Memories marred by murder

The home of one’s grandparents is a sacred place filled with memories. The Holcomb, Miss., home shown in the 1970 photo at top, was built in the first decade of the 20th Century and bu mid-century was the home of my grandparents, Samuel Franklin and Mary Ella Lindsey Timmons. After their deaths, my aunt, Kathleen Oakley, continued to reside there for many years until she moved to Tupelo to be near her daughters.

Throughout the 20th Century, the families which graced its spacious rooms added to the home’s provenance: Clark, Jackson, Timmons, Oakley and Clanton. The Clantons completed the restoration of the home begun by my aunt and her children.

Today, the wonderful old homes of Holcomb have been lovingly restored in this “bedroom community” situated between Greenwood and Grenada. For a wonderful bit of Americana, visit this small town’s Web site HERE.

The artist’s rendering above is of the main street I remember so well, and the Corner Grocery with the restored Coca-Cola sign once belonged to my aunt and uncle – a heaven of free Lance cookies, Eskimo Pies and Grapette drinks.

So, this, then, is a history of the place where I spent so many precious moments of my teenage years.

My memories were marred when word came from my older brother Roy that the current owner of this wonderful old homeplace, the Rev. Jimmy Stauddy, 69, a United Methodist minister and antigues dealer, and his caregiver, Martha Stoker, 47, were stabbed to death last week by an intruder. Stauddy, a former captain of the Grenada Police Department and intelligence analyst with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, was wheelchair-bound from the advanced stages of Parkinson’s.

Ironically, I am reminded of another senseless Holcomb killing, that Holcomb the small Kansas town where the murders of the Clutter family took place. When I read Truman Capote’s account, In Cold Blood, I couldn’t help recall another sleepy farm town, the peaceful little Holcomb of my youth.

I do not know the victims of this crime, but my heartfelt sympathy goes out to their families and neighbors in so many ways.



“Killings shake Holcomb,” Bob Darden, Greenwood (Miss.) Commonwealth, 17 November 2009

“Man arrested in double slaying,” Bob Darden and Tim Kalich, Greenwood (Miss.) Commonwealth, 20 November 2009


Frodo, at the OK Cafe, said...

Where's Atticus?


airth10 said...


As I started to read your piece I first thought about "In Cold Blood". And to my surprise you ended in mentioning it.

bbj said...

BJ, I'm racing around, trying to get ready for an influx of family. We'll feed over 30 for Thanksgiving dinner! So I haven't clicked through on your links, and I'm sure the articles include this comment, but The Clarion Ledger reported this morning that the young guy who killed these two people said he needed 10 bucks for a hit, and he only had $2.

Two people killed for 8 dollars . . .

Sue said...

senseless, just senseless BJ. I don't understand the mindset of todays society. Human beings murdered in cold blood for what? A few bucks. These people have no concept of the human life, they care about nobody, they were never raised to have empathy. Its a sick sick world!

Tiny said...

Tiny sends her sympathy to the families of the victims and to BJ for having her pleasant memories marred by unscrupulous addiction of one person. Hold onto the good memories and let the others go as nothing can change the bad deeds now.

B.J. said...

bbj: My brother Roy knew about the $8. Drug addiction is a ruinous thing. Thanks for the info as I didn’t know it was yet public. Inside scoop is that the perp’s relatives turned him in.

Your Thanksgiving sounds like the ones I grew up with! The more the merrier!

To all: Happy Thanksgiving Day! (airth10 up there in Canada, I’ll eat a turkey leg for you!) I am thankful for readers who stick with me through the good and the bad.


Anonymous said...

This makes me heart sick. What a horrid situation. I know so many people that turn to drugs for support. Even without the drugs, there is a problem. Look at Fort Hood. Why do people in this country think they are so important that they could take someones life for any reason? I just don't understand murder. My heart goes out to the victims of this haneous crime!

I had no idea that my great-great grandparents house was still standing. I would have loved to have visited this house but not anymore. BJ, i know this is upsetting. That young man cannot touch your beautiful memories. Love, Phil