Wednesday, August 24, 2011

“An Inmate’s Letter Recalls a Certain Summer”: Susan Jacobson, Dempsey Hawkins, and the New York Times
By Nicholas Stix

Is the New York Times Running Fake News about a 1976 Black-on-White Murder, and to What Sinister End?


 

Murder victim Susan Jacobson, presumably 13, in 1975.

 

By Nicholas Stix

On Sunday, the New York Times ran the first part of a two-part series by Michael Wilson, on what seemed to be an unsolved, 35-year-old mystery. The newspaper version was entitled, “Decades Later, Inmate Recalls Summer Love”; the Web title is “An Inmate’s Letter Recalls a Certain Summer.” How romantic.

Wilson writes tells of how mullatto 15-year-old Dempsey Hawkins and white 13-year-old Susan Jacobson moved from being good acquaintances to very good friends, and then lovers. Wilson opens,

The letter sounded like something from another age, but in fact, it was written July 31, with the return address of Mount McGregor Correctional Facility in Wilton, N.Y. It was from a 51-year-old inmate named Dempsey Hawkins, and it told the story of a stitch of time 36 years ago, when the writer fell in love with a girl named Susan Jacobson.

“I was 15, Susan, 13, when we moved beyond a casual association and began a teenage romance in the spring of 1975,” Mr. Hawkins wrote. They were neighbors and moved in the same circles, but met in earnest during a game of baseball. “I got hit in the face by the backswing of Susan’s bat,” he wrote. “As I was up next, I was standing too close to home plate and inattentive the moment the swing came round.

“Hours later I assured her I was O.K. and joked with her. Continued to joke and laugh with Susan in the following days, and began talking with her on the telephone, her front porch and during walks around the neighborhood.”

Susan’s parents were not happy about the relationship, but did nothing to stop it, until Hawkins got their daughter pregnant. Then they ordered her to stop seeing him, but she continued, anyway, on the sly.

[Note how extraordinary it was in 1975 for a 13-year-old white girl to get knocked up. In 1976, I read a poll in a ladies’ magazine that reported that over 80 percent of 18-year-old girls were still virgins. The public school campaign to get all kids “doing it,” and the switch to where, as The Boss says, “The most important lesson is how to put on a condom,” was just gearing up.]

Then, on May 15, 1976, Susan disappeared, seemingly never to be found again.

“Her family called the police, and friends and neighbors searched for her. Dempsey said he had no idea where she was, and he helped look for the girl he loved….

“It seemed no one knew what had become of a 14-year-old girl in a close-knit island neighborhood on that Saturday afternoon. It would be two years before the truth emerged: a truth that will be more fully explored in this space next Saturday.

“But in 1976, one person did know what had happened: Susan’s boyfriend, Dempsey Hawkins.

“I strangled Susan,” he wrote in the letter, “and concealed her body in a metal barrel in a wooded area across from a Procter & Gamble factory on Staten Island.”

That’s where Part I ends.

The Times staffer implies that now we finally know what happened to Susan Jacobson.

I googled under her name, and found the following comments from last year at the blog, City Noise, at a page devoted to an “Abandoned Shipyard.”

ramairgto: 15th Sep 2010 - 05:33 GMT
A 14 year old girl named Susan Jacobson was murdered here on May 15,1976 and dumped in a shaft by her 16 year old boyfriend Dempsey Hawkins. Her body was found 2 years later. Hawkins was tried and convicted in 1979 and is doing 22 years to life. As of today he is still in jail.

ramairgto: 11th Oct 2010 - 03:55 GMT
He is serving 22 years to life sentence at MT. MCGREGOR CORRECTIONAL FACILITY in upstate Wilton, New York.
http://nysdocslookup.docs.state.ny.us/GCA00P00/WIQ3/WINQ130

There is no mystery. The case was solved, the perpetrator duly convicted and imprisoned. Hawkins was not imprisoned for some other crime, and decided to reveal how he had also murdered Susan Jacobson; he was imprisoned in Mount McGregor for her murder.

