I haven't seen all of it in this group and page but I wanted to address some misinformation I've seen as a La Cygne Resident. I'm copying and pasting a response to a post I've seen in Reddit. Largely it has to do with accusations towards the Boones family. Why these rumors came up, and also the Civil Rights History of La Cygne. I think context is important and a lot of people are forgetting. this is a small town that will make shit up and finger point when something goes wrong. So I hope this will help eliminate some misinformation that people post online. My hope is though as well as anyone who lives in La Cygne that the killer or killers will be caught. https://www.reddit.com/r/UnsolvedMysteries/comments/hm2p45/ive_been_following_the_alonzo_brooks_case_for/ My Response to the above Reddit. Hey I grew up in La Cygne right next door to Jerry Boone and though people in their rage may hate my comments because sadly people are that way. I can't give direct information as that year I was in the Job Core Program in Clearfield Utah. but a lot of character misinformation is being thrown around. One of those is the idea that La Cygne is a racist town. The area in which La Cygne was built as a part of the underground railroad. it was settled by abolitionists and formed into a town when the railroad was built. during its town founding U.S. Grants close friend attended. Oak Lawn cemetery is also filled with the graves of union solders. during the 1980s at some point, Martin Hayes was elected mayor of La Cygne. he was a black man who was lovingly called Phats. he died in about 2008. When I left Lacygne in 2003 the youth were going threw a phase of rap ideology, at least in a large segment. There was an emulation of black hip hop culture among this group (Emenims 8 mile came out sometime around this point). In La Cygne at that time especially it was not wise to openly admit to being racist. There was in 2002 an openly racist kid who moved down from Kansas City, his sister had a black baby (ironically enough lol). This kid got in fights with that group of youth that emulated Rap/hip hop culture. The racist kid moved out of Lacygne around 2003, his dad said his family did not feel welcomed and felt isolated. So how the hell does a racist man feel isolated in a racist town for being racist? about the year 2000, there was one black kid in my class, he was one of the most popular kids in the school. he had his own form of BS style D&D that he played with kids. He was a very chill guy who was at times loud but more to be funny. He would not have been considered popular in the raciest town. In school, we were thought civil rights, Martin Luther King Jr, in a positive light. we were assigned to watch Remember the Titans in class and one of the teachers around that time actually went to school where those events took place and talked about ending segregation and how important that was. Civil War was taught as a war to end slavery, Glory was required to be watched in class in our freshmen year of high school. So education-wise the youth of Lacygne was educated not to be racist. There was a comment on a Motto. "If your black don't let the sun hit your back." and sadly that motto is mistakenly attributed on this page to Lacygne. that motto was actually a Louisberg Kansas motto, and they had a sign with that up clear into the 1970's long after the civil rights act had passed. (I am assuming of course that this isnt just a rumor as well.)
Now to Jerry Boone my neighbor. I didn't talk with Jerry a whole lot but I can say my interactions with him were overall positive and neighborly. I always had a strong interest in history so I know I talked some history with him much to his annoyance I'm sure. I know from those few conversations that he expressed to me that he was not racist and I think his views of my black former neighbor on the other side of me expressed that as well. My grandparent's property used to be Jerry's back in the 80's until he lost it. next door to me was Mrs. B. Mrs. B was the first black person I ever had contact within my life. She was kind, motherly, curious, and always free for advice and a shoulder to cry on. When I was in trouble with grandma I ran to Mrs. B. and when I was sad I went to Mrs. B. Mrs. B always took care of her lawn well and had great pride in what she had. When she moved to do to age to live with her daughter I remember Jerry was upset, especially because the people who bought her house trashed her yard. and I mean this guy moved in and refused to mow. the I was 5'4 at the time the grass towered above me so I'm going to guess the grass got to 7 foot. Mice were coming from the property. Jerry said something like it "it is a disgrace that such a man would destroy Mrs. B's property." The last I saw Mrs. B before her passing she did ask about Jerry and how he was doing, she wanted