. So Valdosta…if not for yourselves- how about for them? Two girls go missing in your town in 1966 and nobody cares why? Nobody wants to ask the 47 year old questions of where they went…who was last with them…why were all the records of their existence erased and no funerals ever held? Dang, I’d be asking something if I knew that had happened in my town! You see, these are the questions that keep me up all night. I just can’t seem to let them go…too many reminders I guess.

Like the other day when I was having lunch with some retired law enforcement. They mentioned something from the book and we had a good laugh and I thought of you. Then two days later, my husband took me on a date and I thought of you again!  It was at the movies- the new Jack Ryan film? You see, it was in a really good chase scene and then suddenly… somebody pulled out a pair of bright and shiny brass knuckles with a blade at the end of it. I guess to beat and stab somebody- just like you used to. Good times, good times eh, Einstein? So much to remember…so much to prosecute!

Gosh it’s been fun to visit and reminisce with you and Grim and I hope you get the chance to share some of these stories with the local law real soon- they would really enjoy them! Wouldn’t that be swell! A pow-wow with your fraternal brothers! You could tell them all about the time Einstein beat the shit out of Roxanne and then you, Grim, pretended you didn’t know how she got into that lake and had to hide the scar under your left eye from your wife. Golly-bet they’d love that one! That was tense for a few days wasn’t it, Grim? Or what about the time Einstein beat the crap out of the MOT in the Daniel Ashleigh Hotel and left him for dead…Ahhhhh, the good old days!

Well, I’d love to sit and chat some more about the good old days in Valdosta, but right now I’m up to my tail end in gas cans and car bombs in Barrow and Jackson Counties in the 60’s and so have to run…But we’ll visit again soon you two old farts! Don’t die on me now!

You really should write down some of your escapades for your grandchildren and their grandchildren to enjoy…

Oh wait! I already did that for you!

Buy them the book- read them book- then call the law and ask them to finish the job they started 47 years ago! You can even help plug in a few of the holes I might have left. Forgot the title- just ask anybody in town- they know it!



THE DEAD LINE begins…one victim at a time.

January 18, 2014

1/18/2014 (11:11 am)

I know when I am being asked to move forward when information continues to present itself, without my prodding or digging for it. Last night I was being given ideas for the opening for the next book and so at 3:37am in the morning I was making mental notes and then jotting them down in my notebook in my office, as I let the dogs out to howl at the moon and make their constitutional obligations. I continue to ask for guidance and ask that the right people and circumstances present themselves, so that I might move further on this project- while keeping my hand active in refining information and evidence from Charley’s. That being said, opportunities and interviews are being brought forth to explore and continue to embroider my hectic work and study schedule. Blocks of information that prompt me forward with new names and faces and compel me to expand my files and anecdotal resources for the next book: THE DEAD LINE: CONFESSIONS OF A DIXIE MAFIA ASSASSIN (Copyright 2009)

Again, the warnings go out that many people involved in these certain nefarious activities and multiple murders are still alive and that I am placing myself in an awkward and compromising position. I get that and yet…who will speak for these victims if nobody ever dares to help them bring their truth to the world?

How can we honor the dead if we bury the truth along with them?

Did I ask for this? Yes and no.

What I asked for was the chance to use my natural talents and passions to create something that would help bring honor to them and to be a unique voice in the universe. Charley helped me find the most authentic path in which to accomplish both and my dedication to such is supreme and without falter.

I am trusting that the universe is leading me to where it needs me to be.

Where is the universe leading you to be? What is it asking of you that you refuse to follow out of fear or arrogance?

THE DEAD LINE begins. One victim at a time.

According to the GBI Crime Lab Report…

January 14, 2014


Note again the repeating numbers…that being said and now that I have your attention–let’s continue with our little lesson on blood spatter patterns which proves the impossibility of the “Suicide” classification on Charley’s DEATH CERTIFICATE… which is the reason I will NOT quit until it is changed.

