Skip to comments.Kentucky town demands apology from A&E after unflattering show
Posted on 04/28/2005 9:05:25 AM PDT by kingattax
PIKEVILLE Folks in this eastern Kentucky town are demanding an apology from the A&E network after an episode of City Confidential that they say was unflattering and unfair.
Obviously, being labeled the town from hell can not be interpreted in any way as positive, City Manager Donovan Blackburn wrote in a letter to network.
Blackburn said local residents cooperated in the production of the documentary show, which revolved around murders committed by a group of occultists, after a producer told them the town would be portrayed positively.
A&E had no immediate response to the complaint. A network spokeswoman said Wednesday that Blackburns letter is being reviewed.
City Confidential is billed as a show that goes inside a unique American city and explores its colorful characters, its peculiar history, and the truth behind its hidden mystery.
Blackburn said he watched the show when March 26 and was shocked that Pikeville was portrayed as a hillbilly haven, a stereotype people throughout the region have fought vigorously to overcome.
You start the piece by showing a rebel flag on Julius Avenue, an overweight man without a shirt smoking a cigarette and an old pickup with a few women in the back, Blackburn said. As I am sure you would agree, you can go to almost any city in America and find the same.
A description of the show on A&Es Web site describes the Appalachian town of 6,300 as a place where most kids will do anything to escape. Like in April of 1997, when one Pikeville girl and her five fellow teenagers took a road trip to hell.
The show delved into the 1997 kidnappings and murders of a Tennessee couple and their 6-year-old daughter by six eastern Kentuckians now serving life sentences in prison. The couples 2-year-old son also was kidnapped and shot, but he survived.
Tennessee prosecutors said the six held a bizarre ritual in a Pikeville motel room that included self-mutilation and bloodletting before they left on the road trip. The reputed ringleader of the group, then 19-year-old Natasha Cornett, had told her attorney she was the daughter of Satan.
According to prosecutors, Cornett saw the movie Natural Born Killers, decided she wanted to traverse the country killing people and began recruiting people to go with her.
Blackburn claimed in his letter to the network that the show was filled with unbelievable misrepresentation of fact. As a result, Mayor Frank Justice II and city commissioners passed a resolution on Monday demanding a public apology.
Justice said he fears the show has put Pikeville in such an unfavorable light that industrial recruiters will find it more difficult to convince companies to move into the town.
Were a progressive town, Justice said today
I will side with A&E in that case.
Captain Obvious to the rescue!
But not nearly in the numbers that you will find in Pikeville! : )
While no doubt you can find less than flattering images in any town... these 3 images are not something you are going to find in "every town".
Remember passing through Pikeville, KY on the way to Virginia to visit my grandparents a number of times with my folks when I was small. My dad liked to use the backroads to travel as opposed to the interstate which was linked to a toll road. The backroads weren't patrolled by the police. Remember a one-lane wooden, rickety bridge that we rolled across at about 5 mph. I just knew that bridge was going to drop into the river below. That bridge was replaced about 25 years ago with a concrete one.
Oh, and what's up with a town of 6,000 people having over 100 attorneys? Is it normal for a town's population to be nearly 2% lawyers?
Maybe this publicity will keep out some of the D*&@ Y?*&%%s, but I doubt it.
"Pay no attention to the man with the banjo!"
Grab a fence post, hold it tight
Womp your partner with all your might.
Hit him in the shin, hit him in the head,
Hit him again, the critter ain't dead.
Wop him low and wop him high, Stick your finger in his eye.
Pretty little rhythm, pretty little sound,
Bang your heads against the ground.
(Bugs continues to fiddle away.)
Promenade all around the room,
Promenade like a bride and groom.
(Bugs leads the boys to a hay baler machine. He opens a door in the machine for them to enter.)
Open up the door and step right in,
Close the door and into a spin.
Whirl, whirl, twist and twirl,
(Bugs throws a switch, turning on the baler.)
Jump all around like a flyin' squirrel.
Now don't you cuss and don't you swear,
Just come right out and form a square.
I dunno...Pikeville is only about forty-five miles west of my hometown, and it sounds to me like that A&E hit the nail right on the head. The town "pillars" should probably keep quiet about the whole thing and not bring anymore publicity upon themselves and their "city," if it can be called that.
"a place most kids will do anything to escape . . ." I know I certainly felt that way.
Hillbilly Days is like the World's Fair in Pikeville. I used to work at one of the law firms there. When Hillbilly Days rolled around, it was time to take off. Even the local school systems always find a reason to cancel school at least one day of Hillbilly Days.
Black lung and disability cases, divorces, and bankruptcies. Lots of 'em.
Downtown Pikeville used to have some actual businesses. At last count, I think there might be ten businesses left, and everything else is a law firm.
I spent two days in pikeville, thanks to being in a wedding. I can say that I saw at least ONE if not more of everything they say was portrayed in the article, in that two day period.
The show was about a series of murders that happened in that town. When the show is about murders and their subsequent coverups, there's only so high on the "portray us in a positive light scale" one can go.