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  1. #1
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    TN - Gail, 66, & Mary Clark, 39, found murdered, White Bluff, 1 Jan 2008

    http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs....WS03/801030386
    Thursday, 01/03/08
    Slain foster mom had heart for the troubled
    Teens charged in double homicide
    By KATE HOWARD
    and PATRICIA LYNCH KIMBRO</I>
    Staff Writers
    WHITE BLUFF — Mary Clark loved anything that was in trouble.
    The 39-year-old mother of three, found shot to death along with her mother-in-law on New Year's Day, had a history of taking in tough cases. Her husband, William Clark, was an ex-con staying in a halfway house when she first took Thanksgiving dinner to him at the body shop where she first met him in 1994.
    Some of her seven dogs came to her as rescues, one a victim of Hurricane Katrina. And more than a year ago, she started opening her home to foster children.
    Now, two of those children, 15- and 17-year-old boys, are being held on charges of first-degree murder in the deaths of Mary Clark and her mother-in-law, Gail Clark, 66. (more and pics at link)

    http://wbztv.com/local/tennessee.mur....2.621444.html
    Jeffery Byrd Johnson Jr., 15, and James Earl Garrett, 17, are being held in a juvenile facility and scheduled to appear in court Friday.

    District Attorney General Dan Alsobrooks says his office would file a petition to try the teenagers as adults.

    Investigators believe there was a motive in the killings, but Davis would not give details. (more with pics at link)

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taximom View Post
    http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs....WS03/801030386
    Thursday, 01/03/08
    Slain foster mom had heart for the troubled
    Teens charged in double homicide
    By KATE HOWARD
    and PATRICIA LYNCH KIMBRO</I>
    Staff Writers
    WHITE BLUFF — Mary Clark loved anything that was in trouble.
    The 39-year-old mother of three, found shot to death along with her mother-in-law on New Year's Day, had a history of taking in tough cases. Her husband, William Clark, was an ex-con staying in a halfway house when she first took Thanksgiving dinner to him at the body shop where she first met him in 1994.
    Some of her seven dogs came to her as rescues, one a victim of Hurricane Katrina. And more than a year ago, she started opening her home to foster children.
    Now, two of those children, 15- and 17-year-old boys, are being held on charges of first-degree murder in the deaths of Mary Clark and her mother-in-law, Gail Clark, 66. (more and pics at link)

    http://wbztv.com/local/tennessee.mur....2.621444.html
    Jeffery Byrd Johnson Jr., 15, and James Earl Garrett, 17, are being held in a juvenile facility and scheduled to appear in court Friday.

    District Attorney General Dan Alsobrooks says his office would file a petition to try the teenagers as adults.

    Investigators believe there was a motive in the killings, but Davis would not give details. (more with pics at link)
    Thats so sad, it sounds like she has helped a lot of people and animals. It is too bad she will not be here any longer to do good. I hope these to teens realize the impact they have had on this families lives forever and that she was trying to help them and they killed her. I do not believe they should be tried as adults, that is why they are called juveniles. That being said, I do not think their records should be erased either after becoming of age to be released. The problem here is these two were probably raised in Fosther care, passed around, abused, neglected, never bonded. The state raised them and now they will put them away probably for life.

  3. #3
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    The older foster teen sounds like he may have been the killer. I hope he didn't influence the younger one to kill.

    This is another one for the psychology books.

  4. #4
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    We are trying to become foster parents and this case has been brought up by our families as an example for us not to foster. *sighs*

    This is so tragic. This is why people NEED to get involved in the Foster care system in their own state to help FIX the problems. Enough bad foster parents/pervs/cheats/greedy/losers have had their way with these kids for long enough. Where are all the good stable loving people at? The kids (those in foster care, not the muderer. I believe it is to late to help him. Sorry.) need help.
    Children are in need. Desperate need! And very few good people help them.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixies View Post
    We are trying to become foster parents and this case has been brought up by our families as an example for us not to foster. *sighs*