Dempsey Hawkins, now 51, is a gifted writer of lush, lyrical prose that shows few of contemporary writing’s vices. He has clearly spent years studying classic, English literature. He has firm control of his metaphors, but unfortunately a history of a lack of control of his hands.

Excerpts from Hawkins' letter follow. (He wrote without paragraph breaks.)

I was in London for a moment. Just long enough to learn how to walk and talk and gather a few memories before leaving for Staten Island, where I grew up. Grew up too fast in some respects but not fast enough to outgrow the adolescent flaws and shortcomings of character to which I would steadily succumb in a bad way. I was 15, Susan, 13, when we moved beyond a casual association and began a teenage romance in the spring of 1975….Our attachment began when a group of us were playing baseball and I got hit in the face by the backswing of Susan’s bat. As I was up next, I was standing too close to home plate and inattentive the moment the swing came round and sent me to the hospital for three stitches. Hours later I assured Susan I was O.K. and joked with her. Continued to joke and laugh with Susan in the following days, and began talking with her on the telephone, her front porch and during walks around the neighborhood….I had come across Susan countless times, whether as teammates in whiffleball games played when the summer air turned aromatic from backyard barbecues or among a group sledding down the steep, icy street past snowmen sitting hatted, scarfed and smiling under winter moonlight…. We [my friends and I, not Susan and I] pretty much always had something to doi, whether playing hockey on a residential street or shooting basketballs at the CYO, our energy and enthusiasm ran like a river toward an eddy where it whirled round a few times before rushing on. Spontaneity was the spirit with which we chased fun the way we chased one another from house to house on blustery Halloween nights when jack-o-lanterns inflamed the darkness and our shouts and laughter carried in the cool air and mingled with the hurly-burly of blowing leaves. I never envisioned a moment when I’d spend more time with someone other than my immediate friends to whom I felt solidly anchored, yet I gradually became unmoored by my attraction to Susan and drifted toward her, her interests, her world. I began attending church with Susan and her siblings on Sunday mornings as well as playing afternoon card games with them in their home. After school Susan and I typically got together to do our homework at the Port Richmond Public Library. Some Saturdays we’d bike ride to Clove Lakes Park and sit on a bench and talk while ducks spun languorously atop the water. Other days we’d visit a local pizza parlor to sit and chat with pizza and Pepsi on the table and the smell of fresh dough creating an evocative comfort. The snows of December arrived and I was genuinely infatuated with Susan. Happy in her presence and seeing her in song and dream when not….School became an hourglass through which the sands of my anticipation gradually streamed until I was with Susan again at her dining room table playing Monopoly with her brothers and sisters amid a volley of giggles and chatter resonating with the undertone of Welcome Back, Kotter on television in an adjacent room….In came 1976 and the insanity and the whole Painful mess I am about to relate succinctly simply because it’s disturbing. I strangled Susan and concealed her body in a metal barrel in a wooded area across from a Procter & Gamble factory on Staten Island. The crime occurred May 15, 1976. I was 16, Susan 14. I commited the crime because Susan and I had had sex which led to an abortion and an end to our relationship. I was distraught for weeks and considered suicide and then murder as a means of ending the hurt. Began to think and began to be undermined. Deluded myself into believing I could kill someone I loved and escape the emotional vortex I was too weak to pull myself from, Had no sense of Time’s ability to heal, knew nothing of its mercy. Committed my crime, and engaged in a sweeping act of betrayal in an effort to conceal it. Time commenced as did my guilt. I confided in two friends in an effort to share my guilt and lessen it. It didn’t work, couldn’t. I was alone with my burden, my horrors. I no longer fit in with my friends. I had stepped over a divide from which I couldn’t return. A murder I committed for reasons I couldn’t possibly articulate. I don’t recall how long I remained standing in that room confronting the permanence of my crime. Its magnitude, madness, senselessness. In many senses I have never relinquished that moment. Never stopped mining for answers that don’t exist.

