Copyright 2007 by William A. Mays, Proprietor
       On September 1 near Mustang Oklahoma, a 32-year-old ex-drill instructor at an alternative school for teenagers stabbed a 16-year-old former student of the school to death as police perforated him with bullets. Robert Paul Roberson of Yukon OK–a suburb of Oklahoma City–met Bailey Rian Thrasher at the Canadian County Education Center at 7905 E US Hwy 66 in El Reno OK while he was a teacher employed by the Canadian County government and she was a 13-year-old student at the facility set up for troubled, vulnerable youth. Bailey had been sent to the school by the Gary E. Miller Canadian County Children’s Justice Center because of her excessive partying, drug use, and hanging out with the "wrong crowd." Little did she know that the wrongest crowd imaginable lay in wait at the very place she was sent to get better; her kicks on Route 66 were just beginning. Within a year, she and Roberson had begun a sexual relationship while at the school and by the time she was 15 he had left his wife and children and moved into an apartment with her. Bailey's father, Darin Thrasher, had not been informed of their relationship when it began–a small detail Roberson had apparently overlooked. Yet when the elder Thrasher did find out less than a year ago, he initially "thought it would be a positive for her" because Roberson hated drinking and drugs and was an exercise fanatic. But the "work-out fiend" also turned out to be a sex fiend. Roberson began forcing Bailey to have coitus with him at gunpoint, threatening to kill her, her friends and her family if she did not comply. While this went on, he was also carrying on intimate relations with two other girls from the same school.
       This past March, Bailey began trying to extricate herself from the doomed romance. She moved out and got a room with her sister, but Roberson continued to threaten her life and the lives of her loved ones if she didn't come to his house and go to bed with him at least three times per week, often with a gun to her head. Darin Thrasher said, "It was on his mind to massacre our entire family. That's how he controlled her, was with the daily and weekly threat that he would massacre the whole family." At long last, Bailey and her father went to the police to file a report against Roberson, describing the repeated rapes and threats with guns and knives. This was five days before she was killed. During that time, the Oklahoma City police never sought out Roberson nor the other two teenage girls with whom he was involved. Then destiny played a hand. Around midnight the evening of Friday August 31, Roberson–disguised in a wig–went to the apartment in the 600 block of W Vandament Ave in Yukon where Bailey was now living. Carrying a shotgun, he kicked in the door to find Bailey and several female friends and relatives inside, including one who was pregnant. He ordered everyone to get against the wall. "If Bailey doesn't come with me," he shouted, "I'm killing her first, then I'll kill all of you. If anyone calls 911, I'll kill you all." Bailey, in an effort to protect her friends, decided to go with him. "He won't hurt me," she told them as she left. Those were the last words they'd ever hear her speak. After she left with the demented drill instructor, the others immediately called Yukon police. Roberson put Bailey into a car and they pulled away from the apartment complex just as police arrived. Seeing him they gave chase. By the time the pursuit reached State Hwy 152 in Mustang an officer was able to push Roberson's vehicle off the road. As police officers surrounded the car they looked through the window and could see Roberson stabbing Bailey over and over. They ordered him to stop, but he would not. They fired their weapons at him, striking him several times. Paramedics arrived, but it was too late. Sixteen-year-old Bailey Thrasher was dead. That her killer was now also dead was little consolation.
       We at the Gazette are familiar with both the alternative-school environment and with
dating teenage girls, and at no point in the relationship of Bailey Thrasher and Robert Roberson was anything appropriate. The fact that events were allowed to develop as far as they did–by the school and county government where Roberson was employed, by the police, by her own father, and by the local community–betokens a throwback to the days of barbarism where humans lived like animals in survival-of-the-fittest struggles where the strong preyed on the weak and the concepts of fairness, justice and decency were not known. The fact that this condition exists in 2007 here in the United States in a place called Oklahoma should be a wake-up call for us all. Outside of the Paseo area in Oklahoma City, it is still the Wild West, where law and order fear to tread. With areas like this throughout the midsection of our country, how can the U.S. hope to be fully accepted into the community of civilized nations? Perhaps with a few hundred more years of evolution, we will finally make it.
September 13, 2007
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