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January 14th, 2014
01:13 AM ET

Mysterious Death in Jasper, Texas

There are serious questions surrounding the death of Alfred Wright. He disappeared last November. It took searchers three weeks to locate his remains, even though they were found just up the road from where he vanished. Authorities say he died of a self-inflicted drug overdose. Wright's family says he did not do drugs, and according to the autopsy his throat was cut and his ear was missing. This happened in an area of Texas with a history of racial tension, where one of America's most horrific hate crimes occurred. Deborah Feyerick reports.

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Filed under: Alfred Wright • Deborah Feyerick
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  1. curious57

    I also have a cover-up death. It involves McGregor TX PD.
    My 19 y/o son, Joshua, was found dead in Amsler Park. McGregor PD did not investigate, citing, 'We don't investigate until we find something suspicious', per former employee, Interim Chief Molina. He also stated that there was no one in the park at ten after one.
    Molina was not on duty nor is there any document, stating a 'Park Check' @ 1:10AM. However, I later found out TJAT my son had bern seem AND recognized in Amsler Park at 1AM, by one of two on-duty McGregor officer. Kathy Amecuzca, an associate with Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science/Dallas, that there was a report of said sighting. I called McGregor PD to inquire about this report, and was told that he had no clue about any report. I sent an FOIA request to Dallas, I recd the report. However, 8 years later, McGregor hasn't divulged which officer or what transpired.
    The body was reported @ 5:150AM, according to the man that called 911.
    Read the story:
    http://www.realcrimes.com (Joshua Robinson) Attached documents, click on phrases in Italics.
    I need air time to get justice. McGregor and McLennan County are dirty. Even the VIP's have lowered 'the brick wall'.
    Abel Reyna offered to take this case for $20,000, back before he became District Attorney Reyna.
    In May, 2013, I was given an hour of First Asst., Matthew Jarrett's time.....Now, I know that I actually got 'Smoke blown up my ass'!
    Attorney Abel Reyna would've taken $20,000 and done what?
    Yet, as District Attorney, he/his staff state that 'I don't see the inconsistencies that you see.' [On the website, there was an attached petition. I have 249 signatures, of people that DID SEE the inconsistencies.]

    February 17, 2014 at 12:11 am |
  2. cofczarzak

    Wow this is absolutely disgusting. I am pretty sure I have never heard of someone cutting off their own ear, slitting their own throat, and taking out their own teeth. Come on now. Clearly the police are just as racist as the rest of the town. Quit living in the past people, its 2014.

    February 12, 2014 at 1:38 pm |
  3. jwpjwp

    MAKES ME WANNA HOLLER by Nathan McCall [born 1955]
    [Prof Afro Am studies - Emory U] Published 1994 page 4

    ".... After my older brother Dwight got his driver's license, a group of us would pile into my stepfather's car some evenings and cruise through a nearby white neighborhood, searching for people walking the streets. We'd spot some whites, get out, rush over, and, using sticks and fists, try to beat them to within an inch of their lives....." End Quote....

    February 8, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
    • noloveforracists

      Native genocide
      Emmit Till
      Slavery
      Police profiling
      Zimmerman killed an innocent Black teen and got off
      Michael Dunn killed an innocent Black young man and got off
      the list can go on and on

      February 18, 2014 at 1:22 am |
  4. jwpjwp

    test to see if I'm just auto deleted.....

    February 8, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
  5. Ashley

    Mental illness is real and in most cases generational. There is a history of generational mental pathology in the town of Jasper that needs to be addressed and investigated. His ear is missing....... classic of a old time lynching. Call a duck a duck.

    January 23, 2014 at 11:27 am |
  6. jonaspell

    I'm sure the family didn't know he was doing drugs, or were in denial.. Nothing here suggests homicide. Notice how there is not even a homicide ruling by the coroner yet Anderson is busy fanning the flames judging by the comments here.. Let's get some real physical evidence here. An eyewitness, a black man too, said he just ran off in the fields alone.

    January 18, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
    • deb199

      I'm sorry what part about having his ear cut off and throat slit suggests that there was not a homicide? This story isn't fanning any flame it's pointing out the cover up!

      February 6, 2014 at 11:32 am |
  7. Nicole

    Being that I live over a thousand miles away, I cannot speculate on what actually happened to Alfred. Is his death being investigated by the FBI? It seems as though whatever happened, local law enforcement is either covering something up, or flat out does not care. If it was a white man, it would have created national attention immediately and law enforcement would have been exhausting ALL resources to find him. Prayers go out to his wife and family that they may find answers and have some closure.

    January 18, 2014 at 10:38 am |
    • jwpjwp

      It's getting more media attention precisely because the victim is an educated semiwelloff black man who had a white wife,...

      February 8, 2014 at 5:34 pm |
  8. Marty

    Sounds to me like a cover up. I hope the family gets the answers they deserve. Let me get this straight he overdoses on drugs then cut off an ear and then slit his own throat? Sound a whole lot like a murder to me.

    January 17, 2014 at 12:38 pm |
  9. holly

    I live in Hemphill. I heard that the sheriffs daughter is pregnant. And most of the stuff i have heard has turned out to be true.. I am really curious as this could be possible motive... I posted this early but do not see it now...

    January 17, 2014 at 12:30 pm |
  10. Kori

    I am glad someone is looking further into this. When the original story of his disappearance the news reported it mostly as a father running away from his responsibilities and then he was portrayed as a criminal trying to avoid federal court. It will be interesting to see what the real story is.