So, what is going on at the Times? The usual. Hawkins is up again for parole in March, 2012, and the newspaper is pulling out all the stops, trying to spring yet another black murderer. Part II next weekend will surely be followed by other reportorials and open editorials, clamoring for his release. Other lefty rags and celebrities will then join the Times’ crusade, maybe even Angelina Jolie. The crusaders will encourage the Jacobsons to embrace their daughter’s killer, the way Amy Biehl’s parents did.

This is an obsession with stupid, rich, white people, and not just communists like Times publisher Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger Jr., though leftists are certainly worse.

Look at Republican Mike Huckabee. When Huckabee was governor of Arkansas, he paroled black predator Maurice Clemmons, over the strenuous protest of prison officials. You may have heard of Clemmons; in 2009, he ambushed and murdered four white police officers in a coffee shop in Lakeview, Washington, near Seattle.

I can hear the calls, “Free Dempsey!” “He’s been rehabilitated!”

Susan Jacobson’s murderer will get a book deal, be paroled, and hired as a college English professor. He’ll be celebrated as a hero/victim of the racist, white supremacist, criminal justice system, who should have gotten probation, or at worst, been put in kiddie prison, and released at age 21. He’ll embark on a sexual relationship with a young, dark-haired, white coed … and strangle her.

It’s not about “rehabilitation”; that’s just a cover story for the loyalty some people feel towards violent black felons, on whose behalf they will use any subterfuge to foist them back on the rest of us, “the little people,” who are banned from carrying firearms in New York City. Times publisher Pinch Sulzberger, who ardently advocates against the gun rights of the little people, never goes anywhere without his own pistol—yes, he carries—as well as chauffeur who doubles as a bodyguard.

Been there, done that. In 1980, the late lefty writer Norman Mailer, himself a violent man who should have spent 20 years in prison for stabbing one of his many wives, Adele, almost to death, but didn’t, organized a movement that succeeded at getting convicted Eurasian killer Jack Henry Abbott paroled. Abbott and Mailer’s correspondence written while Abbott was in prison was published as the book, In the Belly of the Beast. A mere six weeks after Abbott was paroled, on July 18, 1981, he went with a couple of new female companions to a 5 a.m. “breakfast” at a restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village. He started a seemingly low-level argument with Cuban immigrant waiter Richard Adan, 22, a playwright and aspiring actor who was the owner’s son-in-law, over the eatery’s rule prohibiting customers from using the lone bathroom, only to suddenly stab him to death with ferocious speed and skill, as Adan walked away from him. (As I have lectured my son, never turn your back and walk away from a fight. Always back away.)

The very next morning, July 19, 1981, the Sunday edition of the New York Times carried the review of Abbott's new book, In the Belly of the Beast. Reviewer Terrence Des Pres gave a mostly favorable report and expressed gratitude to Abbott's mentor, Norman Mailer. "We must be grateful to him (Mailer) for getting these letters into publishing form and, a job more difficult, for helping to get Abbott out on parole."

Communist movie star Susan Sarandon attended Abbott’s murder trial.

Sarandon especially, became enamored by Abbott. Shortly after the trial, she gave birth to a baby. She and the father, actor Tim Robbins, named him "Jack Henry."

There are eloquent murderers in the world. Just look at Black Panther and convicted cop-killer, Wesley Cook, better known as Mumia Abu-Jamal. Let Hawkins continue writing… from prison.

Now let’s recall the titles that Michael Wilson’s editors gave his propaganda piece: “Decades Later, Inmate Recalls Summer Love,” and “An Inmate’s Letter Recalls a Certain Summer.”

“Summer Love”?! “A Certain Summer”?! More accurate titles would have been, “Decades Later, Inmate Recalls the Promising Life He Ended,” and ““An Inmate’s Letter Recalls the Murder He Committed.”

