Sneaky Cop Haters in late 1970s St. Louis

Posted by 1877 on 2017/02/17

During this period of time, which is of no more significance than any other 5-year period, some rather important-feeling officers of the law became the fortunate victims of the timeless urge to “pull the chair from beneath your bully.”

Racist, ex-cop, general manager Buck Ray surveying the charred remains of the RIT wire basket factory, March 1976

March 1976: The RIT wire basket factory in Rock Hill caught fire because someone wanted it to. That someone wasn’t hip to racist, ex-cop general manager Buck Ray. While Bucky was kicking back in his recliner at home earlier in the week, that someone also sent him telephone and postal threats and a drive-by shower of buckshot (pun intended) to convey something quite scary to this quite scary man.

March 1977: The fuzz and the kids of the ’70s didn’t jive, so 3 of those kids crept onto the front lawn of Riverview police captain Robert Murphy and woke big captain Robbie and his wife up with the smell of smoke and a mess of broken glass from his dining room window and the bottle of a molotov cocktail. Not sneaky enough, the kids were caught and said to have done the deed for “vengeance” and well, a “general dislike of the police.”

Robert Murphy’s Living Room, March 1977

May 1977: These kids were a little different, but not really. They got bored of watchin TV in central Missouri, and a little nighttime boozin at the quarry yielded an excellent find of dynamite. Since they had it “out for the police,” they thought, ‘Hey, let’s go put this stuff where we wanna.’ The town of Fulton woke up earlier than normal to a trio of booms from a courthouse, a bank, and police car.

April 1978: You want to scare someone? Light a stick of dynamite on the outside wall of their child’s bedroom. Don’t worry, no one got hurt, and that someone was vice-hater Paul Vize, the head of the St. Louis Probation and Parole Office who thought his Fenton home was off limits to his thousands of vice-loving haters.

Paul Vize’s chickens come home to roost, Fenton, April 1978

January 1979: On a cold winter morning in Hanley Hills, a groggy Pine Lawn policeman woke to a neighbor’s knock on his door. This neighbor, with a hint of excitement, told him someone had poured gasoline all about his cruiser and now a giant fireball was in his driveway.

February 1979: We will never know whodunnit, but someone was thinkin’ bad thoughts about Fairview Heights Police so they went to their police station and put a knife through the tires of 6 smokies. Three more and who knows what kind of day Fairview residents could have had.

August 1979: Someone on the Northwest High Blue Devils football field dropped back to pass and threw a strike to a wide receiver who was taking time off work as a St. Louis City cop and driving a car down Riverview. Cruising at 30mph, his car received the pass through the passenger side window. As you might have guessed, no football was thrown, but instead a molotov filled the role. Fire exploded on the dashboard and the cop jumped out of his moving car abandoning it to the flames of the Blue Devil hell.

Fall 1979: The February Fairview slasher probably didn’t go around to different St. Louis suburbs doing the same great thing over and over. Lots of people would love to do that great thing, so it was most likely one of these other people who lived in Florissant who did this: went to the Florissant Police Station’s car lot over and over and over in the last four months of the decade and slashed a total 50 tires on squad cars and cops’ personal cars.

RIT wire basket factory on fire, Rock Hill, March 1976

Filed under General Sabotage

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