Killers of Melissa “Missi” McLauchlin
20th Anniversary of the Racial Killing of Melissa McLauchlin by Blacks
In the midst of the hysteria surrounding the Trayvon Martin shooting by a Hispanic and the constant drumbeat Ad nauseam of Matthew Shepard (actually a drug deal that went bad) and the dragging death of James Byrd (which was really a revenge killing for Byrd violently assaulting a relative of one of the men), we need to remember a real racist killing.
When a gang of seven blacks kidnapped, gang raped and murdered Melissa “Missi” McLauchlin goes largely ignored. When a minor story in the AP in 2008 reported on the execution of one of the men, it played down the racial part of the murder.
This crime predated the Shepard/Byrd killings but unlike them, the press has gone silent. The victim was white and this was clearly a racist attack.
She was murdered in 1992 and here in 2012 we need to remember a true victim of racial hate because the press never will. Extracts from The State (Columbia, SC) September 4, 1994 Page: B5
McLauchlin, 25, was shot in the face five times with a .25-caliber pistol and left to die on the side of U.S. 78 near Summerville Dec. 30, 1992.
Police said that before the slaying some of the defendants, all of whom are black, made a New Year’s resolution to rape and kill a white woman as retribution for 400 years of oppression of black people…
In previous hearings some defendants said McLauchlin was willingly having sex with a half-dozen men she’d never met for the promise of drugs. They said that promise was a ruse to lure her into their car… (The facts don’t add up.)
McLauchlin’s body had a blood-alcohol level of more than 0.25 percent, but toxicology reports showed no trace of illegal drugs. Dorchester County sheriff’s Lt. Butch Henerey said McLauchlin’s only known drug connection was that she entered a drug rehabilitation program in the mid- to late 1980s.
Melissa “Missi” McLauchlin
The outcome of the case is as follows from http://www.prodeathpenalty.com/Pending/05/apr05.htm and I updated the rest.
Date of scheduled execution: April 5, 2005
State: South Carolina
Victim name: Melissa “Missi” McLauchlin, 25
Inmate name: Joseph Gardner
Status: December 05, 2008 Executed
Joseph M.L. Gardner was pronounced dead at 6:15 p.m. Friday in the state’s death chamber in Columbia. He did not make a final statement, but did mouth the words “Thank you. I’m OK,” to a relative who witnessed his death.
Gardner was convicted of the Dec. 30, 1992, killing of Melissa “Missi” McLauchlin, who was raped, tortured, shot five times in the face and left to die by the side of a road in Summerville. At the time of the shooting, police said Gardner and some other men made a New Year’s resolution to rape and kill a white woman as retribution for 400 years of oppression of black people.
Gardner, who was later arrested in Philadelphia, was the trigger man. Gardner was sentenced to death in December 1995. Joseph Martin Luther Gardner was convicted of the Dec. 30, 1992, killing of Melissa Ann McLauchlin, who was raped, tortured, shot five times in the face and left to die by the side of a road in Summerville.
Missi McLauchlin, 25, was a native of Wixom, Michigan, living with her fiancé’s family in North Charleston, South Carolina. On the night she died, she had an argument with her fiancé at a nightclub. She stormed out of the club and began to walk home. Police spotted her, obviously drunk, and gave her a ride home, but she apparently set out on foot for another club.
Three black men, Matthew Carl Mack, Matthew Williams, and Joseph Gardner pulled up alongside in a car and started a conversation. The men had spent most of the day drinking and watching pornographic videos of black men having sex with white women. At one point Mack had exploded in anger at his white girlfriend, saying he wanted to “stab her,” but that “it ain’t got to be her, any white would do.” Williams said he wanted to have sex with a white woman.
Two hours later, the group watched a television news account of the biggest stories of 1992. When the videotaped beating and arrest of Rodney King came on the air, the third man, Gardner, spoke of “four hundred years of oppression,” and made a “New Year’s resolution” to “kill a white bitch.” It was in this state of mind that they returned with Missi to the trailer where the men lived. The men soon began raping her. They put out the word within the trailer park that they had “captured a white woman,” and three other black men arrived and raped her.
