By Charles Towne

Angry words pierce the air like bullets!  Drunken anger escalates to fury.  Threats are exchanged, then blows.  A knife blade rises, falls, flashes in the afternoon sunlight.   It plunges deep, once, three, five, seven times.  Blood flows, so much blood where no blood should be.   The thirsty soil is sated.

“Must conceal what has been done!”

The body is dragged down to the river’s edge and rolled into the cool water.  But, horror of horrors, the victim refuses to die!  He tries to drag himself from the water’s cold embrace to no avail. His assailant kicks, pummels, curses in a drunken demon inspired rage; until, horribly mutilated, the victim turns away and tries to swim across the stream to the opposite shore, to safety.  But it is too much, too much.
He is unable to hold his head above the surface.

“Oh no, it can’t end like this!”
The land is just there.
He reaches out, but it is not enough.
His head goes under, he swallows water, chokes, gags.
He is drowning. Sparks flash behind his fear filled eyes.
He is fully aware but unable to resist.

Darkness descends.
Finally, it is done.
Consciousness, life evades the living.  Blackness, death.
He is swept downstream.
I was in my teens when I found his body.
It is not true that dead men tell no tales. The seven knife wounds were not enough. The autopsy eventually revealed a high alcohol content in his blood as well as water in his lungs.
What insanity causes friend to turn on friend?
A drunken exchange escalates to blows, death. Today, all these years later, it seems we are surrounded with so much anger and violence.
“It is folly to be wise.”
“Let not man revel in his own wisdom but in the perfect will of our infinite God.”  Only therein can we find that which man needs so very much, perfect peace, love, and joy.
Let it begin with us.
Please, let it begin with us.

Dear Papa God, we thank you so very much for your love and your mercy.  Help us to be a loving people wherein others can learn of you and know you as the merciful friend we need so very much.  Praise you o glorious friend that you that you be.  In Jesus’ sweet and merciful name we ask this knowing full well that your word is true and that you are faithful, Amen

Live fully
Love openly
Make a difference, today

Charles Towne is first and foremost a Christian. An octogenarian, author, journalist, wildlife photographer, naturalist, caregiver, and survivor, his life has been and continues to be, a never-ending adventure filled with possibilities never imagined. He has adopted the philosophy that to Live fully, laugh uproariously, love passionately, and learn like there is no tomorrow, is a formula for a long and joy-filled life.


  1. EJ, let it be said of us that we always encouraged, lifted others up and gave hope, and never discouraged another or tore others down. Let us be like our Lord and master in every aspect of life giving hope and peace in whatever we do. Let the words of my mouth and my every thought be pleasing to you my God! Blessings on you and yours this day, Chaz

  2. Unfortunately there is a lot of hate and folks turning on one another. The only thing I’ve ever seen that completely eradicates hate is to show love and compassion to our brothers and sisters through the influence/example that Jesus left us. Great column as always Chuck, God bless.


  3. Don, the thing that is remarkable is the fact it take no more effort to be nice than it does to be nasty! Keep looking up and keep smiling. Chaz

  4. A different kind of writing this week, I see, Mr. Towne. The part where you state, ” I was in my teens when I found his body.” Okay….???

  5. Mama Mia, yes, I found the body of the murder victim. I have lived an interesting and eventful life and God is not finished with me yet! Blessings on you and your family, Chaz

  6. Oh that is awful! I have found the bodies of two of my relatives deceased, my mother, when I found her deceased at her home, in bed, and my uncle, at his place, at a different time, on the floor, and it is really traumatic, but my family members died natural deaths, not murder! I can’t imagine the horror of that scenario that you encountered, and I hope I never have that experience! I hope all is well with you, and special blessings to you too, sir.

  7. Mama Mia, actually, for a young man, it was quite interesting and exciting at the same time. (It has to be a guy thing!)
    Because the river was my tramping grounds and I was so familiar with it, the county sheriff asked me if I would search for the body. The current had carried him down the river about half a mile and he was floating behind a brush pile when I found him. The county gave me a reward of fifty dollars for my assistance. That was about the equivalent of a thousand dollars today. Life is so fragile isn’t it? That is the reason we really need to be kind and loving to all, all, all people. Thanks, Chaz

  8. I remember the episode well. Yes, you and your siblings led an interesting life.
    As for murder, the atrocities committed during war are nothing short of murder. Consider the Middle East, the turmoil that Bush’s war created (Desert Storm and Desert Shield). Mangled bodies of women, children, elderly, soldiers . . . collateral damage? Why? For oil, power, greed? Same reasons Cain killed Able. Humankind behavior? Definitely not kind human behavior.
    From the cosmos the Creator observes this planet of death, and with wisdom of the ages, walks among us through the spirit of Christ. Forgive. Let live. Give.

  9. Finding a dead body is something I hope never to do. Like you say in one of the comments, though, it must’ve been quite the adventure for a 17 year old young man. The authorities were probably pleased to have someone like you available to do the search. I really like the way you describe how it might have gone down. And point out how senseless things can happen in the heat of the moment, especially when people are drinking.