According to the GBI Crime Lab Report in 1966, blood and other tissues related evidence was recorded as being retrieved from the front right window area of the car. If that were true, how did they do so in the rain that night and even more to the point…if the weapon that was placed, I mean, “found” under Charley’s belly was the actual weapon he supposedly used to kill himself…how did the quote, unquote “blood spatter” get on the windshield of his car 13 feet away?

You see, blood spatter from a high powered weapon- such as a gun, which produces high-velocity spatter. High-velocity spatter is generally less than 1mm in size; almost like a mist and the droplets being so small are unable to travel very far… so we have a problem Houston! You cannot shoot yourself 13 feet away from the vehicle and claim blood spatter from gunshot. However, if you are at the front right tire area of the vehicle and being held or forced into a bent over position at or just above the tire area… it is possible to have some sort of spatter. But that again presents a huge problem for these law folks then, doesn’t it? Gunshot spatter cannot travel 13 feet in the air to where Charley’s body was found lying. So without being obnoxious–just where the heck was he shot? Standing at the edge of the road, with his hat and flashlight like they wanted you to believe…or at the front right tire where he was being beaten and held while the shooter played a cozy little game of Russian roulette above his right ear?


Was it at the front right tire or 13 feet in front of the car, because my dear gentleman…try as you might to deceive all, you cannot have it both ways. Like my mother used to say, “You cannot be a little bit pregnant. You either are, or you are not!” And as for the pooling of blood? Pooling is formed from large drops and constant flow. That happens by gravity my dears, so his head was somewhere just above the pools of blood, but obviously leaning against something because there is a clear VOID PATTERN in the photos between each pool of blood and the victim’s head that cannot be denied! You cannot bleed out and have it jump eight inches in the air- in the pouring rain mind you, then hop in the air another six inches to a new landing place and then another four inches to make the rounds above your head and yet not from your head!

Anybody in law enforcement care to argue the point with me?

Anybody care to jump in the fray and help jump start another look at the photo evidence with me? You have the evidence in hand already…anybody game?

Feel free to let me know. You know how to find me.

Isn’t education a wonderful thing! I can’t wait to see what I learn next week!!!!

Blood void patterns help support homicide and tampering with the crime scene!

January 11, 2014


Note: This message was inspired and written at 11:11 on 01/11/2014

Another moment that R likes to call an, “Ah-ha!” moments, that I like to call my, “Oh sh___” or even, “Holy sh___!”moments took place while I was reading an assignment for next week in my forensics books; specifically on analyzing blood patterns. Naturally whenever I encounter something that involves evidential elements of this case,  my mind rushes to  Charley and the crime scene photos, of which have not been shared with you out of respect for the family. In doing so, I discovered something that never directly occurred to me before… or rather that I knew something was not right, but could not come up with what exactly was wrong…until now!

If you have read my book, The Thin Gray Line, you know that early on in the process, I had an expert look at the crime scene photos to rule out suicide. As I was not happy with her determination, I had several other experts looked at them and keep them in their files as well for future reference. My first expert looked briefly at the pile and then announced, she could detect  no evidence of a void pattern and sans any other evidence, felt suicide was plausible…but that was wrong. She missed it completely!

As you know, I am obsessive about this case for many personal reasons and I have looked at these photos over a hundred times and while I have noted and talked incessantly about the disconnect between the pools of blood and to the victim …I never put it all together the right way till yesterday when it hit me light a ton of bricks that we had all missed the biggest clue to corroborate other testimony and timelines and it was staring at us in the face the whole time!

So yesterday I not only had an epiphany, I had an “oh sh_____!” moment  the size of Texas and then immediately got chills on my arm, because I had been asking Charley for days to bring me a new piece of information or insight to my attention to keep you all engaged so that we can finally get this thing rolling in the halls of law enforcement. As usual, I second guessed my own psychic ability to discern a message and so asked him to get whatever it was to R. As the universe continues to teach that I continue to develop and appreciate my own abilities… I had not thought that it would come through me and so dismissed it for a minute as insignificant information. That being said, let me explain what I am talking about.

Forensics teaches that a void pattern in the middle of a blood pattern is simply an area empty or clear of evidence; meaning either the flow of blood or the splatter of blood, has been interrupted because something or someone was blocking the continual flow or spray of either body fluids and/or blood before the victim expired.

