Just Asking

June 19, 2012

Would this have turned out the same if one of the two men had been a different race?  Any race.  Either way.

HOUSTON — A central Texas grand jury on Tuesday ruled that a local father who beat to death a man he reportedly caught molesting his 5-year-old daughter will not be charged in connection with the attack.

District court clerk staff told the Los Angeles Times that the Lavaca County grand jury met Tuesday and declined to return an indictment against the father in the June 9 death of 47-year-old Jesus Mora Flores of Gonzalez, Texas.

The attack happened at a horse barn between the farming towns of Shiner and Yoakum. Investigators said the 23-year-old father, who lives in Yoakum and whose name has not been released, ran toward his daughter’s screams, pulled Flores off his child and beat him to death with his bare hands.

Emergency crews responding to a 911 call found Flores’ body with his pants and underwear pulled down. The girl was later taken to a hospital for a physical exam and interview, officials said.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Veronika Wenzel June 20, 2012 at 7:53 am

Dear Mr. Engel, I’m sorry I contact you in the form of a comment, but I haven’t found another way to do so. I’ve got a question and I hope you’ll have the time and possibility to answer. I’m currently reading your book “Gene Roddenberry. The Myth and the Man Behind Star Trek”. One of the most valuable aspects of it is the fact that you worked with the original sources. Star Trek mythology is full of contradictary accounts, and your fact-finding is absolutely priceless. I want to thank you for your work, although it probably has brought the “wrath of the fan” upon you. Now to my question. On page 62 you speak about Roddenberry hiring an actor for the role of Spock: “His first and only choice was Leonard Nimoy”. There are so many legends around the role of Spock. Different actors claim they were offered the role and either turned it down or somebody in the production team didn’t want them (to the greatest disappointment of Roddenberry). Just recently Martin Landau claimed he turned it down. But the most interesting part is the set of stories told by DeForrest Kelley. He has several versions of “him almost becoming Spock”. Actually, Kelley’s first versions were all about Roddenberry offering him the role of the doctor (in the 1st pilot / in the second pilot / he declined / somebody in the production declined etc.). But after Roddenberry’s death Kelley has changed the “doctor” to “Spock” (with all the variety of versions, as it seems). As I understand, your claim is based on your work with the original sources: letters, notes, memos etc. Which would suppose there are no written traces of any other negotiations, offers, calls to the agents and so forth. Am I right? Or was it one of the persons you interviewed who said it? Who, if I may ask? And, while we’re at it, are there any traces of Kelley being offered the role of the doctor, in the 1st or in the 2nd pilots? And who exactly was the one who didn’t want him (if this version is correct, of course)?
I thank you very much in advance for your answer.
And please, forgive my imperfect English.
V. Wenzel


Joel Engel June 20, 2012 at 10:51 am

The memos (and other correspondence) Roddenberry wrote are quite clear that Nimoy was the actor he wanted. This surprised even Nimoy. It’s a long time ago that I researched this, but I don’t remember seeing anything written about Kelley’s possibly being cast for anything other than he was (in fact, I remember few memos about Kelley period). I’m pretty sure that if I’d found anything on the order of what DFK claimed, I’d have included it. Given the self-invented mythology that Roddenberry devised after ST went off the air, it’s no wonder that others (like Shatner and DFK) would want to get in on the action.

You’re right about the wrath of ST fans. They were surprisingly upset to read the verifiable, on-the-record truth about Roddenberry, a man I had no feelings for one way or another before researching the book, so I had no vendetta–as many of them falsely and laughably claimed. Their pathetic reaction reminded me of the man whose wife catches him in bed with her best friend. He cries out, “Who’re you going to believe? Me or your own lying eyes?”

By the way, there’s a “contact” button on the top right of this page, so you could’ve sent an email. If you have any further questions, it’s a better way.


Veronika Wenzel June 21, 2012 at 3:45 am

Dear Mr. Engel. Thank you very much for your answer. I tried the contact button and, being stupid in all the programmist stuff, I really had no idea it was your e-mail adress. Fortunately, my husband is a programmist, so he told me it’s a usual anti-spam measure, although even he was surprised to see it applied by a “lay person” (well, maybe in the US it’s more common than in Germany). An enormous thank you for the possibility of the further questions. I’ll definitely use the e-mail next time.
Thank you again and have a nice day.


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