In the space of little over a week, a week and two days, I've started writing for No Longer Quivering about the 35 year old cold case open murder investigation on Carol Ann Cole. It's not been easy, for many reasons.
Over the course of the last ten weeks I've combed through the State of Louisiana archives and various online archives, talked to people with an interest in the cast and just started compiling as much information as I could. I've been do my research and formed a number of opinions on what was the likely fate of Carol Ann.
I'm getting questions over my motives for writing about the case and a considerable amount of push back by some involved with the case so I feel it's time to address those things here, on my personal blog, not over at NLQ.
First of all, NLQ has run stories on Bossier Doe and Carol Ann Cole before. After all our main topic of discussion is abuse in the world of fundamentalism, evangelicalism and quiverfull and that includes coverage of the sexual predators that seem to flourish in the Independent Fundamentalist Baptist church. It's looks like it's a possibility that Carol Ann was at Mack Ford's New Bethany Home for Girls, less than thirty miles from where her body was discovered, shortly before she was found. That alone, the possibility that her murder may have happened, directly or indirectly, because of her time at a religious troubled teen home makes it something we would automatically cover at NLQ.
From some of the things being said I know I've upset the apple cart in Bossier City and elsewhere, prompting the question of why write this series, why do all that research? First of all, like I stated above this is a topic we would usually cover. But there are other reasons I'm doing this.
Another reason to write the series is to bring attention to the case. Somewhere out there someone knows more than what they've previously said to law enforcement investigating the case. If getting some small publicity through the Patheos platform jogs someone's guilt or memories and leads to solving this 35 year old mystery then that's a good enough motive to write about Carol Ann's case.
I'm not looking for money or fame or glory or even a 'I told you so!' satisfaction. I'm writing because the family should have some closure over the death of a beloved child that someone decided at some point was just a throw away kid. Carol Ann deserves justice as much as any other murdered kid.
But I suspect from what I'm seeing and hearing that I've upset the person that is reputedly writing a book about Carol Ann and the case who sits on the board of the foundation in her name. Which is ridiculous, as I'm not writing a book at this time. Perhaps if the case is finally solved I will, but not now. Someone should though because this case has so many twists and turns and unanswered questions it's going to take a long time to untangle the threads.
Here's what I do know. Someone is frightening/working/manipulating the family for their own reasons and that is not me. Law enforcement has dropped the ball on this case a couple of times and seems like they aren't taking seriously the possibility of a connection between Carol Ann Cole being an inmate at New Bethany. Someone involved in the case is going very far out of their way to insist nothing I write, research or say in an article is any of my business and that no one should talk to me. Which makes me wonder even harder exactly what it is that this person is so desperate to hide. They already have a family member wracked with fear.
I don't know who killed Carol Ann, I don't know if she was at New Bethany, but I don't think it's been much of a priority for those investigating it either. Last year they announced a person of interest with the main evidence being the 34 year old memories of a 6 year old child who did not witness any murder or abuse. After stating that they would likely be bringing a grand jury in on this person it was dropped without word. Now they are looking at a suspect that they were told about two weeks before Carol Ann's body was ever discovered.
To recap: I'm not making money for any of this. I'm doing this series because I feel strongly that too much time has passed by and that the family needs closure. If I can shine a light on the terrible abuse suffered by the girls of New Bethany at the same time even better. Justice is good.
Someone out there needs to stop covering for the murderer and come forward. The family needs to know.
Every single time I post about Carol Ann Cole and then see a Facebook posting on her Facebook warning people not to be taken in by 'things posted online' about the case I know I've rattled someone's chain that needs to have it rattled. I'm not stopping until I run out of content.