The men and women of Appalachia are strong and self-sufficient. In Roane County, Tennessee they most often have lived on and between the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains. Times changed and as they did in this story, those who had become clearly isolated in their long-standing culture took change personally. They didn't like it. Leon and Rocky Houston are two such men, along with a large group of sympathetic followers. In the end that sympathy portrayed years of self-styled, anti-government lawsuits as well as the death of a sheriff's deputy and his retired, disabled ride-along officer.
To believe the fifteen to twenty years of this rising storm ended in death for two men patrolling the public road "reserved" for the Houston clan came only as somewhat of a surprise. To believe that the storm clouds descended due to a school zone traffic violation five years before the killin's was at first a mystery. But a deep look at Rocky's 2001 courtroom "ticket tantrum" unveiled much more: Then and there he reportedly threw himself on the floor while yelling, "if you remember Waco you haven't seen anything yet."
The comment's starkness unwinds within the book to explore the "sovereign citizens and militia mania" of the 90's and where that might have taken the brothers Houstons' thinking and need to kill "a few cops."
About Babette Anton
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Published January 1, 2008
Biographies & Memoirs.