by Max Brantley
The customary call to the Christmas Eve open line is a reference to my favorite Christmas book. I hear the Polar Express coming. But before I sign off, thanks to readers for a few items of interest:
* Yesterday, somebody wondered who'd have $500,000 to spend on a rural retreat in Van Buren County that got written up in the New York Times. Today, I got a hint of a neighbor who could afford it (not that the house for sale was his). No profitable enterprises in Van Buren County? The local paper reports about a Van Buren County resident found with $900,000 worth (238 pounds) of hydroponically grown marijuana, $55,000 cash and a mighty arsenal.
The search also revealed 14, AR-15 rifles that were being converted into automatic weapons, one Mac 10 machine gun, .22 caliber with a silencer, one sawed off shotgun, a Sten automatic rifle, and other rifles and handguns, the sheriff's office said
* Another reader says that while Mike and Janet Huckabee may be Florida residents now, Christmas time found them in Arknasas again. Specifically at the Rave theater, watching "True Grit." Fill your hand ....
* From Baxter County, a family tragedy. The sheriff's office was called to the Robinson Point neighborhood on Lake Norfork and found three shot to death inside — a man, his wife and son who'd been visiting from out of state. An initial news release indicates deputies are leaning toward the theory that the man killed his wife and son and then himself, but the investigation continues.
BAXTER COUNTY SHERIFF NEWS RELEASE
At approximately 9:01 AM Friday, December 24, 2010, Baxter County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a 911 call reporting that a woman was observed to be lying on the floor in a pool of blood inside the residence at 124 Forest Hills Dr., which is in the Robinson Point area of Lake Norfork, East of Mountain Home. The caller had been unable to reach the occupants and was attempting to check their welfare.
Sheriff's Deputies and an officer with the Arkansas State Police arrived at the residence at approximately 9:11 AM to investigate. Deputies had to force entry into the residence through the locked front door to gain access.
Once inside the residence, Deputies discovered three bodies, each of which appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds. The preliminary investigation determined that the three persons were a man and his wife, who lived at the residence, as well as her son, who was visiting from out of state.
Sheriff's Investigators from the Criminal Investigation Division and the Baxter County Coroner's Office were called to the residence. The immediate indication, based on the evidence at the scene, suggests that the husband shot and killed his wife and her son, then shot and killed himself, however no conclusions have been reached and the investigation is actively continuing. A handgun was found at the scene and taken into evidence, as well spent shell casings and other items of evidentiary value.
The bodies of the deceased have been transferred to the custody of the State Medical Examiner's Office for transport to Little Rock for autopsy. The results of the autopsies will not be known for several days.
The dead are identified as Harry D. Svensson, 52 years old of 124 Forest Hills Dr, his wife Louise Svensson, 56 years old of the same address, and her son, Victor A. Robles, 20 years old of Villa Parks, Illinois.
The final results and conclusions of the investigation will not be made or released until autopsy results have been received and all evidence processed.