In an earlier post, I wrote about the case of William Poole, an 18-year-old Kentucky high school student who was arrested for writing what he called a “zombie story” that police believed threatened his high school and its students.
The situation sent the blogosphere into overdrive, where people were calling Kentucky authorities every name in the book becuase they were stupidly cramping a student’s creativity by over-reacting. These same people, who were so quick to condemn the police for jumping to conclusions (while they themselves jumped to the conclusion that the student couldn’t have been making any real threats), likely won’t be mentioing this development.
On the other hand, I believe in hearing both sides of the story. So I direct you to a recent article in the Lexington Herald-Leader, which includes testimony from Winchester police Detective Steven Caudill, that Poole’s story not only wasn’t about “brain-eating dead folks,” (the word “zombie” never appeared in the story) but rather contained “evidence that he had tried to solicit seven fellow students to join him in a military organization called ‘No Limited Soldiers.'”
The writings, according to Caudill, describe a bloody shootout in “Zone 2,” the designation given to Clark County. Caudill also stated that the student “corresponded with someone in Barbourville who claimed to have acquired cash and guns in break-ins.”
In the spirit of maintaining both sides of the story, I am the first to acknowledge that it is entirely possible that Poole never intended to hurt anyone and was merely exercising creative freedom on paper. Until he is convicted of anything, we must assume that this is the case. I have yet to see Poole’s story published anywhere online; even so, someone not connected to the school or that specific area could easily miss “clues” that locals would read very differently.
But after this new information that has been largely ignored by the bloggers who seem more interested in crucifying local police and the student’s grandparents who turned him in, one has to wonder what they would have said if nothing had been done, and — hypothetically — an attack had subsequently occurred. Would these same finger pointers have been standing behind police, defending their lack of action that might have prevented the potential tragic outcome because they didn’t step in and thereby stifle anyone’s creative endeavors?
Somehow, I doubt it.