The Twister in McComb



Car Breakdown in McComb


Back in 1980, I was a claims adjuster for a major insurance company. My job took me all over the southeast. Thus, I was on the road quite often. Of course, being on the road so much, I eventually had problems. One such problem occurred on my way to a home in a little place called McComb, Mississippi. A man had a claim on a roof that had been replaced by contractors we had recommended. The roof replacement was shoddy work and I had to have a good talk with the homeowner and contractor. We came to an agreement and I took off into town to eat lunch. As I left, I noticed the transmission on the 1979 Oldsmobile Cutless (company car) was acting up. It seemed to struggle to get out of second gear. I somehow managed to drive the five miles or so into town to get it looked at by the first auto shop I came across.

Long story short, second gear was almost totally stripped and had to be replaced. The auto shop owner said I was looking at about a three or four hour wait. I have had too many experiences with auto repair shops. When they say, three or four hours, they really mean five or six hours. I was thinking I may have to spend the night in McComb, MS. As I walked out of the shop to get some lunch at the nearby cafe, I noticed a cemetery about two blocks from the cafe. I also noticed one of the oddest things I've ever seen in a cemetery. There was a gold shaped pear at one of the grave sites. With nothing better to do, I decided I would walk over there after eating lunch.

So, after a lunch of fried chicken, green beans, squash, corn bread and ice tea (this is the deep south, remember), I walked over to the cemetery. I came to the gold shaped pear and noticed the headstone. Inscribed on the headstone was this; "William Mosner and Brenda Mosner, Uncle and Niece, Killed by Twister March 16, 1932." I noticed by the birth dates, that William was 27 when he died and Brenda was only 5 years old. I felt sad by just reading that even though it had been almost fifty years since their deaths. I looked around nearby to see if there had been any other deaths on that date. I couldn't find any more. So, I decided to go check on my car to see if I was going to need to stay in town that night. As I came into the shop, I noticed this sad looking elderly man behind the counter with the shop owner. The shop owner said they were going to have the car ready in about an hour and then I could be on my way. I decided to ask him about the gold shaped pear near the headstone I mentioned. He then looked over to the sad looking elderly man I saw as I came into the shop. He motioned with his head to move with him away from the elderly gentleman. He told me that was a twister that folks still talked about in town still to that day, almost 50 years later. It killed those two people and one more. But, caused untold damage to the entire town.

He then stated that the elderly man over to end of the counter was Jeremy Mosner, the father of Brenda and brother of William that I saw on the headstone. The shop owner stated Jeremy was gone that day to pick up some vegetables and meat at the general store in town. It had been a cold blustery day that morning of March 16, 1932. The clouds foretold of bad weather on the way. But, no one figured it to be no more than your typical storm for that time of year. It turned out to be much, much worse than anyone anticipated. The "twister," as the shop owner called it, came out of the northeast without warning. There were no sirens back then. So, there was just enough time to get into the cellar or storm shelter. William was working on his truck to drive up to Jackson, Mississippi to pick up his wife and boy who were visiting grandparents. He was watching his little niece, Brenda, while Jeremy went into town. Jeremy's wife was in the house "cleaning up." William probably saw the twister first. He grabbed Brenda and headed for the shelter. He, apparently, put Brenda in the shelter and then went into the house to get his sister-in-law. Before he could get into the house, the twister leveled the house. No one knows exactly what happened. This is what everyone surmised that happened based on the evidence. Brenda had left the shelter, most likely, to look for her mother.

When police arrived they found William's mangled body beneath board planks. Little five-year old Brenda was found beneath some rubble only ten feet or so from the storm shelter. No trace of the mother was ever found, despite searches of over a 50 mile wide area from McComb. Jeremy escaped unscratched. Well, unscratched physically. He never got over losing his entire family. William was Jeremy's only brother, his only sibling. Brenda was Jeremy's only child. Jeremy never remarried. The shop owner said he lets him come into the shop and stay as long as he wants. As for the gold shaped pear; the only thing little Brenda ever wanted when Jeremy would take her into town was a pear. It was her favorite "candy" in all the world.
I was suppose to go on to New Orleans that next day for another job assignment in 1980. But, I called headquarters and told them I wouldn't be able to make it.  I just didn't have my heart into going to another job right then.  Instead, I lingered in McComb for another day listening to the locals discuss that twister of so long ago.  Before I left, I decided to pay my respects to that little girl and her uncle who died on that fateful day in 1932.  I knew I needed to leave.  But, not before I left a pear at the graveside of little Brenda.