In over 47 years, not one expert has ever made it a point to divine what is in those photos as a VOID, or what object could have created this VOID. But it was there all along…right there in front of us in another photo.

Inspired, I went outside this morning in the rain and tried to measure and calculate the amount of tire tread that would have had contact with the road that night. Taking into account that I drive a Cooper and Charley drove a huge 4 door, Ford sedan and that his tires were easily two times larger than what are on my car…it all made perfect sense. As stated in both the beginnings of this blog and in the book, during R’s first reading of the murder that night, Charley said he was at the front right tire when he was shot- felt the second blow to the head. Again, this location is backed up by witness testimony that the first witness which passed Charley’s body heading to work at the paper mill, (which we now suspect as being staged as well, by virtue of his known, long term association to another key player in C’s murder) stated his [Charley’s] body was at the front right tire as he slowed down and that the man slumped at the tire did not speak when asked if help was needed…supports this observation that the front right tire was not only involved, but the object of  obstruction of blood flow as Charley lay bleeding out before them. Thus, another crucial piece of evidence that was tampered with at the scene.

So how do we get the body in front of the car, but near the pools of blood without tire tracks through the evidence?

Another piece of evidence offers us a clue. According to authorities, public  news papers and the widow’s journal, there was quoted statements about a tow truck having been seen and used in the crime scene area that night pulling out a vehicle. So who’s vehicle was Charley sat at? And who moved this vehicle from the are and/or at least repositioned it on the highway to stage the rest of the crime scene? And why wasn’t every local towing business brought in for questioning?

I wish I could show you the all of the blatant discrepancies in these photos, but it is not necessary at this time. Proper authorities have copies and/or access to copies of all these photos and have an obligation to re-review them again to dispel or confirm my findings. Remember; there is no statute of limitations on murder in the state of Georgia and we should be demanding this case be prosecuted according to the laws of the land.

So officials- both local and federal…let’s get going. I ask you to either prove me right or prove me wrong, but please get off your collective pedestals, assign the resources necessary and prove something about this case and your dedication to the laws you have been commissioned to uphold!

Maybe it’s the rain or maybe it’s the thought of another year passing by that makes me grow weary of doing your homework for you… I have enough of my own to do this semester, thank you very much!

Now, back to my books…

In recently having a forensic psychologist do a profiling…

January 10, 2014


In recently having a forensic psychologist do a profiling job from a letter involved in this case and the tremendous insights she pulled from it… in tandem with my personal knowledge of who the author already was, has prompted me to think more about a slight alteration to my degree efforts. Impressed by this person’s incredible rendering, combined with information from R and my own personal evaluations… I now see great merit in this avenue and will continue to contemplate a slight tilt in my investigation process to include more of her input as well as more background studies of my  own.

Taking her evaluations, in concert with a gift this past holiday in the form of a book I had admired from earlier academics: The Lucifer Effect, by Philip Zimbardo…I may spend some time in deeper study of the psychological issues of those from the Covington murder. Of course for those who passed before, I will have to pull from others input.  But for those still parading about your town under the charade of innocence- those that I have already interviewed at some length, who I believe are still persons of great interest- at least for me– this will be a challenge.

For those of you unfamiliar with the work; the premise of Zimbardo’s experimentation analysis is based on one question, “Why do good people do bad things?”

Now, I do not mean to imply by segue that those involved in Charley’s murder were good people  who just suddenly woke up  one day and uncharacteristically decided to do the unspeakable – because they are not. They were… and are, people who did bad things because it was in their nature and their ego to do so. Those of you who have figured out their true identities from the book, know this to be true already and are not surprised by my bravado. Which pretty much sucks for you, Grim. But then you knew that’s how folks always felt about you anyway, right? You never felt comfortable anywhere, did you? No church, no group, no organization ever felt just right- that is except for the ‘four in flannel’. Something about that collection of emotional misfits clicked for you. They were always a good fit. Always ready to feed their carnal lusts, their debauched desires and their greed and obsession with power and money.

