Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Justice for Arletha! When Did We Stop Caring?
My very first blog was about four little girls in Washington, D.C. who had been killed by their mother Banita Jacks. The school-age girls had disappeared from school at least four months earlier, and had been dead for at least two weeks before anyone even noticed they were missing. Now we have the case of Arletha Hopkins, the 36 year old wife of Mobile, Alabama minister Anthony who was murdered FOUR YEARS AGO and hidden in her husband’s freezer. Her body was discovered just two weeks ago. What gets me is that no one tried to investigate what happened to her…even though she had delivered a baby just two and one half weeks before her disappearance, and that her husband was walking around with the motherless newborn.
It seems that the 37-year old Anthony had been sexually abusing one of his daughters, unbeknownst to Arletha, since the girl was at least 11 years old. In 2004, Arletha unexpectedly came home one evening to find Anthony hurting the girl, who by then was 15. Arletha put the “Rev,” as he was called by neighbors, out of the house. However, before Arletha could take any action, such as reporting the incest to the police, Anthony convinced his abused daughter to let him back into the house. Once inside, “allegedly,” Anthony killed his wife and with the help of his daughter, placed the body in the freezer.
And there Arletha stayed, with no one reporting her missing, until about two weeks ago when the abused daughter, now 19, walked into a police station seeking protection for herself and her seven other siblings. The daughter told it all. Police found a body in the family’s freezer, and arrested the “Rev” while he was preaching a sermon at a revival.
The question remains: why did no one report this woman missing? According to Arletha’s family, Arletha was “sweet and caring” and had phoned them just days before her murder to check on the condition of an ailing uncle, and to pray with him. A few days later, after her murder, Anthony phoned her family claiming she no longer wanted to have contact with them…and they didn’t seem to question this or try to reach her! They never tried to see their grandchildren?! Arletha had just given birth, but no hospital inquired when she didn’t return for follow-up care for her or the child. Anthony and Arletha were active members of a church. A church member wondered what became of Arletha when Anthony began showing up with the children, but without Arletha. The church member claims Anthony could not provide a satisfactory answer to explain her disappearance…but then nobody in the church phoned the police!! Soon after, Anthony moved to a new church, and to further protect his secret, he pulled his children out of school, claiming to home-school them. Arletha was officially ignored and forgotten about by those whom she seemingly had been so “sweet” and “caring” to in the past.
What a disgrace. Justice for Arletha!
(Image: The Rev. Hopkins)