27 – Kevin Ives and Don Henry
Don Henry and Kevin Ives are better known as “The boys on the track.” Joseph Farah recounts the story:
Unless you read the inside pages of the Arkansas Democrat Gazette (not one of my favorite pastimes), you probably missed what may be a significant development in what has become known in Clinton scandal parlance as the “boys on the tracks case.”
Arkansas State Medical Examiner Fahmy Malak, appointed by Gov. Bill Clinton, quickly ruled the boys’ deaths “accidental,” saying they were unconscious or in a deep sleep as a result of smoking marijuana. That explanation didn’t add up to Kevin’s mother, Linda, who publicly challenged the finding. A local grand jury began investigating, resulting in the bodies being exhumed.
Another autopsy revealed that Don Henry had been stabbed in the back and that Kevin Ives had been beaten with a rifle butt. In other words, the kids had been murdered — murdered in an area known as a drop zone for drug smugglers.
Under public pressure over the official mishandling of the case from the beginning, Gov. Clinton called in two pathologists from out of state to review the work of the medical examiner and state crime lab where the autopsies were conducted. But when the Saline County grand jury tried to subpoena those experts for testimony, Clinton refused to allow it.
Mara Leveritt made the case famous with her 1999 book, The Boys on the Tracks: Death, Denial, and a Mother’s Crusade to Bring Her Son’s Killers to Justice.
The Boys on the Tracks is the story of a parent’s worst nightmare, a quiet woman’s confrontation with a world of murder, drugs, and corruption, where legitimate authority is mocked and the public trust is trampled. It is an intensely personal story and a story of national importance. It is a tale of multiple murders and of justice repeatedly denied.
The death of a child is bad enough. To learn that the child was murdered is worse. But few tragedies compare with the story of Linda Ives, whose teenage son and his friend were found mysteriously run over by a train.
In the months that followed, Ives’s world darkened even more as she gradually came to understand that the very officials she turned to for help could not, or would not, solve the murders. The story of betrayal begins locally but quickly expands.
Exposing a web of silence and complicity in which drugs, politics, and murder converge, The Boys on the Tracks is a horrifying story from first page to last, and its most frightening aspect is that all of the story is true.
The phrase that nags at me being, “Clinton refused to allow it.” And the subsequent question: why?
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