  10. Kristin, there is an old saying that advises, “The best time to stop drinking is before you take your first drink!” It makes one wonder, how many people have died prematurely because of booze? To this day I can still see and describe the pale muddy complexion of the dead man. Not a pretty sight I might say. The bible warns us about strong drink but some folks it seems aren’t able to learn? You be good ’cause God loves you as His special child. Chaz

  11. Dr. Judith, point well taken! When I hear people speak of ‘mankind’ I can’t help but be reminded that without Jesus Christ in one’s life (and I am not speaking about religion here, I am speaking of genuine loving relationship with Jesus,) Man is not wholly man and he is definitely not kind. Please Lord, let it begin with me! (I wonder, though it might seem off the subject somewhat, could the admonition, “speak ill of no man” possibly come into play here?) Blessings on you and yours in all of your endeavors.
    P.S. My dear baby sister, have I ever told you that I am so very proud of you? If I haven’t let this suffice, I am so very proud of you! Your big brother, Chaz

  12. Dear Chuck, another thought provoking article! I know you know I grew up “a city boy” in an area of about one million but I never found a dead body! But even so, looking back I can say those were very different times. We would leave the house in the morning and run all over the neighborhood and never worry about “strangers with candy” or any of the horrors that seem so common today! If we got into any serious misadventures, the policeman on the beat would take us home and turn us over to our fathers no matter how much we begged for jail!!! Today everything seems to be almost designed to be devisive and generate hate. From “political correctness” which seems to be a backhanded way to tell someone they are inferior but without offending them to all the marches and all the sermons that focus on the negative. Should we not try to replace all the hate with love, all the intolerance with compassion and understanding? Should we not try to love one another as Papa God loves each of us? Let us not be part of the problem but rather part of the solution!

  13. Richard, halloween! Mischief! Soaping windows! Toilet papering the neighborhood trees! Tipping over outhouses! Back then there was no danger of sickos putting razor blades in the candy. I will never forget the time some buddies and I put a calf up in the church belfry. It took half a dozen determined kids to put the calf up there and then it took the combined efforts of the fire department and the police department to rescue the calf and everybody laughed because it was all done in fun. As pertaining to that fun part nobody asked the calf what it thought about the whole thing! Yes, those were different times. You take care pal, Chaz

  14. Richard, Different times? I should say so! Halloween was a time for trolls, witches and goblins and trick or treating. Outhouses were tipped over, windows were soaped and trees were festooned with toilet paper. Then, seemingly overnight all the innocent fun just vanished? And in its place was downright destructive behavior? Yeah, those were definitely more innocent days. I do miss those times of my misbegotten youth. There, see what you did Richard, you got me on a rant! You take care pal, Chaz

  15. Hey Chuck, definitely another thought provoking article!
    Imagine the change that could happen IF people started to even attempt to love one another as the Bible states. It would be amazing and very contagious!! I’m sure that is what God had in mind when He put that command in His word. Lord, help us to sincerely strive everyday to honor you in the area of loving others. God bless all your endeavors, Chuck!

  16. Dear CSG, So true to the nth degree! If we treat others the way we wish to be treated the worl would be a much happier, more beautiful place don’t you agree? Please Lord, let it begin with me, let it begin with me. God bless you dear friend, Chaz

  17. Finding a dead body would have been traumatic, if it had been me. But, if we are not careful, we can do great harm to ourselves. I remember one Christmas when a car with five men, that had been drinking, tried to beat a train, at a crossing….and lost! The families of the men were so upset, they told the funeral home to allow people to come in and see the results of drinking and driving. It wasn’t a pretty sight! If we allow Jesus and Father God to direct our lives, we can avert many of our actions that can do us harm! My prayers are for my friends to trust God and live a long and prosperous life!

  18. I fear for this country where anger and hostility are rapidly replacing civil discourse. What makes it worse is that we have government officials who promote violence as acceptable means of protest. I fear for my children and grandson if this country does not get its act together soon – VERY SOON.

  19. Boy, what a fateful day for those men! I got the chills just reading it. I wish things like this never happened. Yes, indeed, we do need help from God so we can be more like him. Thanks for the story.

  20. Don, I suppose in my dull life I have seen enough gross and disgusting to acustom me to seeing anything that would freak out any somewhat normal human being, and that includes the dead bodies of both a four legged and a two legged variety. One thing we christians look forward to is being where there is no more sickness, no more pain, and no more death. Blessings on you my friend, Chaz

  21. Mike, I fear for our young people and what they are exposed to but the thing that concerns me more than anything is the fact that seemingly people are content with the status quo. We have within our grasp a source of power that to a great extent we ignore. We, you and I have within our very grasp the answer to all of this world’s woes and yet to a great extent we ignore it. What I am speaking of is prayer, communication with the God of the universe. He is waiting for us to call on Him so that He can give us what we so desperately need. This is the greatest way that we can begin to get our act together my friend. Blessings on you and your lovely family. Chaz

  22. Dearest Nicole, bless you. We are all aware that evil happens, and there are times that bad things do happen to good people. When a little girl falls and bruises a knee she runs to mama and cries out and mama kisses the booboo with the intent of making the owie go away. Does the owie in fact go away? not always, but the fact that mama is there to comfort and love on the little girl definitely helps. Her just being there is so important. Papa God is there, right now honey, and He loves you so very much. Chaz


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here