Skip to comments.The Texas Murder That Shook America: James Byrdís Condemned Killer Speaks Out
Posted on 09/20/2011 9:07:13 PM PDT by nickcarraway
Beneath the guard towers and behind the razor wire of a Texas prison, Lawrence Brewer lifts his arm to display his racist tattoos.
Like a cross burning and an intertwined KKK, he explains, showing off the images cut into his flesh that turned his body into a billboard for hate.
His worldview of racial relations came from an earlier stint in prison.
Watching the blacks and the Mexicans and other races literally beat people near death. So I came out after four years of that, with that mentality, he said. What he did after he came out of prison made him one of the nations most notorious killers. And on Wednesday night, hes scheduled to die.
Along a lonely country road in East Texas, something horrible happened. And yet, the man whos facing execution for the crime still says he didnt commit murder, and that he was just going along with friends for a ride. He said that he wouldnt do anything differently. As far as any regrets, no, I have no regrets, Brewer says. No, Id do it all over again, to tell you the truth.
The savage killing of James Byrd Jr shook the conscience of the nation, reviving Americas nightmarish legacy of lynching and racially motivated violence. One hot night in June 1998, a trio of young men driving along a country road near Jasper offered Byrd a ride. Instead, they beat him, chained his ankles to the back of their pick-up truck and dragged him for more than two miles.
Byrd tried to prop himself up by his elbows, but they were sheared to the bone. As the driver swerved from side to side to bounce Byrd across the road, the asphalt tore away parts of his body. His agony ended when he slammed into a culvert and he was beheaded.
His killers left what was left of his torso alongside the road near a cemetery. Then they drove home and went to bed.
Deputies quickly arrested Brewer, John William King and Shawn Berry and charged them with capital murder. And the quiet town of Jasper suddenly was besieged by everyone from FBI agents to news reporters to race-baiting protesters.
All three of the killers were convicted in separate trials. King, a belligerent ex-con who wrote rambling essays about inciting racial warfare, was considered the leader of the murderous pack; he was sentenced to die. So was Brewer, another ex-con who covered his body with ghastly, racist tattoos. Berry, whom even prosecutors admitted was not a racist, escaped the executioners needle and was sentenced to life in prison.
Now, Brewer becomes the first to face execution on Wednesday evening. He still asserts his innocence, repeating his story that he looked out of the pick-up trucks back window and watched Berry cut Byrds throat. Thats all I could see, whenever I looked out the sliding glass window in the truck, was Sean bending over at a pair of ankles, he said.
But his alibi falls apart when compared to the physical evidence, according to Billy Rowles, the retired sheriff who investigated the murder.
There was absolutely no throat cut, Rowles said. Wasnt even scratches on the throat where a knife had done it.
Oddly enough, as his hours on death row tick to a close, Brewer says he supports the death penalty. Even though he asserts his innocence, he claims hes ready for his case to finally come to a close.
Some days Im wishing for a date to come and some days Im not wishing for a date, he says. So now that its here, Im willing to accept it, you know. Thats my punishment.
Byrds sister is willing to accept it, too. Betty Boatner speaks with a voice bathed in peace and contentment. Her mother has died, her father has Alzheimers disease, but she still talks about her familys blessings. And she bears no malice toward Brewer.
If I saw him face to face, Id tell him I forgive him for what he did, Boatner said. Otherwise Id be like him. I have already forgiven him.
Still, the sheriff who led the investigation into the murder and helped keep the peace in his southeast Texas town cant help but wonder about Brewers state of mind on death row.
In all the time he sat in that cement cage, that hes been in there, in all the time that hes had to think. I just cannot believe theres not some kind of remorse, Rowles says.
This makes me want to cry... how a human being can do something so savage to another person is beyond me. This is pure evil.
This was horrible, and I remember it well.
Something else I remember is how the subhumans in the lamestream media descended on the town of Jasper and tried to stir up racial strife.
Disgusting and shameful.
Well as they say if it bleeds it leads.
How did the media try to turn this into race feuds in Jasper? Actual rabble rousing in black crowds?
Death is too good for that POS.
A devoid. A thing that looks human but is not. Needle him and be done with the scum.
Racism is stupid. Hate because of skin color is insanity. I cannot understand things like this animal.
With that said frankly what comes to mind is that I wonder who has set race relations back more? This worthless piece of crap or someone that holds the highest office in the land? One certainly has done more to split people up than the other.
Al Sharpton is Larry Brewer without the guts.
Sharpton lynches White people using the System.
No excuses, Mr. Brewer. Whatever you saw done in prison does not translate to taking out other men’s cruelty on a man who was just walking down a road.
Jesus died for your sins, yes even the sin of cruel murder. Start talking to Him fast, Mr. Brewer.
So where are all the death penalty opponents who are protesting against his execution?
Did you ever consider that race relations in the town may have been strained the moment after these good ‘ole boys murdered a man because he was black?
>>How did the media try to turn this into race feuds in Jasper? Actual rabble rousing in black crowds?<<
They were going around with news cameras to the black citizens, and asking them race-baiting questions....you know the kind...
Trying to get blacks to say they felt intimidated and oppressed and fearful, to feed the media stereotype and further the liberal agenda.
The delightful thing is that the community (and by that I mean black AND white) banded together and sent them a clear message. “We get along just fine, and we don’t need you coming down here trying to stir stuff up.”
It was awesome to behold. And that is exactly how it happened.
This was what, a white fellow who said he was racially embittered by watching blacks and Hispanics attack one another in the prison? Does not compute. While we don’t want to believe in thoughtcrimes, it looks like he went well out of his way to make it clear to all comers he hated all non white races.
If that’s how it went down with the nosy news, Jasper deserves an award for class. The punks who dragged Byrd to death were not typical of Jasper, and both whites and blacks vouched for that.
Well, looks like the good ole boys were bad ole boys and even the black people of Jasper knew the difference.
I think what he meant was he became racially embittered by seeing members of the other groups attack whites in prison.
>> The punks who dragged Byrd to death were not typical of Jasper, and both whites and blacks vouched for that.<<
Exactly right. But I’ll bet the media is SALIVATING over this story, because they will spin it like this is an everyday occurrence.
Quite frankly, this person should meet the exact same fate he dealt.
There would be nothing cruel or unusual about that IMHO.
Good question. Where were Sharpton, Jackson and Mike Farrell?
Had this been the other way around where a couple of black men dragged a white man to his death, wonder what the media reaction would have been.