As for Einstein, G and the others…they all had some serious psychological issues dealing with anger and inferiority complexes as well. Take Einstein for instance; he was an impatient soul and felt that nobody could ‘the job’ the way it really needed to be done…that’s why he did a good bit of it himself. How can you tell? MO my friends. What did most of the victims have in common? Severe bruising about the body. Rumor had it our dear Mr. Einstein liked to brutally kick and hit his victims. The Shooter? Why his game was easy enough to figure out just from the evidence itself- not to mention a post murder confirmation by a former judge, that both top and bottom shells in the revolver were found. Top and bottoms shells spent means one of two things…. a struggle, or the Shooter had used a personal favorite game of his to try and intimidate information out of Charley about what he did and didn’t know that night…a little penchant persuader of his called, Russian roulette!

Now, the psychology of G was and is sad and stemmed from a sexually abusive cycle that I believe began in her early childhood and then continued into her adulthood…a cycle that should have been broken before the four in flannel got into the picture. The men who instead exploited and exacerbated her issues with sex because of their lack of discipline and  their own psychotic issues with physical abuse, emotional addictions and sexual fantasies. But you know what they say? Live by the sword… die by the sword.

Read the book, tell me what you think.

Good people who did unconscionably bad things under pressure from those they perceived in authority- the corrupt law? Or inherently bad people, who ran rough shod over any and everyone who got in their way who impeded their path to power, or challenged and threatened to violate their fraternal protection of the secrets and scandals they could not afford the world to know about?

Murder, corruption, pornography, moonshine, drugs, guns, gambling and illicit sexual liaisons with young women who paid the ultimate price for their dalliances- that’s the legacy these men left behind. The Covington murder of 1966- so not the history you want your town to be left with for all eternity. There is no statute of limitations on the act of murder in the state of Georgia dear readers- so do not get lazy in the enforcement of your laws Valdostans.  You can clean this travesty up…bring these people to justice and right a wrong that has sat unchallenged for far too long.

Buy the book. Share the book. Reveal the truth!

The Thin Gray Line: A True Crime Investigative Memoir by T.A. Powell

Now available on

(See book trailer on web site as well.)

Are you ready for the rest of the ride?

January 7, 2014


In order for the first book to do well I understand that I must continue to write Charley’s story and build it into the second book, THE DEAD LINE, because the message of ‘justice delayed cannot remain justice denied’ continues and the contiguous flow of unfiltered information has provided a segue. So, do not think that just because I may begin to write of other things, that Charley is not included in my every efforts- for Charley is who led me to this next adventure and Charley and I are now forever and he continues to be part of my every process from this day forward.

Charley’s murder was significant. Charley’s murder was tragic. Charley’s murder was a benchmark of insanity that was escalated to a level of incredulity by those who had great need of concocting moronic stories and pathetic rationalizations in order to protect themselves from discovery for the past 47 years. What I love about this process is the realization that the mystery of who murdered Charley Covington continues to be solved- by you! You who have read the book, followed the clues- valued the observations made and now know who the key players are. I have read your comments and heard guesses dripping from your wet and excited lips the names of the men and one woman who were there that night… the names of those I have so casually tried to veil. You are right you know…about all of them. And the beauty is–those who are still living know that you know. It’s true! You can see it in their eyes, when you see them in the grocery stores or haunting the aisles and alcoves of churches they are now afraid to enter. They can hear the whispers…”Did you read the book, the book…the book…it was you…it was you!”

They know you know, when they shield their faces from view and try to hide the scars- adjust their glasses and their attitudes. When they deny their involvement, but boast about their honesty and their friendships with the deceased. When their ego overrides their brain cells and they tell you more than they should- because they are trying to prove their ‘innocence’. When they transfer their blood money from account to account- trying to spread it around, hoping and praying that others will buy their ridiculous stories of how that money came to be theirs.When they build on the lies they have told for decades…but who did they tell what?