to visit him before going and suggested to her daughter that they eat at his cafe. She passed away in 2018 if I remember right and I saw her last in 2015. Her daughter said, "No we should go home I wouldn't want us to be looked at funny." Mrs. B. said back to her "the people here are not that way." (Mrs. B I assume from that statement did not feel the town was racist.) As a neighbor to me, Jerry gave me my first sit of Arrows and let me shoot at his target in his backyard and he was really protective especially if he found me too close to the river. Now my experience with Jerry Boone was mostly positive, a lot of people did not have that experience with him. Jerry was a very loud, and vocal man. He would cuss at his dogs every morning calling them every four-letter word in the book, you could hear him all the way to the railroad track when he did this. He was temperamental and very expressonate when he was angry. Jerry was considered a bully by some townspeople as he would push for his way. His kids especially Pat had a reputation for fighting and causing trouble throughout the town. The Boones boys are reactionary in anger and will say things they may not mean at the time but never apologize for it. Most of the Boones had mellowed out in comparison by 2004 largely due to having families of their own. The Boones family has a lot of enemies who would never confront them to their faces out of fear but would have no problem latching on to a rumor or create one in order to cause them harm. Tiffany however the youngest of Jerry's children had in my experience and I have little doubt in others as well always been a kind person to everyone. No enemies, and would treat you kindly even when you didn't deserve it. She is normally calm though I've seen her angry too. She was popular in school but not high and mighty. At the time of Alonzos murder, she was a Sophmore in High School. The first rumor I heard of the Boones being involved in Alonzo's death was in about 2008. I was apparently late to that rumor mill. The first words I heard was that Tiffany was raped at the party by the black kid and the Boones killed him for it. The truth is that if Tiffany was raped with all those people being there, no Boone would make it there in time before he was killed. Jerry would have been in bed at that time and would have heard about in the early morning, and his sons as well. Every man and boy in that party would have assisted in the murder if she was raped. As far as harassment goes, Tiffany can handle herself in harassment. She is a strong woman and was a strong girl back then as well. I have every reason to believe that if Tiffany needed to defend herself she would have no issue. So to rehash when it comes to the Boones. 1. Boones are unpopular in town so when something bad happens the fingers get pointed at them first. 2. Tiffany was popular and would have been defended by anyone. 3. Tiffany could defend herself if harassed. It's for these reasons I don't believe any claims involving the Boones, after the murder the town was on a bit of a witch hunt. Boones are easy to point a finger at when something goes wrong.
Rehash on what I said about LaCygne. 1. the town has a history of pro-civil rights starting at the civil war. 2. the motto was from Louisberg not Lacygne. 3. the youth was going through a phase praising rap/hip hop. 4. the youth was educated in a way that discouraged racism. 5. the only racist person I knew in the town left because he felt isolated and unwelcomed. 6. We had a black mayor in the 80's (in fact today our mayor is in a mixed marriage.)
This however does not mean there was no racist in Lacygne but that, they would not be open and forward with it. I was in Utah when Alonzo was killed, he was killed on April 4th. During this time period the creeks get higher, normally these creeks are dry but sometimes even around that house it gets flooded over. the town attempted to make changes years later to stop the flooding but it's only made water run in the streets at some spots. Even today you may have to take a gravel road into town do to the main road being flooded on both sides. My understanding is that though there was no flooding at the time the creek was higher at that point which is why one of the early theories was that he got drunk and fell into the creek and drowned.
The only other murder to take place in La Cygne around that time was this guy stuffing girls into barrels that he killed up in the city. The police for Linn County had (i think) a more hands-off approach to that and I think outside police agency mostly took over for that. Linn County is not used to murder. Someone told me our local doctor examined the body first. the doctor at that time I would not think capable of being about to do that examination, he works great with living bodies but I can't see him as the CSI type.
