Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Tales From Around North Platte
I'm nowhere near old enough to "remember" Charlie Simants' murder of an entire family in the Village of Sutherland., 15 miles west of the rail yards and about twenty from the center of North Platte proper. I was in fact a reverse toddler. But I do remember how the events sort of hung over the greater community in my childhood. I remember the tales of snipers being placed on the downtown roofs to protect Simants from vigilantes while he marched across the town's main street from jail to court. (A security problem for all rule-breakers great and small that wasn't relieved until last year.) I remember hearing the rumors of how Simants was part of a larger network of satanic or whatnot assassins who would terrorize the greater population shortly. I remember hearing in both high school and college about the absurd attempt to place a media "gag order" on a public trial in a small town, one where the massacre was naturally the main subject of all conversations. I'm not sure how I feel about this World-Herald story though; I mean, I don't think that Simants should be released until maybe he's on his last legs and completely enfeebled, but I'm really not all that concerned that's going to happen here. Maybe I'll be proven wrong, but I suspect this story was written to cater to a 'tougher than thou' crowd that desperately wants to believe that everyone but themselves are intolerably soft on crime and will lap up any information that tells them so. Simants, almost certainly, will remain locked up.