Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Storm Coming -- The Sequel
Storm Coming -- The Sequel
Mon, 19 Oct 1998 11:13:22 -0400
I was surprised, since this was an AP story, the number of responses I've
gotten already from folks who were unaware of the story and wanted to know
where it came from. Below is the experpt on the person I mentioned. It's
from a much longer story the AP ran yesterday datelined Laramie, Wyoming.
Since the press has already branded this a "Gay vs. Straight" issue, we
could be in trouble.
<Quote>Russell Arthur Henderson's background is superficially parallel to
his friend Aaron's: His mother left him with aunts and his grandmother, who
runs a day-care center out of her back yard in Laramie.
Shy, pleasant, diligent -- ``a wonderful boy,'' his grandmother once said --
young Russell never stood out among his peers. Several of his friends
remarked that he was friendly, although distant at times -- a ``follower,
and a polite, polite kid,'' in the words of Carson Annenson, his landlord.
Henderson had several gay and Hispanic friends in a community that is 93
percent white. ``The gay issue had never been an inkling of a concern,''
He earned 21 merit badges to make Eagle Scout and got his picture in the
newspaper for it. He played high school volleyball, basketball, football and
soccer. He was regularly on the honor roll.
He never mentioned his mother, though, not even to friends he had known for
``I asked him once where his parents were. He said his parents were dead,''
said Maggie McKinney, 23, who lived next door to Henderson.
His troubles worsened soon after he moved out of his grandmother's house
four years ago: He had several petty charges against him, from drunken
driving to having an altercation with a police officer.
At 15, he was working at a fast-food joint a block off the college campus.
He met a girl who was two years older, but they broke up a year later when
he learned she was heading to college to study art.
``He was jealous because she was going to college, and he was still in high
school. He always wanted to go to college, you see, and he knew he never
could afford it,'' said a friend and co-worker.
Later, he shared a rusting trailer with another girl, Chasity Vera Pasley,
20. She cleaned motel rooms; he found odd jobs as a roofer, handyman and
They spent nights around a brick campfire in front of the trailer, roasting
marshmallows and drinking beer, setting off firecrackers after midnight,
lighting small fires to the scrub brush in his yard, and blaring loud
``thumping'' music from his car stereo.
``He always had an attitude, a bad one,'' said Cheryl McKinney, who lived in
a trailer next door. She remembered him as a ``spoiled brat, a snotty little
thing'' who was pampered by his grandmother.</Quote>