"Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill it teaches the whole people by its example.
Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself."
–Supreme Court Justice Brandeis

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Husband arrested for deaths of wife and two children in 1972

Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] Whos Killing Families?.





Published: August 31, 2009

37 years ago, firefighters found the charred remains of a mother and her two children inside their home. Today, nearly four decades later Bertie County investigators say they have their killer in custody. They charged Roy Rascoe, the husband and father of the victims, with three counts of first degree murder in the 1972 incident.

Today was supposed to be Roy Rascoe’s first day of freedom in years. Instead it was on his way back behind bars.

We caught up with Rascoe before he went to Bertie-Martin Regional Jail.
Reporter: “Mr. Rascoe do you have anything to say about these charges?“
Rascoe: “Yes.“
Reporter: “What would you like to say?“
Rascoe: “Not mine.“
Reporter: “What did you say sir?”
Rascoe: “Not mine.”
Reporter: “You didn’t do it?”
Rascoe: “No.“

Rascoe says he’s been doing time for theft. Rascoe says, “I’ve been in jail for stealing money from a dead man.“

Now Rascoe is going back to jail accused of murdering his wife, son and daughter 37 years ago.

This is where the Rascoes lived back in 1972. Today relatives tell us even back then Annie and her children’s deaths were suspicious.
On November 26th 1972, fire destroyed the Rascoes house on Indian Woods Road. Inside: 24-year-old Annie, 1-year-old Retta Renee and 2-year-old Tony Ray.

Lemon Smallwood says his sister and the children did not deserve this kind of ending.
Smallwood says, “She crossed my mind everyday, and them two children crossed my mind everyday. She just turned 24 years old and she was my heart, my heart, only sister I had.”

As for what he thinks of his former brother-in-law?

Smallwood: “You want the truth?“
Reporter: “I want the truth.“
Smallwood: “Well, I really don’t want to say anything to him. I want to do something to him. You wanted the truth, right?“

But why charge him now, so, many years after the incident? Investigators tell us they recently uncovered new evidence, but they won’t say what that evidence is. By the way Rascoe also faces first degree arson.

This is the official press release from the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office:

On the morning of November 26, 1972, fire destroyed the house located at Route 1, Box 247, Windsor, NC. On the morning of November 26, 1972, fire destroyed the house located at Route 1, Box 247, Windsor, NC.  This was the home of Roy Lawrence Rascoe, his wife Annie Elizabeth Smallwood Rascoe, and their two small children.

After the fire, the badly burned remains of Mrs. Rascoe and her two children were found at the scene.  Mr. Rascoe was unharmed.

In recent months, new evidence related to this incident was uncovered.  Since then, Bertie County Sheriff’s Office, with substantial assistance from the Windsor Police Department, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has been diligently investigating the case.

As a result of this investigation, today, August 31, 2009, we have arrested 68-year-old Roy Lawrence Rascoe for the 1972 murders of his wife, Annie Elizabeth Smallwood Rascoe, and his two children, then one-year-old Retta Renee Rascoe, and then two-year-old Tony Ray Rascoe.

Along with these three counts of first degree murder, Mr. Rascoe is also charged with first degree arson of their Indian Woods home.

Note: Cross posted from [wp angelfury] Whos Killing Families?.