    This is so tragic. This is why people NEED to get involved in the Foster care system in their own state to help FIX the problems. Enough bad foster parents/pervs/cheats/greedy/losers have had their way with these kids for long enough. Where are all the good stable loving people at? The kids (those in foster care, not the muderer. I believe it is to late to help him. Sorry.) need help.
    Children are in need. Desperate need! And very few good people help them.
    Your so right Pixies, don't let this discourage you. My mom is a foster parent had adopted a 12 year she has had since she was 5 last year. The case workers that come out and visit tell my mom how almost all the foster parents in the city do it for the money but they are desperate for homes so if they take the class and pass the background check their in. These kids do need help but what they will get instead is prison. I wish the foster mother they killed could speak because I am sure she would say the same thing. She was such a giving person and wanted to help.

  6. #6
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    This case is so sad, this woman sounded like such a beautiful person, with a kind heart.
    From what i've read it sounds like the 17 year old, James is the brains and actions behind the murders. I think the 17 year old should be charged as an adult. The 15 year old, Jeffery,as a minor. If the James had recently moved in weeks prior, and Jeffery had been there for months; the problems having started after James arrived and the Jeffery started idolizing him. I wouldn't be surprised if the James took advantage of his influence over Jeffery. I hope LE really does a good check on prints on those guns, i wouldn't be surprised if the older teen, James, tells the younger one to cover for him.
    It does sound like they live in a rural redneck area and in the article it said that James was angry about local kids calling him racial slurs. I just wish that if James felt he had to pull a trigger, that he fired it on one of the jerks calling him racial slurs.
    These women didn't deserve to die, the mother, Mary was wanting to add on to the house and yard so that she could take in more children. It's so senseless a killing..
    As for the husband saying that only violent crimes and crimes against children exclude people from being foster parents; yet he did 3 years for arson in the 90's.
    Is arson considered a violent crime? I thought it was, i could be wrong though.
    The DCS should do more research as to where they place children, as certain rural areas of the south tend to be racist. I would want to leave there, too, as James did, yet i would have never pulled a trigger, especially not on an innocent woman who took me in.
    I do think they should try him as an adult. He killed two innocent people, he's 17.
    The 15 year old, Jeffery, on the other hand, seems easily influenced and probably just wanted an older brother role model figure, which turned out to be James. I hope they prosecute him as a minor, as he is 15, still highly impressionable at that age.
    This is just a tragic case..

  7. #7
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    Why were there guns in this home? If the child was having issues in this foster home he should have been moved.
    There should have been signs that these boys were on the verge of trouble. Perhaps some type of educational system should be required for future foster parents who plan on trying to raise troubled teens.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beyond Belief View Post
    Why were there guns in this home? If the child was having issues in this foster home he should have been moved.
    There should have been signs that these boys were on the verge of trouble. Perhaps some type of educational system should be required for future foster parents who plan on trying to raise troubled teens.
    From an article I read TN DCS was to have removed Garrett from their home on December 27, 2007. There was a delay by DCS. I don't think it was a case of him having problems with this foster home. I think the Mary was having a problem with him and told DCS that she no longer could keep him.

    I think it will be known that these two were constant problems and in and out of foster care homes before Mary and Billy took them in. Billy said Children Services never told them they were dangerous children.

    imoo
    "Pardon Our Noise, It's the Sound of Freedom" USMC New River Air Station, Jacksonville, North Carolina

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixies View Post
    We are trying to become foster parents and this case has been brought up by our families as an example for us not to foster. *sighs*

    This is so tragic. This is why people NEED to get involved in the Foster care system in their own state to help FIX the problems. Enough bad foster parents/pervs/cheats/greedy/losers have had their way with these kids for long enough. Where are all the good stable loving people at? The kids (those in foster care, not the muderer. I believe it is to late to help him. Sorry.) need help.
    Children are in need. Desperate need! And very few good people help them.
    They are still out there. Don't be discouraged.

    My niece and nephew were foster parents for 10 years for three children. Two girls and a boy. Each from a different mother and father. They have now adopted all three of the children. They have been married for 15 years and never had children even though they wanted them. She finally had resigned herself that she just couldn't get pregnant. Well lo and behold they are expecting a little girl in April and all of the children are soooooo excited.

