Theresa's Reviews > 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 by Mara Leveritt
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Jan 31, 11

bookshelves: non-fiction
Read from January 05 to 25, 2011 — I own a copy, read count: 1

In 1987, two boys, Kevin Ives and Don Henry, in Saline County, Arkansas, are run over by a train. The emergency workers on the scene felt the bodies were wrong and that the boys may have been dead when placed on the tracks. But the state medical examiner ruled their deaths as accidents due to “marijuana intoxication.” Yes, the state medical examiner thought they’d inhaled so much marijuana that they passed out and couldn’t hear the train whistle.

The parents didn’t believe this conclusion and were appalled at how the investigation was handled. The investigation work was shoddy from the start, the scene wasn’t secured and witness accounts were dismissed.

Kevin’s mother, Linda, questions everything about her son’s death and eventually a local attorney, who has quite a few person problems, steps in an helps her family and gets a grand jury to determine that the boys’ death were homicides and not accidents.

But even this, does not result in a real murder investigation. And, every time it looks like something will break the case – the investigation is blocked, by the authorities charged with investigating the case.

The Iran-Contra affair seems to be connected to the boys’ deaths and a number of other unsolved murders that happened during the same time period. A lot of drug running was going on in Arkansas during this time. Former president Bill Clinton was the governor at the time and he didn’t seem to care that the people doing the investigations were incompetent. Later on, when Mike Huckabee was governor, he was also unwilling to help with the investigation.

I read this book partly because I believe the Ives family is a distant relative and because I wanted to find out why this case was so difficult to solve. It is very well written and some fairly complex twists and turns are presented in a manner that allows you to keep track of who is who and what is going on.

The story really made me angry – this family just wants justice. A solid investigation into who murdered their son. But it would seem that in Arkansas the good old boys network is the law and the law breakers.

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