Today Judge John Hodge ruled that Jordan is to be held delinquent in the February 20, 2009 murder of Kenzie Houk and her unborn baby son.
We had had inklings that the decision just might go this way. Court officials who observed the trial commented that the defense had won the case hands-down, but doubted that Judge John Hodge would have the backbone to buck the police, the Attorney General’s Office, Judge Dominick Motto, the Houks and their camp of supporters, all of whom have been saying all along: “Don’t bother me with the facts; my mind’s made up.”
It was, in fact, the Houk camp which initiated a malicious campaign of hate, vengeance, innuendo, and outright lies aimed at saddling an innocent child with responsibility for a tragedy that was largely of their own making.
Beginning just one day after the murders, the Houk family and friends gathered at the parents’ house and told The Associated Press that Kenzie had had problems in the past with Jordan. “There was an issue with jealousy. He told my son stuff,” said the Houk’s son-in-law Jason Kraner, a violent felon and street thug with ties to the then (and now discredited) county prosecutor John Bongivengo.
“He actually told my son that he wanted to do that to her,” Kraner claimed, and the Associated Press reported it. Combined with the illegal release of Jordan’s mug shot by a jail employee, the image of Jordan as a Pugsley Addams went viral in the media.
What no one in the media was interested in learning was that two months before, Kenzie herself had concluded that her nephew’s accusation that Jordan had threatened to “pop Kenzie and her daughters in the head” was a lie. She had questioned not only Jordan, but daughters Jenessa and Adelynn, and had ascertained that the story was a total fabrication. Even the expression of “popping” someone in the head was language Jordan wouldn’t have used. It was the kind of talk that went on in the Kraner household.
Kenzie and her mother had discussed this on the phone. They had fought about it. If there was any “jealousy” involved as the Houks have claimed, it was in the Houk household, not in Kenzie’s and Chris’.
Kenzie was going her own way. She was breaking away from a lifetime of poor choices and making a new life for herself and her daughters with a good man who truly loved her. “I have two daughters … and a WONDERFUL boyfriend I adore,” Kenzie wrote. “I finally found all I have been looking for. I am so BLESSED!!!!”
As subsequent events prove, it is far more likely that Debbie Houk was resentful and jealous of Chris because he was taking Kenzie and her granddaughters away from her own dominating influence. Debbie and Jason had a close relationship but, being on opposite sides of the law, Chris and Jason didn’t. Debbie and Jason believed what they wanted to believe because it suited their purposes.
It was clear from the start that Chris Brown had had nothing to do with the murders. He was at work, and there were lots of witnesses to confirm he was there around the time Kenzie and the baby were killed. So Jordan became a surrogate for their hate and jealousy, and a way to punish Chris.
Bongivengo believed what he wanted to believe, too. He was in the middle of a re-election bid that was going poorly, and prosecuting a little boy whom he could paint as a heartless, remorseless sociopath would be a headline grabber and possibly give his campaign a shot in the arm.
The cops have been sticking by their theory because to change course in the light of the exonerating state crime lab findings would be a career-ender for some of them.
Everybody has been using Jordan for their own selfish ends, including the killer. What kind of worthless coward would let a little kid, an innocent without motive, take the fall for him?
Despite today’s decision, this unholy conspiracy still hasn’t worked. There will be an appeal.
The physical evidence all disproves the implausible, knee-jerk theory concocted by the cops, whose barracks has a reputation in law enforcement circles as being strictly bush league. Half the police who testified on Wednesday lied on the stand. Unfortunately, the cops’ myopic dishonesty has allowed the killer to remain at large in the community and for valuable evidence that might have led to his apprehension to be destroyed, lost, and ignored. Unfortunately, the judge’s ruling coming as it does only affirms—albeit temporarily—those minds that, despite a paucity of evidence, were made up long ago.
So now the gloating begins and the hate fest resumes. A Facebook page organized by Houk supporters has taken to calling Jordan “Satan.” It’s cruel and wrong, but it’s what they want to believe.
Yesterday a Pennsylvania sculptor named George Shean, of Ellwood City PA (email@example.com), sent me this lovely message: “I know…the TOOTHFAIRY did it…they fly…and don’t leave footprints…only 2 sets…NO black truck…lying scumbag and a shotgun shell found at the school bus stop…gun powder residue on blanket, shirt…murderer,,,and you brown…your a stinking liar…you have coached this kid…not to say anything…well when he’s 21…people will still KNOW he’s a fucking MURDERER.” This was the eleventh hateful e-mail I’ve received from this angry man since June of 2010. I tried explaining the true facts, but he wouldn’t listen. He believes what he wants to believe. I suppose he has his own reasons and demons.
Just now Joann, age 50, of Beaver Falls PA (firstname.lastname@example.org) has sent this message: “Ahhh it won’t be long till the judge rules on this little baster and he going to spend the rest of his cock sucking childhood in jail. Good for the little mother fucker. hopefully chris that useless piece of shit will be the next to go to jail. chris how many times do you think gordan has taken it up the ass. Die all you mother fucking browns.” This “lady” really has a mouth, eh?
“You got somepin’ to say to me?” he asked.
“Who is this?” No answer.
“You got somepin’ to say to me?”
“Who is this?” I asked. Still no answer.
“You got somepin’ to say to me?”
And then again this morning: “I’m gonna meet you,” he said.
“Who is this?” No answer.
“I’m gonna meet you soon.”
“Oh yeah? Where?” I asked.
“You’ll find out.”
“Whatever,” I said, and hung up.
There will be more harrassment to come.
Last night Jordan was in tears. He has no illusions about the Lawrence County judiciary. He knew his ordeal would not end today.
But he brightened up when Chris told him there would be an appeal. Jordan knows there will be justice outside of Lawrence County. He knows that we’ll never give up until justice is served.
Oh wow. The first donation for Jordan has just come in.
You’re not giving up, either.
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