“Decades Later, Inmate Recalls Summer Love”—the “Creepiest New York Times Story Ever”?
For a person whose moral compass is intact, the story of a 16-year-old who knocked up his then 13-year-old girlfriend (leading to her parents making her get an abortion), and who, when forbidden by her parents from continuing to “see” (read: sleep with) her, savagely strangled her, stuffed her corpse in a barrel, and then feigned concern, as he “helped” search for her body, is a story of unmitigated evil. But for the psychopaths at the New York Times, it is a love story for our time.
Last 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 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 girl of any race to get knocked up. In 1976, a poll in a ladies’ magazine reported that over 80 percent of 18-year-old girls were still virgins. The public school campaign to get all kids to “just do it,” and the switch to where, as my wife says, “The most important lesson [in school] 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.
Timesman Michael Wilson 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.
There is no mystery. The case was solved, the perpetrator duly convicted and imprisoned 32 years ago. 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 had some free time. He has firm control of his metaphors, but unfortunately a history of a lack of control of his hands.
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 do, 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 of stupid, rich, white people, and not just communists like Times publisher Arthur “Pinch” Sulzberger Jr., though leftists are certainly the worst of the lot.
Look at Republican Mike Huckabee. When Huckabee was governor of Arkansas, he paroled violent, black predator Maurice Clemmons, over the strenuous protests of prison officials and prosecutors. 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!”
First of all, the purpose of prison is not to rehabilitate murderers, but to punish them, and even so, it fails at that. Three hots and a cot, cable TV, weight lifting facilities, easy access to drugs, the option to commit still more murders and other crimes, and all the white men you can rape, sounds more like heaven for black felons than punishment.
The only proper punishment for murder is execution. The only condition that I can imagine fitting the notion of “rehabilitation” would entail the killer completely transforming himself morally, and resurrecting his victim.
Susan Jacobson’s murderer will get a book deal, be paroled, and hired as a college English professor or journalist. He’ll be celebrated as a hero/victim of the 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 girl, a coed, perhaps … and strangle her.
It’s not about “rehabilitation”; that’s just a cover story for the loyalty some people feel towards violent black felons (or craven killers of other ethnicities, if a literate, or even pseudo-literate black, like mass murderer Tookie Williams, isn’t handy), 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 America’s big cities. 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 a chauffeur who doubles as a bodyguard.
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 owner Henry Howard’s son-in-law, over the eatery’s rule prohibiting customers from using the lone bathroom, only to suddenly stab Adan to death with ferocious speed and skill on the street outside. (I have lectured my son: Never turn your back and walk away from a fight. Always back away. Richard Adan was wise to New York sucker-punch artists, and backed away from Abbott, but Abbott was a whole different species of coward. He stabbed Adan, just as the latter turned to re-enter the restaurant.)
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.”
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.”
Abbott was convicted for killing Adan. The megalomaniac defended himself, and wove jailhouse cock-and-bull stories of how he was a victim of the American juvenile justice system, and was a reticent bloke who had only defended himself against the attacking Adan. Even after the prosecutor countered by reading Abbott’s description in his book of how to skillfully gut a man the way he did Adan, and eyewitnesses gave the lie to Abbott’s description of his crime, half of a Manhattan jury sympathized with Abbott. The non-evil half of the jury was forced to compromise with the Jack Henry Abbott Fan Club, and as a result, he was only convicted of manslaughter, and thus sentenced to only 6-25 years in prison.
In June 2001, Abbott, who did not even feign remorse, and who in his book had demanded that society “apologize” to him, was denied parole. The following February 10, he had the decency to hang himself in his prison cell.
Henry Howard, who loved his late son-in-law, Richard Adan—who by all accounts was as wonderful as Abbott was evil—said it best:
He got it right this time. That's the third person he murdered and he got the right one.
The world does not want for eloquent murderers. Just look at Black Panther and convicted cop-killer, Wesley Cook, better known as Mumia Abu-Jamal. Or that incurable romantic, O.J. Simpson. (He can’t write, but he sure can talk a good game.) 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 and decent titles would have been, “Decades Later, Inmate Recalls the Promising Life He Ended,” and “An Inmate’s Letter Recalls the Savage Murder He Committed.”
Award-winning, New York-based freelancer Nicholas Stix founded A Different Drummer magazine (1989-93). Stix has written for Die Suedwest Presse, New York Daily News, New York Post, Newsday, Middle American News, Toogood Reports, Insight, Chronicles, the American Enterprise, Campus Reports, VDARE, the Weekly Standard, Front Page Magazine, Ideas on Liberty, National Review Online and the Illinois Leader. His column also appears at Men's News Daily, MichNews, Intellectual Conservative, Enter Stage Right and OpinioNet. Stix has studied at colleges and universities on two continents, and earned a couple of sheepskins, but he asks that the reader not hold that against him. His day jobs have included washing pots, building Daimler-Benzes on the assembly-line, tackling shoplifters and teaching college, but his favorite job was changing his son's diapers.