The New York Times isn’t “vile”; it’s evil.
 

CRIME SCENE
An Inmate’s Letter Recalls a Certain Summer
By MICHAEL WILSON
Published: August 19, 2011

“I was in London for a moment,” the letter began. “Just long enough to learn how to walk and talk and gather a few memories before leaving for Staten Island, where I grew up. Grew up too fast in some respects but not fast enough to outgrow the adolescent flaws and shortcomings of character to which I would steadily succumb in a bad way.”

The letter sounded like something from another age, but in fact, it was written July 31, with the return address of Mount McGregor Correctional Facility in Wilton, N.Y. It was from a 51-year-old inmate named Dempsey Hawkins, and it told the story of a stitch of time 36 years ago, when the writer fell in love with a girl named Susan Jacobson.

“I was 15, Susan, 13, when we moved beyond a casual association and began a teenage romance in the spring of 1975,” Mr. Hawkins wrote. They were neighbors and moved in the same circles, but met in earnest during a game of baseball. “I got hit in the face by the backswing of Susan’s bat,” he wrote. “As I was up next, I was standing too close to home plate and inattentive the moment the swing came round.

“Hours later I assured her I was O.K. and joked with her. Continued to joke and laugh with Susan in the following days, and began talking with her on the telephone, her front porch and during walks around the neighborhood.”

She was white and he was black, the son of a white woman from England and a black man from Illinois who had met when his father was overseas with the United States Air Force. Mr. Hawkins described an almost idyllic existence: “I had come across Susan countless times, whether as teammates in whiffle-ball games played once the summer air turned aromatic from backyard barbecues or among a group sledding down the steep, icy street past snowmen sitting hatted, scarfed and smiling under winter moonlight.”

Susan’s parents were not thrilled with the courtship, warning the teens that “they were leaving themselves wide open for criticism because of the race problem,” her mother, Ellen Jacobson, said later. But no one stood in their way.

“I began attending church with Susan and her siblings on Sunday mornings as well as playing afternoon card games with them in their home,” Mr. Hawkins wrote. “Some Saturdays we’d bike ride to Clove Lakes Park and sit on a bench and talk while ducks spun languorously atop the water. Other days we’d visit a local pizza parlor to sit and chat with pizza and Pepsi on the table and the smell of fresh dough creating an evocative comfort.”

He dragged his friends to watch Susan play baseball, but eventually, they left him to go on his own.

“The snows of December arrived and I was genuinely infatuated with Susan,” he wrote. “School became an hourglass through which the sands of my anticipation gradually streamed until I was with Susan again at her dining room table playing Monopoly with her brothers and sisters amid a volley of giggles and chatter resonating with the undertone of ‘Welcome Back, Kotter’ on television in an adjacent room.”

But they did more than giggle and play board games that winter, and they were careless. In January 1976, Susan discovered she was pregnant. She had an abortion. Her parents told her she was not allowed to see Dempsey anymore. She told him as much, but they continued to see each other anyway, secretly.

Spring arrived. On a hot Saturday, May 15, Susan left her house and did not come home for dinner. Her family called the police, and friends and neighbors searched for her. Dempsey said he had no idea where she was, and he helped look for the girl he loved.

But they did not find her. Months passed; nothing. Her parents, increasingly distraught, even sought help from a psychic in New Jersey who gave them tips on where to look for Susan. Nothing.

It seemed no one knew what had become of a 14-year-old girl in a close-knit island neighborhood on that Saturday afternoon. It would be two years before the truth emerged: a truth that will be more fully explored in this space next Saturday.
But in 1976, one person did know what had happened: Susan’s boyfriend, Dempsey Hawkins.

“I strangled Susan,” he wrote in the letter, “and concealed her body in a metal barrel in a wooded area across from a Procter & Gamble factory on Staten Island.”


[A clink o’ the handcuffs to Larry Auster.]

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