Two black women, girlfriends of some of the rapists, were present in another room of the trailer, but did nothing to stop the attack. After they had enough, the men decided to get rid of the evidence-including Missi McLauchlin. They soaked her in bleach and hydrogen peroxide, and scrubbed her under the shower with a nylon brush, in the hope of ridding her skin of sperm or other evidence that could be linked to them. They forced her to scrub out her vagina with the same chemicals. They also talked openly of killing her. The men handcuffed her, blindfolded her, and put a heavy coat over her head.
They then took her to a car, and forced her down onto the floorboards in the back. After they had driven for some time, she managed to get out of the handcuffs and began to struggle. Joseph Gardner, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, reached over the seat, held back her head, and shot her twice in the face.
The driver pulled over to the shoulder 14 miles outside Charleston, where Gardner shot her three more times in the face and once in the arm. The men dumped her on the side of the road, drove back to Charleston, and went nightclubbing. A passing driver found Missi McLauchlin, miraculously alive, and he left to get help but she died before the ambulance arrived.
Missi had a blood alcohol level of .25 at the time of her autopsy. There were no traces of drugs. It took police four days to identify the body, and a day later they located the trailer where Missi McLaughlin was raped. By January 9, 1993, police had arrested seven people including two of the ringleaders-Matthew Mack and Matthew Williams-and two women, Edna Williams and Indira Simmons, who were charged with being accessories to murder and sexual assault. Three of the rapists were sailors stationed at nearby Charleston Naval Base.
The only suspect not in custody was the triggerman, Joseph Gardner, who had carried out his New Year’s resolution. Gardner, who was AWOL from the Navy, eluded police for nearly two years, and might never have been caught had the FBI not put him on the “ten most wanted” list. He was living in Philadelphia when someone saw his picture in the post office and tipped off the police.
He was arrested on October 20, 1994. Police suspected a racial motivation from the start, since they found a “crudely written racial diatribe” in the trailer, complete with racial epithets about white oppression, which claimed blacks were “justified in seeking revenge.”
Walter Bailey, the chief prosecutor in the case, said “It was the absolutely most brutal and senseless crime, one of the worst things I have ever seen. Totally unprovoked.” Before his sentencing, Gardner told the jury, “Do what you think is best.” Before that, Joe Gardner apologized to Missi’s parents. “I hope it gives you some sense of closure so you can put this behind you and move on. Yesterday when I was listening to you talk, it really hurt me. I really hurt you.”
The seven women and five men that found him guilty of kidnapping and murdering Missi thought about it for two hours and decided that the 25-year-old Detroit native should die in the electric chair or by lethal injection. “When it came down, the picture in my mind was my daughter’s grave and roses starting to bloom and that she was finally resting in peace,” said Missi’s mother, Patricia McLauchlin.
Gardner was the only person sentenced to death in the case. Mack received a life sentence plus 30 years, which will allow parole eligibility after 30 years. Williams pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison with parole eligibility after 30 years. However, 1st Circuit Solicitor Walter Bailey agreed that if Williams would help prosecute Gardner, Williams could be sentenced again under circumstances that would cut parole eligibility to 20 years.
Another man involved, Roger Williams, served half of a five-year sentence for third-degree criminal sexual conduct and being present during the commission of a felony and not reporting it. He was scheduled to be released in December 1995. Danny Dwayne McCall was sentenced to nine years for the same charges as Roger Williams, suspended upon service of six years followed by five years of probation. He was denied parole in June 1995.
Edna Jenkins, who was dating Gardner at the time, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact of murder, illegally buying two handguns within 30 days and lying on a firearms application. She served 554 days in jail. Indira Simmons, who was living in the trailer with Matthew Williams, pleaded guilty to failing to report a felony. She served 572 days, partly in jail and the remainder under house arrest.