Late last year I received a book from a local newspaper reader, who also happened to be one of our more avid letter writers.
The book, by Joe Grimsley, was his telling of the death of his stepson, who was murdered in rural Tennessee in 1985. He pursued justice for Larry Eugene “Mick” Jones through his writing and investigation of the outcome of the criminal case against those involved in Jones’ death. Grimsley believed and made a compelling case that more than those who were prosecuted for the crime were involved.
Mr. Grimsley died Thursday. His funeral will be 1 p.m. Sunday at A.F. Crow & Son Funeral Home.
Joe was born in Indiana and came to Glasgow as an employee of R.R. Donnelley & Son. He married Sherry, who is from the Fountain Run area. She had two children, one of whom, “Mick” was killed along with his father and a cousin on a night in September of 1985.
Former Daily Times editor Joel Wilson wrote a review of Grimsley’s book in the 1990s. “The Case of the Missing Macon County Men” had recently been made available through Amazon.com when Grimsley sent me the copy. The book was well researched by Grimsley and an interesting read. Also, there were questions left unanswered, not because he didn’t try to find them, but because they were never answered by the police investigation in 1985.
To get the answers he wanted, Grimsley was willing to put up his money. Instead of his book carrying a biography and photo of the author, it had this message: “$5,000 REWARD. I will pay the sum of $5,000 to anyone that can provide the identity and information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person in this book called ‘THE BIG MAN.’”
I don’t know if Mr. Grimsley got his answers, but I had aimed to find the time to give him a call and ask him that question, plus many others I had about his research into the crimes committed nearly 30 years ago. Unfortunately, the time could not be found and he may also not have gotten his answers. There never seems to be enough time in life to accomplish all that we want to do.
I owe Mr. Grimsley’s family an apology for not creating the time to sit down with Joe and tell him how much I appreciated his gift he gave me in the form of his book. It takes a great deal of personal fortitude to write a book, especially one with as much emotional motivation as this one obviously had for him.
Also, I will miss his letters to the editor and the ones he sent that were only meant for me to read. Thank you, Joe Grimsley.
James Brown is editor of the Glasgow Daily Times. He can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.