The Story of the Asheville Case
by Harold A. Covington
On Friday, September 18th, six persons were convicted in Federal District Court in Asheville, North Carolina on charges of conspiring to commit mass murder against innocent White Christmas shoppers in Greensboro, N.C. Three of the six, Frank Lee Braswell, Joseph Gorrell Pierce, and Raeford Milano Caudle, were sentenced to the maximum penalty of five years in prison and $10,000 fines. The other three, Patsy K. Braswell, James “Shorty” Talbert, and Roger Pierce, received varying terms of probation and lesser fines. The six had been convicted by a jury of seven women and five men, all White, who had listened to many hours of wiretap and other surreptitious tapes wherein Frank Braswell described at length his fantasies of planting huge drums of napalm in shopping centers in Greensboro during the Christmas rush. Had these devices detonated the loss of human life would have been incalculable and there seems little doubt that the majority of the victims would have been innocent White women and children who were shopping for gifts for their loved ones during the one time of the year ostensibly devoted to peace and good will. Afterwards one of the jurors commented that they never had any doubts as to the alleged conspirators’ guilt. (Raleigh NEWS AND OBSERVER, September 21st, 1981). Braswell’s recorded voice plotting the atrocity was too convincing. Frank Braswell’s words condemned all six. Until now, I have kept silent so that no word of mine could inadvertently damage four of the defendants out of six whom I know to be lily-pure innocent. Now that Frank and Pat Braswell have crucified these four innocent men, I will remain silent no longer.