Charley’s murder was not the only one, but merely one more in a long list of hundreds of unsolved murders that took place in the rural backroads of this state  at the hands of those hell bent on making money, garnering power, keeping power and keeping secrets. This next book will not only deal with just the continuation of my investigation into the murder of  Charley, or  the other  murders of those like Jessica, Roxanne and the MOT- Mr. Chance… but of a Jackson County District Attorney and a register full of people who died for even less than what Charley presented as a threat.

This next book will chronicle the movements from Charley’s murder, to the murder of another champion of the law and the  brutal observations of the final moments of another 26 victims that were murdered by members of the Dixie Mafia who virtually ran this state, with help of those in high and low places.

Are you ready for the rest of this ride?

Then let us begin…Charley is at the wheel with me so, buckle your seat belts!

I have done my part… have you done yours Valdosta?

January 5, 2014


I have not abandoned this case.

I say this because I have had a few comments from followers since yesterdays blog that are worried that in moving forward on my next book- I have made a decision to leave this case behind. That I have decided to leave this injustice behind- leaving it unresolved…unfinished.

I have not. In truth, I am waiting for you- the citizens of VALDOSTA to now step to the plate and do your part. To tell the world that you as a community do not prescribe to this kind of irresponsibility. To let the world know that life matters… justice matters…family matters… truth matters…RESOLUTION matters.

Doesn’t that seem fair?

I have done the research… spent the time, money and effort to go back to school…investigated and investigated until I am blue in the face and still continue to do so…spoken with so many who knew and were afraid to speak then…now…publicly… listened to even more of you who knew or suspected and written the book with as much as my editor would allow me to put into the book to help you push this thing forward.

So who’s part is it now?

Don’t just buy the book- though, please do buy the book. What you need to do is TALK and TELL others about this case. Flood your local TV and news paper with requests to discuss and showcase this historical tragedy. Get out there and flood your Sheriff’s Department and Police Department, asking them to finish their jobs; flood the offices of the middle district of ATF and tell them you want them to complete their homework! This was their job to do properly in the first place!

If it were your father? Your child? Your wife? Your mother? Your brother or sister… would you sit so silent?

These agencies took less than a month to sign and seal Charley’s fate. Eighteen days to discover the truth about the lies?

Eighteen days to destroy a family legacy?

Eighteen days to tell the world your community closed its eyes?

Take those eighteen days back, Valdosta!

This is what you, as concerned citizens must do!

I have done my part… have you done yours Valdosta?


How about this?

A book signing right in the heart of downtown to show my support?

Buy the books- call your local news paper -get it arranged and I’ll make it happen!

In a recent interview for my next book…

January 4, 2014


As always, I am amazed at the energy and the excitement that ensues when I am engaged in the pursuit of information and secret agendas. In a recent interview for my next book, I asked many questions and then listened to the responses- hoping to align with a greater truth or newer insight. True, there were a few nuggets here and there that tugged at my radar- but nothing that told me why I had made the trip. Never has spirit guided me somewhere for naught. So bearing that in mind, I allowed the conversation to wander without border or badger. In releasing the margins of the topic to find a new path–suddenly, a random comment was made. So random and almost unrelated, it was barely peripheral at best… but in that instant, I had an “Ah-ha moment” about what was said that re-lit the fires of obsessive curiosity.

Having asked for months for guidance on this next project- spirit suddenly gifted me a new map to follow!

So, do we think there can be connections between Charley’s story and the next? Yes! Quite possibly there is more than mere geographical and political segue from Charley’s murder to my next person of interest. Guidance is now  coming through spirit and Charley to other peripheral characters introduced to me through the first case. As people read the book, so many questions are asked. Who was this? Who was that? How did you know? Do they know that you know? Have they read the book and are they afraid or are you now afraid, because they are afraid and feel trapped or revealed?

Good questions- but I will not dwell on them for now. Rather, I use them as catalyst for securing new information or finding new ways of looking at old information. Take for instance…

Charley once told R to tell me to look for a specific white envelope with writing on it and open it. Of course, there were many white envelopes with writing on it, but eventually after almost a year– I found the right one and I did open it and eventually it told me great things! There was a name that was mentioned in this letter to Charley, that involved information about some very nefarious local activity.

