North Fork

Things Like That Do Happen Here

By Gregory Palast
A HANDFUL of Monday nights past, Kenneth Payne made up his mind that his close friend, Curtis Cook, had molested a neighbor's 8-year-old daughter. Mr. Payne, fortified by the courage poured at a local bar, shot Mr. Cook dead with a single blast from a 12-gauge shotgun. Barely hours after the police wrapped the body and confiscated the shotgun, our local chorus began, “Things like this don't happen here.” But it did happen here. And it was predictable.