Lawmen commended

Published 11:51 am Saturday, September 5, 2009

What happened Monday is likely an once-in-a-lifetime occurrence for most involved.

An alleged crime that took place nearly 37 years ago has perhaps been solved by the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office, the Windsor Police Department, the State Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Roy Lawrence Rascoe was arrested for the 1972 slayings of his wife and two children thanks to new leads which were developed in the case. He was brought into custody and charged with three counts of murder and one count of arson.

The last six days have seen news stories run all up and down the eastern seaboard as the announcement of this unusual arrest made headlines in North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia.

Bertie County Sheriff Greg Atkins and Detective Sgt. Ed Pittman, his chief investigator, are to be commended for not letting the case simply rest because of the time that had elapsed. Some law enforcement officers likely would have been too timid to take on a case that old, but this sheriff and his staff were not.

Equally, it is important to say thank you to the Windsor Police Department, SBI and FBI for their help in the case. Without them, it would have been much more difficult for an arrest to have been made.

There is still a long way to go in the case and, as always, Rascoe is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. While we await that verdict, we applaud those who worked diligently to help the families of the victims who can perhaps finally feel some sense of justice.