    January 15, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
  11. Bryan

    The man was obvisouly kidnapped, tortured and then murdered. A hate crime that rehashes old memories of Emmet Till – Goodman, Swartz & Chaney. Investigators should look closely at the facts and the store clerk who last saw Wright alive. Cutting of one ear is what was done to the enemy by soliders in the field too long during the Vietnam War. We live in a digital, information age, can we not look at satellite imagery at the time he went missing waiting on his parents? Maybe it'll show something or give new leads. Racism, hatred, bigotry alive and well... sickening.

    January 15, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
  12. Ashley

    The moment i heard about this i was so sadden,old wounds just being opened right back up. I truly believe there is a cover up within the police department there. How can the M.E say that there were no physical signs of trauma??? Since when does a split throat,missing ear and teeth count as normal? If i had to take a guess as to what happened to this young man it would be that while he was at the store he was approached by someone ( probably closely associated with the police) about him being married to a white woman or his friendship or assoiciation with Tom Maddox daughter. Was abducted given a fatal cocktail of drugs then beaten throat cut and ear severed. But thats just my guess. I live in Houston,Tx and one thing that every African American Texan or Louisana native knows when on a road trip there are definitely 2 places in south Texas that you dont stop in for any reason Vidor,Tx and Jasper,Tx. Its like going back to MIssissippi in the 40's. It is so sad that the same battles we fought 70+ years ago are still being fought in 2014.James Byrd Jr, Trayvon Martin and now we can add Alfred Wright to the list of thousands of black names that have been murdered at the hands of white men. But thats just my Personal Opinion.

    January 15, 2014 at 2:44 am |
  13. Leslie Ligondesign

    Good ol' East Texas; the more things change, ...

    Peace be with his family friends, and other rational humans left in that vastly ill-educated area.

    January 15, 2014 at 12:33 am |
  14. Savannah

    I am curious as to why the article is called, "Mysterious Death in Jasper, TX?" Alfred Wright disappeared from, and was found deceased in Hemphill, Texas. I know the media would like to link Jasper to this because of the James Byrd murder, but to title this story as it was is at best irresponsible journalism, at worst a cheap media tactic to create ratings. I don't know what really happened to Alfie, I don't think anyone ever really will. What I do know is that manipulating the facts of the case to create a better story is sickening and Deborah Feyerick should be ashamed of herself.

    January 14, 2014 at 10:45 pm |
    • tilmannpuschka

      Savannah- if there's a history of, say, some kind of cancer in your family, then your doctor is going to be on the lookout for it and be suspicious of anything that could be a sign or symptom of it possibly developing in your body. applying this example to Jasper (and East Texas in general), one could say that there's a pretty significant history of cancer in that area- a cancer known as hardcore (often violent) racism. as such, it makes total sense to look for foul play resulting from racist sentiment in the mysterious death of a black man, ESPECIALLY when it has happened so often in the past (that would be the history of cancer in a body that would be Jasper, Tx). since your local officials are clearly reluctant to carry out a proper investigation, it actually makes a lot of sense to bring in an independent investigative body to find out what happened. wake up and join the rest of the world in the 21st century.

      February 9, 2014 at 12:51 pm |
  15. Annette Blocker

    There is definately something not right about this – the Sheriff's Office is the first place I'd look.

    I'm also glad it's getting national attention – when my nephew, Tony Procell, was missing – we tried everything to get attention from the media. I'm happy that it is happening for the Wright family. It forces more attention on those who failed Alfred.

    January 14, 2014 at 10:35 pm |
  16. james

    Sounds to me like the sheriff was upset his daughter was friends with a successful black man so he and his posse beat and murdered him. They probably force fed him drugs in an attempted cover up and then left his body to rot. It's a hate filled racist world we live in.

    January 14, 2014 at 8:30 pm |
  17. Kate

    Looking forward to the report on this. I have not heard all of the facts, but growing up one county away I can tell you that spending 2-3 weeks in the East Texas wilderness without being completely filthy is like spending 2-3 weeks in Phoenix and not having any sand on you. Also, the wildlife, including buzzards, is extremely abundant. It is my understanding that his body did have some damage caused by wildlife-but 2 weeks? He should have been nearly "picked clean". I know that's sounds horrible and I hate to say it-and God be with his family-but it's the truth. I'm 45 years old and we've had a 60 acre hobby farm in East Texas since I was 3. Bodies don't just stay in a "preserved" state around here. It's just impossible. Impossible.

    January 14, 2014 at 3:44 pm |
  18. Ashley

    I am so happy this case has finally gotten national attention. I grew up in Hemphill. Graduated from Hemphill HIgh School. So many things do not make sense here. The amount of drugs in his system, the connections between Tom Maddox daughter and Alfred Wright, the missing camera from the liquor store, how the body was missed in the first search, but mysteriously found in the same area that had already been searched, the embezzlement charges ect... This is the first mention of severed ear, and slit throat in the media that I have heard. I had heard this information before this interview(through community members) but thought it was just hear say (wrong). Praying for answers for this family and peace for his children and the community.

    January 14, 2014 at 11:55 am |
  19. Waylon Jacks

    If he was missing for 19 days he would not have survived without eating and drinking. Was the contents in his stomach looked at to see what he had consumed those 19 days? If it was regular food of some sort then you would know he was held captive somewhere. Just my thoughts.

    January 14, 2014 at 11:51 am |
  20. Kenneth Bagley

    I think this is very sad for this family, to lose there son in this matter. Now what I think, The Sabine County Sheriff Dept. Is wrong for doing what did, there more talk in the Six Mile, but people are not saying to much, but when they do, everything goes back to the Dept. That's where the DOJ, FBI, should Invesgated.

    January 14, 2014 at 10:03 am |
  21. Darryl

    I have a feeling that his ear and teeth were taken as a trophy.

    January 14, 2014 at 7:55 am |

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