Is it possible that this quasi-illegible signature was interpreted one way and not the other? That I saw one thing that in truth, now reveal something else? I will look again at this original letter again and the signature under magnification to be sure. In fact… I will also send this letter to a wonderful forensic psychologist who profiled another letter for me recently, for a specific profiling of this letter and signature to see what she has to say.

This letter talked about secret things involving secret people and their illegal agendas  back in 1963- June of 1963, to be precise. Interesting, yes? Why you say? Because 1963 was a very volatile year. The Kennedy assassination happened that year in November and one of the main person’s of interest in a larger circle of person’s of interest was found and questioned in the Valdosta area then and even later on in another local area as well. Why was he in Valdosta?

Aside from that huge event, this person’s last name is possibly the same as the last name of a ruthless key player in the Dixie Mafia who sponsored so many murders in the middle portion of the state of Georgia in the later 60’s and 70’s. This key player in the Dixie Mafia, or “Cornbread Mafia” as they were bucolically monikered… was vile and powerful. This person had many associations with high ranking folks. Folks potentially connected directly or peripherally with the illegal activities that Charley discovered and was murdered for.

One of these key players was also involved in huge real estate manipulations and profits when the infamous Highway 316 was first proposed. A group of people, in particularly one main character of a notoriously corrupt group of people who had shady dealings with a certain  now ex-governor of the state of Georgia. Together and/or separately, this involved large plots of land that were being purchased right and left just outside of Atlanta in the Barrow and surrounding counties, well ahead of the final land grab rush for the prospective Highway 316 project that now connects Atlanta proper to the city/county of Athens. So what ex-governor would have been interested in that? Who would have enjoyed access to that kind of information? Who could understandably and more importantly, expected to be a part of those initial DOT thoughts and negotiations? Who could have known about the fledgling projections for major intentions of a state or local government…including speculations of land and roads and real estate requirements coming down the proverbial pike to accomplish these huge evolutions years in the making?

Ahhhhh… you see where I am going?

Charley’s murder was not the end point of this evolving investigation- he was only the intriguing introduction to an even greater investigation!

You understand now that profits from illegal gambling, moonshine, drug and gun running, prostitution and pornography were not the only ways to make big, big money in our beloved state in the 60’s and 70’s. Think about it.

Here is a riddle!

What other activity is illegal that looks legal, because the process of corruption and deception is so slow that you forget to focus on the money trail?


If you had prior, inside information about where roads and major thoroughfares were about to begin–think how much money could be made if you bought up small farms and rural patches of land years before the public knew what was about to happen? What if you had close and advantageous relationships with folks in those areas who could make things happen- for both of you? Folks who knew how to manipulate by force or by fear, those who were weaker, or in the way of their making money and grabbing more power? Folks who lived by another set  of rules, because the law was agreeably blind to their…social and moral deficiencies?

Now, doesn’t this sound like a plausible segue from the death of Charley to the death of another man who bucked the ‘good ‘ole boy’ system? A man who fought for justice and a man who pissed people off in high and low places? A man who lived a similar simple life in a rural location further north of where Charley was murdered. A man who was slain for his intimate knowledge of the greedy and powerful in a different way? A man who walked out of his house one morning on his way to a courthouse to prosecute a known henchman of the Dixie Mafia and found that when he turned the key in the ignition…instead of his engine turning over, the car exploded and caught on fire instead. A man who was literally impaled by the steering wheel of his car and trapped inside this molten vehicle as his children and wife, watched in horror as his body twitched and smoldered on the front lawn of their modest home?

Let’s follow the highway of death out of Valdosta to the halls of the state capital… to the rural fiefdoms outside  the city of Atlanta… to the dirt-packed backroads just outside of Winder … to the tiny town of Jefferson, Georgia.

Let’s follow the money together and see where it leads us.

Remember, murder is usually committed over one of three things:

1. A woman

2. Some money

3. And a woman!

This next book is about that too.

1. A woman

2. Money

3. And a woman!

THE DEAD LINE: True Confessions of a Dixie Mafia Assassin by T. A. Powell

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