Around early July of 2004 I was in La Cygne I was in La Cygne for summer break. The town was still shaken by the murder of Alonzo but even more by the thought that it might be a hate crime. I went into the gas station and heard a woman talking about how Jessie Jackson was going to march into the town and how the town will never recover from this stigma. (we haven't, a friend tried inviting some black people to church in Lacygne. yeah... there's a big stigma now.) People generally wanted to know who did it, and hoped the killer would be caught soon. by this point, the idea of accidental death was still floating around but I think most people had already decided it was murder. People would say "there is no raciest here." or "I wonder if so and so is secretly racist." Most believed that he was murdered by someone out of town because no one from La Cygne would commit murder. in 2005 I moved back to La Cygne. it had changed a little bit. Drugs that were more uncommon in town were more noticeably common. this is because an area called Tanglewoods Lake had been producing meth in exchange for weed with gangs in the city, and outside of La Cygne a few years later a large pot farm was found as well as a dead body on it. This was defeated before 2010. (i don't think this is involved in this case at all but I do think the fact it was an issue shouldn't be hidden just in case.)
Most of the kids I grew up with were assholes, I won't even hold back on that. complete assholes. but in my senior year, they had changed dramatically to being much kinder people. I like to think they matured. I have a hard time believing anyone in the 2006 graduating class was involved in Murder. But saying something drunk they would never say sober I can imagine. MY PERSONAL THOUGHTS ON THE CASE ITSELF. I have since 2004 theorized that anyone involved in his murder likely clamed shut tighter as soon as the words Racist and hate crime were mentioned out of fear of the label. Most people in La Cygne want this solved fast and hate that it isn't solved already.
Now for the guy who got lost, I think this is strange. there was only two gas stations around Lacygne at that time. one was on the same main road as the party, the other one was on the other side of the highway and only required one right turn to get to. It would be hard to get lost. I find this suspicious though I guess he could have been so waisted to have gone anywhere. But I do wonder what kind of friend leaves his friend alone at a party where he knows no one at? I hate to be mean to him but that is strange to me as I wouldn't want to be abandoned at a strange place so I don't understand anyone who would do so.
If Alonzo was left behind, I'm curious to know who were the last people to leave the party? Was Alonzo still there? I don't know the people who rented the property at the time but I know they were kicked off the property. it was three men who Rented it. Were the Renters ever questioned?
I have a few questions. I am writing a paper on the mysterious death of Alonzo Brooks, but the first fact checking I have done on the topic shows you are wrong on the mayor during the year of 2004. An actual transcript of a meeting that took place states Sam Barber was mayor at this time. can you comment on why you said it was a black man when research shows he is not. Also Jerry Boone was a council member at the time, something that adds to the suspicion of him having ties to help cover a murder. My other question is if your city has no reputation for racism, do you guys not learn about the Ku Klux Klan making reoccuring meetings in your city park? July 9 1924 and July 25th to be exact, with an estimation of 1500 showing up to the first meeting and around 200 joining the group within a few weeks. Theres even documentation of holding special lodge meetings there. theres an actual publication from the La Cygne Journal advertising the initial meeting on April 11th. Would it be hard to say that some of the ideals were passed on down through generation of even watered down racism?
That’s all well and good, and this is a great read. I appreciate the insight into the history of LaCygne. However, I’m from Chanute, Kansas, and you’re sorely mistaken if you think a black mayor, love for hip-hop and few civil rights activists mean that racism no longer exists in your hometown. Just look at Emporia. Home of William Allen White. Plenty of racism left in that town. I’m glad to hear OP’s story and that they turned out as progressive as they did. but, Alonzo definitely, 100% could have been the target of a hate crime. Rural Kansas in 2004, and even to this day, is one of the most hateful places toward minorities, and hate crimes often get brushed under the rug by local law enforcement. The renters of the home, the party goers, etc., all should have been looked at better. Somebody knows something and is either too scared, or too apathetic to come forward. Period.
You can say that there is no silence (I get you are speculating) but you don’t have a party with 100 people and no one knowing something about
why this boy died. His shoes and hat are on the side of the road and no body found for a month? Something evil happened here. Someone knows and whatever the reason they are not talking...too many tidbits with not enough information. This is so wrong!!!! Not possible with that many people being there that someone doesn’t know MUCH more...many someones know what happened!!!!
