DAILYKENN.com -- I'm no proponent of lynchings, but I do know why they occurred: Had this crime been committed 100 years ago, Coley McCraney would likely have been dangling from a hangman's rope.
J.B. Beasley and Tracie Hawlett were fatally shot. The two young teenage girls were found in the trunk of a car. The crime was committed August 1, 1999.
The crime occurred in Ozark, Alabama. The victims were both 17-year-old seniors at Northview High School in Dothan. Their entire lives lay before them. Unfortunately, those lives were very short, thanks to McCraney; allegedly. Reports say the girls were lost and stopped at a convenience store for directions at night. Each was found dead from a single bullet in the head.
Advance forward to 2019. Arrested from the crime twenty years after the fact is McCraney. He is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
According to cbsnews.com, "The two best friends had left their home in Dothan the previous night to go to a birthday party, but got lost and ended up in nearby Ozark, the station reports. Hawlett reportedly later called her mother to tell her they had received directions and were on their way home.They never made it."
Authorities culled a DNA profile of the suspect at the crime scene. Two decades later genetic genealogy techniques were employed to search for a suspect based on that profile.
McCraney's work history includes driving a truck and preaching occasionally at a church. He is a married grandfather with a community reputation that does not match that of a killer. Apparently his genetic profile trumps his nice-guy reputation.
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