Murder in Winston-Salem Is Overshadowed By Clown Hoax

Have you seen all the clown sighting stories circulating online? The Winston-Salem Journal has run several stories on creepy criminal clowns appearing all over the Triad. The clown hysteria started in Winston earlier this week when the Journal reported two instances of clowns attempting to lure kids into the woods in Northeast Winston. But none of these national or local stories have been substantiated. Police don’t have any clowns in custody. These stories are just hysteria, fueled by social media.

At the end of August creepy criminal clowns were supposedly spotted in Greenville, South Carolina. Now they’re surfacing in the Triad. In a week this controversy will be forgotten. It’s just a hoax.

I can’t believe how much attention the clowns at the Journal have given to this story. At the same time the Journal has given relatively little coverage to the city’s latest homicide.

Homicides are a big story in Winston. 2016 has been a very violent year in the twin city, the murder rate is up considerably. I expected Winston’s latest murder would have gotten more attention from our city’s paper of record. I was surprised to see a confirmed homicide overshadowed by unconfirmed clown sightings.

Here is the story: Tuesday morning, according to the Winston-Salem Journal Alfonzo Singletary, age 60 was shot and killed.  The WSPD have charged Norman Kennard Carter Jr. and Nakia Danielle Foster , both age 20 in connection with Singletary’s killing. This was 18th homicide in the city of Winston-Salem this year. At this time last year only 10 homicides had occurred in Winston.

Details of the crime from the W-S Journal:

Investigators say that shortly after 2 a.m., Carter and Foster were driving in the area of East 23rd Street and North Cleveland Avenue. As the vehicle rolled through the area, Carter fired multiple shots from inside the car, police said. Bullets struck a house and a vehicle parked outside. No injuries occurred at that home.

As they continued on East 23rd Street, the duo came across Singletary as he was walking on a sidewalk. Carter fired at least one shot from the vehicle, striking Singletary in the lower back, police said. He died at the scene.

Police said Singletary, of the 1200 block of East 24th Street, was chosen at random. Nor did the suspects know the occupants of the house where the shots were fired, according to police”

The initial reporting on Singletary’s murder was good. But there wasn’t a follow-up piece or an editorial. We need more context from the Journal. I’m sure the Journal will develop this story more when the case comes to court. But that will be months from now.

Murder is always a serious event. The random nature of this particular murder is very disturbing. Was substance abuse a factor? Who in their right mind would take someone else’s life so casually?

The two suspects are young people in the primes of their lives. They should be at college preparing for careers. The fact that they chose, without cause to take someone else’s life is a statement about how little regard they had for their own futures.

The murder occurred in East Winston. Is that why the murder wasn’t front page news? Is that why the Journal focused on clown sightings instead of a follow-up article on Singletary’s murder?

What happens in East Winston is important in its own right. At the same time, violence in East Winston is an issue for the entire city. Murders shouldn’t take a back seat to clown sightings.



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