I dont know for sure how to answer some of these (from mytwocents) do to how you asked them. The only Herd Mentality ive read online involve a prestigious member silencing the town, or the town in some conspiracy sealing their lips. If this is what you mean that is impossible. Very few pay attention to who is in places of authority in town or county. The other reason is because we are gossipy people just like any other small town. I am not sure what a mold would look like for Lacygne in 2004. I think some of what i said above should tell you the people here are not cookie cutter. Mrs. B was defenantly that way, in context of her comment, her daughter was not from La Cygne and it was more in response to her preconclusions. Another context is that the High School is shared by 4 towns rather then one. as for the class of 2006 i had to give a thought to your last paragraph as i never gave that much thought before. Early in that school year Mark Burns died in a car crash. Most of the guys at school that i would say were jerks were friends with Mark Burns. The guy driving the car had to deal with death threats from Marks dad for years until he committed suicide. I know Marks Burns death shocked a lot of people, it was sudden and sobering. I have nothing but rumors of who was at Alonzos party in 2004 from the 2006 class and have no idea if they are even true.
The OP's comment was a good read and I believe any insights are valuable in their own right and may help further the investigation/efforts to solve this case.
But, respectfully, I have point out that comments like "In La Cygne at that time especially it was not wise to openly admit to being racist." ...... and .... "The racist kid moved out of Lacygne around 2003, his dad said his family did not feel welcomed and felt isolated." ..... These comments really only (inadvertently, of course) serve to add weight to the argument that some folks in this town harbor the capacity for hateful, or hate-fueled, ostracizing behaviors. Legitimately ask yourself: Why would it not have been wise to display a certain behavior during..... what would have happened HAD someone been "unwise" enough to do some things you mentioned in this small town...? Would they have just become the unpopular kid in high school or under the right, inebriated, circumstances could the collective response have been one that was more escalated than a general distaste for that person?
If, as you advised, enough of the town made a family feel ostracized (albeit racist d-bags by the sounds of it), the "small-town herd-mentality" that everyone on the internet/forums seem so concerned about, may hold water. Casually commenting that acting or being a certain way, amongst the people in this town "wouldn't be wise" really just underlines that... maybe on some subconscious level... you understand that people needed to fit the mold or..... well I don't know... "or else?" I don't wish to put words in your mouth, there are just blanks left unfilled with those insights for me, that don't help the defense of the town/people.
I, too, grew up in a very small town like this. Albeit elsewhere, in north Georgia, and I also recall for most of my childhood and into my young-adult life, many of the locals prefacing statements with things like "I'm not racist but..." and "Not to be mean, but..." ... oftentimes anyone who overtly proclaims something like this, even in very casual conversation, in my experience, is trying to cleanse themselves of the underlying outlook that they know darn well is reprehensible. So, while I acknowledge he probably did state (at least) on one occasion that "he was not racist"... it's not really about what someone SAYS.
I don't know that I've ever really found the need to unburden myself by proclaiming that *I'm* not racist (or discriminatory, etc)... I just believe that it's really not about a person's proclamations, so much as their actions, their behaviors, the things they choose NOT to say-- that speaks to their values and views-- to their character.
"Mrs. B I assume from that statement did not feel the town was racist." This really just echoes, in my eyes, what I stated above. Maybe it's not necessarily that Mrs. B truly didn't think someone was or was not racist... but maybe she just didn't feel the need to cast the stone and accuse someone, as no good would come of it in that specific situation. That in and of itself would be a prejudice act in its own right and by the reverence you speak about her, it sounds like she was better than stooping to that level and talking trash about someone.
It is good to hear: "but in my senior year, they had changed dramatically to being much kinder people." I would be remiss not to comment that, if they were assholes just a year or two(+) prior, that they had miraculously and collectively turned themselves around and were much kinder-- without some sort of shared, collective experience. Everyone develops at their own pace and their world views change at their own pace. It took me leaving for college for a lot of my outlooks to change in a major way. I, too, was a little of a jerk in HS. I can't say that any particular group of my friends really experienced a group-maturation over the course of a year or so, while still in HS, without some jarring life event that they all shared. Everyone has their own perception of the world and of others-- and this isn't to say it's not possible... merely to question if it's truly some environmental coincidence that so many a-holes turned their lives around at or around the same time.
Thank you for sharing. There is a lot of misinformation floating around online. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org