    These children truly see them as their mommy and daddy. They have had each one of them since they were very small.

    So it can workout well for the children and the parents.

    Keep the faith.........these children need it.

    imoo
    "Pardon Our Noise, It's the Sound of Freedom" USMC New River Air Station, Jacksonville, North Carolina

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Taximom View Post
    The older foster teen sounds like he may have been the killer. I hope he didn't influence the younger one to kill.

    This is another one for the psychology books.
    Since they were found in two different rooms how do we know there was only one shooter?
    "Pardon Our Noise, It's the Sound of Freedom" USMC New River Air Station, Jacksonville, North Carolina


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by oceanblueeyes View Post
    Since they were found in two different rooms how do we know there was only one shooter?
    Was there two guns in the house?
    From what it sounds the older boy was a strong influence on the younger one, who idolized him to the point of dressing and acting like him.
    If the older boy was to be removed, why would he kill the woman who took him in and her mother in law? It's so senseless, police said there was a motive, although i don't know what it was.
    Would the younger boy have shot the women in spite that the older boy he idolized was leaving and the older boy egged on the idea, or was it the other way around?.. so much we don't know yet..
    Being in a rural area, guns are common, yet if they parents knew these two were trouble, they should have unloaded the guns and locked them in a gun safe that could not be opened by the boys (combination style lock).
    Did the boys even get the guns from the home or elsewhere i'm wondering..?

  12. #12
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    I wonder if the older boy had abandonment issues? If he had been shuttled from one foster home to the next he could have just went off when he learned that he was again being shuttled to yet another foster home. I don't know enough about his background or previous behavior so I'm just wondering. I know that a lot of older foster kids will push you to the limit just to see if you are going to send them on down the road. It sounds like this lady put up with as much as she could. What a terrible thing to happen to a woman with so much goodness inside.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbisangel View Post
    I wonder if the older boy had abandonment issues? If he had been shuttled from one foster home to the next he could have just went off when he learned that he was again being shuttled to yet another foster home. I don't know enough about his background or previous behavior so I'm just wondering. I know that a lot of older foster kids will push you to the limit just to see if you are going to send them on down the road. It sounds like this lady put up with as much as she could. What a terrible thing to happen to a woman with so much goodness inside.
    According to the article in the first link of the first post:
    <snip>
    "According to Clark, one of the two teenagers living in the home had already asked the Department of Children's Services to be sent somewhere else before the shootings."

    So the abandonment issue doesn't come into play as an excuse for such an atrocity...

    “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sr.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobbisangel View Post
    I wonder if the older boy had abandonment issues? If he had been shuttled from one foster home to the next he could have just went off when he learned that he was again being shuttled to yet another foster home. I don't know enough about his background or previous behavior so I'm just wondering. I know that a lot of older foster kids will push you to the limit just to see if you are going to send them on down the road. It sounds like this lady put up with as much as she could. What a terrible thing to happen to a woman with so much goodness inside.
    Good Morning Bobbi!

    What I wonder is how much of their background was actually told to these foster parents. Did they tell them these were extremely troubled kids and were prone to other kinds of violence?

    I think new foster parents come into this naively sometimes and think they can love the child enough to change them and their lives but sometimes that just isn't the case and the children can have serious issues that can make them dangerous.

    The younger boy had to participate in someway or they wouldn't have arrested him. It is so scary for I do think this foster mother did try but they probably did not want to adhere to any rules she had in her home. By this age they really have become what they are and it is almost impossible to change it.

    imoo
    "Pardon Our Noise, It's the Sound of Freedom" USMC New River Air Station, Jacksonville, North Carolina

  15. #15
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    From the 1st link:
    Clark said they specified in their foster parenting contract with Phoenix Homes that they would not take violent offenders.
    Clark served three years in New Hampshire prison on an arson charge in the 1990s, he said. But Johnson said only violent crimes and those against children automatically exclude a parent from foster care.
    Johnson said there was nothing in the boys' records to indicate they were violent. The Clarks were operating a facility for children who have behavioral and emotional needs, he said.

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