On the evening of May 11, 1992, in the middle of what was Bibb County’s most violent-death-wracked year in modern times, Daphene Hudson and her 3-year-old grandson, David Hudson, were shot and killed, their throats slashed, in some woods off Ga. 247.
Their killer, Curtis “Shorty” Crosby, 24, who attacked out of revenge to get back at another relative, killed himself that night. The slayings came in the midst of a 12-month span of bloodshed that claimed 43 lives countywide. The Hudsons' deaths that mid-May evening were homicides No. 14 and No. 15 of the year.
On Friday morning in western Bibb County, the body of a man shot in the head and killed was found along Dixon Road. His death marked the 17th slaying here this year.
Over the past quarter-century, the homicide toll here has eclipsed 30 just twice — 32 were slain in Macon alone in 1994, and 30 were killed countywide last year.
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During violence-plagued 1992, as former Macon police detective Jimmy Barbee told The Telegraph this week, “We stayed tired because we worked all the time. … We would help one squad with their homicide and pray we didn’t have one on our shift.”
Much of the killing then was fueled by the crack-cocaine epidemic. And, in fact, nearly half of the 1992 slayings were drug-related.
Barbee was quoted at the time saying that most of the killers and victims knew one other: “And two minutes after it’s done, (the killers) wish they could take it back. But they can’t. They’re real sorry, but it’s too late.”
Homicides are a century-old problem for Macon.
Consider that in 1935, when the population was roughly half what it is now, there were 31 slayings.
At the time, a front-page headline in The Telegraph blared, “Macon’s Homicide Rate Is Five Times Higher Than Over U.S.”
The accompanying article began:
A discussion of Macon’s homicide rate, which is described as “five times as high as the national rate,” (was) featured (in) the weekly statement issued by Dr. J.D. Applewhite, city-county health officer. Dr. Applewhite declared there is need “for an intensive campaign of crime prevention.”
On Friday evening when a reporter read him the local crime stats from the mid-1930s, Bibb Sheriff David Davis said, “The good ol’ days were never as good as our nostalgia makes them.”