[The following piece is a blog written in 2014 for a separate website – same cause.
The former website evolved into what is now www.heathstocks.info. ]
Much has evolved in the case of Heath Stocks and the murder of the Stocks family (as in the truthfulness of the confession), much has remained the same. The facts will forever remain….well, the truth. We only care to report just that. This piece was written by Samantha Jones. You can contact here via email with questions, comments or corrections.
Did Larry Cook, the Lonoke County Circuit Court Judge candidate, have any comments regarding the May 8, 2014 article, “On the wrong side of the ‘good ol’ boy’ system?” discussing his suggested inadequacies during the Walls investigation?
Yes, he did – although not much.
Heath was interviewed on Friday, May 2, 2014 by the Lonoke Democrat’s staff writer, Ed Galucki, regarding Larry Cook and his role as prosecuting attorney, and especially, his short yet damning role in Heath’s “controversial case.”
My thoughts on the article? I have a few.
First of all, portraying Heath’s story as controversial is absolutely music to my ears. It isn’t simply the statement, but it’s the weight these two words hold that has me ecstatic. A sad story evokes compassion and pity, but controversial touts an unresolved, multifaceted, or opinionated story. Anyone can watch only a few minutes of news to know that controversy gets the spotlight and gets a conversation started so…..LET’S TALK.
“No. I did not.” These repetitive, cookie-cutter responses by which he answers each question, only perpetuates Mr. Cook’s guilt. Speaking without saying anything or by simply avoiding the issue (and question) and not fully answering can never “sets the story straight.”
Let’s take a brief look at just a few events on the timeline of some of Lonoke’s darkest days:
July 9, 1997 – Lonoke Police Dept. began Walls’ investigation.
October 13, 1997 – Morgan Welch, attorney for the Hogan family, writes a letter to Larry Cook regarding his clients’ allegations of Walls’ solicitation of murder of Cledis and Doug Hogan and inquiring Cook’s intent on investigating this claim.
October 16, 1997 – Doug Hogan writes a two-page letter to Larry Cook pleading for justice by asking Cook to file charges of solicitation to commit murder against Charles A. Walls, III.
October 17, 1997 – Chief Peckat writes a letter to Judge Hanshaw providing a timeline relating to issues with Larry Cook throughout his investigation and asking that Cook be taken off of the case.
The political, social, and professional conflicts may have very well been Mr. Cook’s reasons for asking to be taken off of the case, but I believe the pressure was becoming too great and those very conflicts he claimed simply would not allow him to remain “unsoiled”. Many were about to see through his paper-thin concern for the good, the truth, and justice. This was not a decision by Larry Cook to be ethical in his representation of Jack Walls. Cook’s decision was absolutely an avoidance of being just that – ethical.
Asked by the reporter, Ed Galucki, “Did you perform duties for or work with Charles A. Walls, Jr. at his law firm prior to becoming prosecuting attorney?”
“No. I did not.”
Another question by Mr. Galucki, “Did you attend social, political or professional functions at the Walls farm prior to or after becoming prosecuting attorney?”
“No. I did not.”
By these responses, it appears Mr. Cook had little to no contact with Walls, Jr., nor the Walls family, yet when asked for a response Cook states, “I made that decision [to recues] to allow an out-of-county attorney to take over the prosecution to ensure there would be no question of prejudice.”
Who, may I ask, would have questioned Cook’s ability to fairly prosecute the Walls’ matter if no contact was made socially or professionally, and why did it take so long for Cook’s realization of potential prejudice to occur? I wonder, was it before or after the case file was copied? Or maybe Mr. Cook was thinking it was a different Jack Walls – the other one, the innocent, kind, and honest Jack Walls. It is, after all, very hard to distinguish the two.
The power Jack wielded over the many young boys that he controlled and manipulated through unfathomable abuse is horrific to say the least, yet the fact that these boys were young and impressionable almost answers the how could this have happened question. What is the answer, I beg, to how a community of his peers, could be just as controlled? Being declared a pawn of Jack Walls seemed to be a badge so many wore proudly on their sash.
Has Larry Cook’s care and concern for his fellow man, his community, or his voting population ever prevailed over his dishonesty, distaste, and disrespect? Did Larry Cook think anyone would fully remember those dark days some 21 years later?
No sir. He did not.
By Samantha Jones