(Note: Includes update at 7:30 p.m. on 7/11/12. See the end of this post.)
A former assistant U.S. attorney who helped prosecute a high-profile murder case from the civil-rights era was found dead in his Brandon, Mississippi, home last Friday.
Jack Lacy Jr., 69, died from a single gunshot wound to the head, and authorities say it is a probable suicide. Comments at the Jackson Clarion-Ledger Web site have several family members and friends contradicting public statements that Lacy suffered from anxiety and depression. The comments hint that some people close to Lacy do not believe he killed himself.
An item buried in most press accounts might be of keen interest to those of us in Alabama. In his most recent position, Lacy served as state prosecutor for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. Ironically, Lacy's death comes almost exactly one year since the FBI raided two Choctaw casinos in Philadelphia, Mississippi.
According to news reports, the resulting investigation centered on two Atlanta-based companies that focus on gaming. But very little has been reported on the case since last summer. The last substantive story I've seen on the raid came last August 17 when the tribe's outside auditing firm quit.
Those who have followed Alabama news over the past 12 to 15 years know that the Choctaws have caused enormous problems for our state, mainly from dubious efforts to ensure that gaming operations did not pop up next door. Much has been written about the underhanded efforts of the Choctaws to undercut Alabama gaming initiatives that might have chopped into their market share.
Most famously, Republican Party felon Jack Abramoff has admitted to funneling roughly $20 million into Alabama to help defeat former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman. Was much at stake? Abramoff wrote in his recent book that about $400 million in annual revenue was on the line.
Abramoff's efforts succeeded, with Republican Bob Riley managing to beat Siegelman in 2002 when votes for the incumbent Democrat mysteriously vanished overnight in the GOP stronghold of Baldwin County. Through much of his eight-year reign, Riley went to extraordinary means to fight gambling in Alabama, leading to two federal corruption trials that resulted in zero convictions against pro-gaming forces.
The raid last July in Mississippi came amid reports that the gaming facilities there were hemorrhaging money. And the casinos' financial woes coincided with Bob Riley's efforts to close down gambling operations in Alabama.
Where does Jack Lacy fit into this equation? That is not clear. For now, he remains best known for his role in the 2003 conviction of former Ku Klux Klansman Ernest Avants for plotting the murder of a black sharecropper named Ben Chester White. The case was part of a failed plot to assassinate the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
But in his role with the Choctaws via the state attorney general's office, Lacy almost certainly was involved, in some fashion, with the FBI raid and Justice Department investigation.
Was Lacy's role to seek the truth about possible misconduct related to tribe facilities? Was his role to thwart the truth by trying to cover up wrongdoing? Did he kill himself because of stress related to the federal probe? Did he uncover information that put his life in danger?
We don't have the answers to those questions, but we do know that news has been awfully scarce for months about the investigation of Choctaw gaming. And we know that Jack Lacy has died under curious circumstances.
My guess is that Alabamians should pay close attention to this story.
Update at 7:30 p.m., 7/11/12--Those following the Jack Lacy story might be interested in the string of mysterious "suicides" we've covered here in Alabama. I've reported on at least four of them. Here are two of the most recent posts on the subject:
An Independent Investigation Is Needed on Mysterious "Suicides" in Alabama (May 18, 2011)
Another Mysterious Death Darkens the Political Landscape in Karl Rove's Alabama (December 21, 2010)
My name is Tempe H. I am Jack's sister. I say, "am" because even though he is no longer a physical presence, it doesn't change my status as someone who thinks he hung the moon. I chatted with him at 3 p.m. on the day of his death..we spoke daily, sometimes twice...for years. We also emailed...he was the best "sister" anyone could ever want :-). My point is...I know...this man who was as irritatingly, positive and happy as I am...was not suffering from depression and anxiety. We were shopping for plane tickets as he was coming to Ohio for the 4th. I refer to him as Dusty..as that was my name for him. Dusty had said to me on previous occasions, that suicide was a very selfish act. He also once told me, "if I ever commit suicide, I didn't do it". This I believe...he didn't do it. But I don't agree, that the Choctaws had anything to do with this...I know who did, we all in the family do. Thanks for listening.
I'm very sorry for your loss. I appreciate you taking the time to leave this comment at such a difficult time for your family. If you get to a point where you can share information about what happened to your brother, I've got a willing set of ears. We've had a number of mysterious "suicides" here in Alabama, and I've written about at least four of them. I guess that's one reason the story about your brother caught my eye. It's gotten to a point where I don't just blindly accept the official findings. In fact, I'm starting to doubt most anything a medical examiner says. Their findings seem to be easily twisted to fit the desires of certain individuals who want to keep the public in the dark.
My best to you and your family.
First of all the Choctaws would not have committed "Jack's suicide" unless they were the victims of a first brutal attack, and then retaliation would only be due to an absolute necessity.
The history is, the Choctaws when decided to be in a reckoning, did not leave any one to tell. In other words, the family would have more than likely been unable to talk about any part of "Jack's" life, should "Jack" have been the criminal predatory on the Choctaws.
I'm born in Biloxi and have enough Choctaw in my blood to know that the reckoning haunt by a revolutionary spirit is certainly "in the blood," so to speak, but mostly the understanding of the past "blood" is more important to know what the freer ideas are.
Jack was not a suicide. Please, intuition is not to be ignored.
Next, the common sense of forensics which more than likely can prove the same never printed story: murder by the people who and whom have are corrupted and a cult, global mob, the so-called "elite."
American "mutt" NON "elite" are very attentive to the tracks of the predators since the environment is infected with the ghetto lust and the "money," "power," and therefore, the true question is what is "control?"
Without self control is there actually an idea - ? - other?
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