Beth Turnage on the Burning of a Black Church

Most New Yorkers, when they hear the name “Wappingers Falls,” flash back to 1987, when Tawana Brawley, a black teen, alleged that she had been kidnapped and raped by six white men in the small town outside of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Although Tawana enlisted the help of the Reverend Al Sharpton, a civil rights leader, and won the support of African-American activists nationwide, the whole story turned out to be a hoax cooked up by a troubled teen, and the town of Wappingers Falls got caught up in the ignominy.

Wappingers Falls recently was in the news again after a Baptist church under construction for a mostly black congregation burned down in May under mysterious circumstances.

Nobody does true crime astrology better than Beth Turnage so I asked Beth to be the “investigator” on the case. I was interested in whether the fire, which the police have determined to be arson, was racially motivated.

In the mid-nineties, as Pluto went into Sagittarius, there was an epidemic of black church burnings, mostly in the southern United States. Churches are still being burned, though the issue has faded from the headlines, and gets lumped in with other hate crimes in reports compiled by various civil rights groups.

Some conservative commenters have even dismissed the church burnings of the mid-Nineties as a figment of the liberal imagination, just as there are those who insist the Holocaust was a myth.

Beth has done a wonderful job of using astrology to analyze why the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church of Wappingers Falls went up in flames.

Thanks, Beth! I owe you big time.

As an Army brat, I’m quite thankful to Beth for her recent astrological investigation of a murder near Fort Bragg, N.C., the home of the 82nd Airborne Div., which was my father’s “home” post. Airborne, for you civilians out there, means men and women who jump from planes and helicopters wearing parachutes.

Beth hangs her hat at Astrology Explored. You can read her posts about the murder of Second Lieutenant Holley Wimunc by her estranged husband here and here.

This is not the place for a full-blown editorial on the unrealistic demands our government is placing on U.S. servicemen and women and their families by sending them on multiple tours of duty to Iraq and Afghanistan. However, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that murder, spouse abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction, and post-traumatic stress syndrome are the end result of these actions. (For those who suspect I know of what I speak, you’re absolutely right.)

Of course, the murder of Holley Wimunc could have been motivated by nothing more than the age-old story: “If I can’t have her, no one else will.”

Beth, I’m hoping you’ll weigh in on this one. I haven’t done enough research to know whether Wimunc or her husband, Marine Corporal John Wimunc, had been deployed prior to the murder.

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4 comments on “Beth Turnage on the Burning of a Black Church

  1. Monica,

    Thank you for all your kind words. John Wimunc had completed two tours in Iraq and there was trouble in the Wimunc household as soon as he returned.

    What is so very troubling about the Wimunc murder and the Fort Bragg murder of Megan Toumas is the lax attitude of the military in the cases of these female soldiers. A very pregnant Toumas missed her Monday formation and no one went to look for her. Holley Wimunc’s case was treated as first as a missing persons case despite the fact that she had attempted to put a restraining order against her husband citing extreme spousal abuse. She had sent her children to live with her parents because she was afraid of what Wimunc would do.

    Civilian authorities conducted these investigations and arrested the perpetrators. The military authorities, nary a peep out of them. It is not just an outrage, it is a crime that female soldiers are not given the protection or care needed to insure their safety.

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  3. Beth — Thanks for writing back. I need to do more research on this, but I believe a few years back, maybe during the first Iraq invasion, Vanity Fair did a story on Fort Bragg because of the violence among soldiers there. As you point out in your post about Holley Wimunc, this army post is located Camp Lejeune, a marine facility.

    You make a very good point about female soldiers. Sexual harassment, rape, and murder have been problems encountered by women in all the military services, I believe. Particularly in this environment, where our troops are stretched to the max, no one is disputing the need for female participation in our services.

    The government needs to be responsible for protecting these brave women, many whom were members of the National Guard, and never dreamed they would end up having to serve in a war!

    Thanks again, Beth, for doing the post on the Wappingers Falls church. Looking forward to working with you in the future! — Monica

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