by Max Brantley
The New York Times has dug up further background on Jerry and Jospeh Kane, the father-son killed after a shootout that left two West Memphis police dead.
The article quotes the self-described wife of the older Kane as saying she'd been told by FBI that the 16-year-old son fired on police in the I-40 traffic stop that set the deadly events in motion.
“The F.B.I. said that Jerry was at the driver’s side of the van in the back, talking to the two officers peaceably, and that 16-year-old Joe comes out guns ablazing,” she said in a telephone interview on Sunday from her home in Clearwater, Fla. F.B.I. officials declined to confirm that report, and Ms. Wray questioned why no videotape of the shooting had been released.
When the police caught up to the van 90 minutes later, the father and son began shooting as soon as Sheriff Dick Busby of Crittenden County and a deputy pulled up, said Mr. Busby, who was shot in the shoulder. “The driver jumped out with a high-powered rifle, and the other got out on the right side,” he said. “They both started at the same time.”
The article also talked extensively of Kane's anti-government past in a small town in Ohio.
This is where Mr. Kane made a show of cutting his long grass with a pair of scissors when police officers came to his property to enforce city codes, a neighbor recalled. This is where he demanded to be paid $100,000 a day in gold or silver, “the only legal form of payment in the Constitution,” when he was sentenced to community service for traffic violations. This is where Mr. Kane’s brother has a plaque on his porch with a fake gun affixed to it. “We ain’t dialin’ 911,” it says.
And this is where Mr. Kane drew his son, who the authorities said participated in the shooting, into his web of conspiracy theories and suspicion of authority. By age 9, Joseph, who was home-schooled, could recite the Bill of Rights from memory and carried a realistic toy gun everywhere he went, Sheriff Gene A. Kelly of Clark County said.