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Charles Lee "Cookie" Thornton: An Ex-RFT Staffer Recalls His Encounter

Ex-Riverfront Times writer/editor Randall Roberts -- who's now the music editor at our sister paper, the LA Weekly -- recalls crossing paths with Charles Lee "Cookie" Thornton in this blog post. Like others, Roberts wasn't surprised that Thornton was the man behind the Kirkwood city council shootings -- and remembers his interactions with the man known as "Cookie" well.

He had an asphalt business that required that he own a truck too big to park at his house. Nonetheless, he parked it and his asphalt machinery there, and started getting tickets. He refused to move the gear, fought tooth-and-nail for his right to park it there, and ultimately accrued thousands of dollars in fines. I spoke with him on the phone – and he may have even come by the Riverfront Times' office at one point, but my memory is shoddy on that. Seeing photos of him online, I distinctly remember his face, which leads me to believe that he did. He called a few staff writers, pleading to each of us to write about his case. We bounced around the idea of writing a news story on his plight.

In my conversation with Thornton, he expressed frustration with his situation; it was his business, it was his house, and that was his stuff. It only made sense that he park it there. I recall him being calm but determined, almost as if he was arguing his case not to a reporter but to a judge. It seemed so obvious to him that he was the victim of a broken system, and that a miscarriage of justice was occurring.

Read the rest of the post here.

-- Annie Zaleski


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