Children Who Murder

Whenever you think of a murderer, you normally always think of an adult.  In most cases, it is a man who is a loner, who harbors sadistic tendencies toward others and who derives great pleasure in the process of killing another human being.  In more and more cases, women are pushing men for most likely murderer.  In the case of the female killer, it is driven out of jealousy or an abusive male spouse. But, the unthinkable is a child who murders another child or adult.  Children are supposed to be innocent and pure; without malice, contempt, sinister anger, or desires to kill, yet every year many commit horrific crimes. You simply can't fathom a child who would murder their simbling, their parents or even a school friend such as the case with Japanese girl in June of 2004.

To the press, she was known simply as "Girl A" because of her age.  A 12-year-old classmate, Satomi Mitarai, told Girl A, in an internet message, that she was overweight and was a "goody-goody."  Girl A felt slandered by these comments from her classmate.  In an empty classroom during lunch at an elementary school in Japan, Girl A slit Mitarai's throat and arms with a utility knife.  Strangely enough, she then left Mitarai in the classroom.  Girl A then returned to class with her clothes covered in blood.  Mitarai was found by a teacher who quickly called police.  Girl A confessed to the crime.  On September 15, 2004, a Japanese family Court ruled to institutionalize her. She was involuntary committed to a state-run juvenile correctional facility for four years.

 Joshua Phillips, age 14, beat his 8-year old neighbor, Maddie Clifton, to death.  He then hid her body under his bed.  Some days later, Joshua's mother noticed something leaking from under his bed.  She was mortified to see the remains of the next door neighbor girl.  Joshua had claimed he "accidentally" hit the little girl in the eye with a baseball bat.  He said he then panicked and dragged to girl to his house.  He then hit the girl again with the bat and stabbed her eleven times.  A Florida jury convicted him of first degree murder.  His mother is appealing the decision due to the fact Joshua was tried as an adult.  He is currently serving a sentence of life in prison without parole for the crime.

Jasmine Richards, a 12-year old girl, was dating a 23-year old man named Jeremy Steinke.  Obviously, Jasmine's parents did not approve of this relationship with a grown man.  Well, Jasmine was not happy with her parents disapproval of her boyfriend.  Steinke wasn't exactly happy about it either.  On April 22, 2006, Jeremy Steinke broke in Jasmine's home, in Alberta, Canada, and murdered her parents.  Steinke told Jasmine to murder her own little brother.  She stabbed him once before Steinke slit the little boy's throat.  On July 9, 2007, Richards was found guilty of three counts of first-degree murder. Jasmine Richards was sentenced to the maximum penalty of ten years.

16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer abhorred being....well, bored with nothing to do.  So, to end her boredom, on Monday, January 29, 1979, Brenda Ann Spencer used a rifle to wound eight children and one police officer at Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego. She killed Principal Burton Wragg and custodian Mike Suchar.  The school just so happened to be across the street from her house.  When the six-hour shooting spree ended, she was asked why she did it.  “I don’t like Mondays. This livens up the day," she said.  She was sentenced 25 years to life in prison.  In 2009, the parole board denied her petition for parole for the 4th time.  She will again be eligible for a parole hearing in 2019.

Jon Venables and Robert Thompson (pictured above), both 10 years old, had been stealing things all day at a local shopping center.  They stole candy, toys and whatever struck their fancy that particular day in 1992.  They were so well versed in stealing, they decided to steal 2-year old James Bulger away from his parents.  There is a haunting camera shot of little James being led away to be slaughtered by one of the boys.  But, once they had the toddler, they didn't know what to do with him.  So, like so many children do with their toys, they destroyed James Bulger.  But, not before they tortured the little boy for reasons that will never be understood.  Once the boys had beaten James Bulger to death, they left him on the railroad tracks in Walton, Liverpool.  They were sentenced to custody until they reached adulthood, initially until the age of 18, and were released on a lifelong licence in June 2001. In 2010, Venables was returned to prison for violating the terms of his licence of release.

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