7/25/09 – Fouke Minister calls Alamo the real “Fouke Monster”

Texarkana Gazette
July 25, 2009
By: Jim Williamson

Residents react to verdict

When a federal jury announced Friday that Tony Alamo was guilty of sex crimes involving young girls, the Rev. Roger Mixon said, “the Fouke Monster will be put away for good.”

Mixon became a target of Alamo’s wrath about three years ago when he opposed the Alamo ministry’s proposal to close a city street and hire armed guards.

“People occasionally asked me if I’ve seen the Fouke Monster. I said, ‘Yeah, it’s Tony Alamo,” said Mixon, the pastor of the United Pentecostal Church in Fouke. “The guilty verdict is like putting the Fouke Monster away for good.”

For decades, the Fouke Monster has been a reference for a 7-foot-tall hairy creature that walks upright. Reported sightings created fear in the community in the early 1970s. The legendary monster has been featured in a movie, “Legend of Boggy Creek” and was never captured.

A federal jury in nearby Texarkana, Ark., found the 74-year-old evangelist guilty Friday on all 10 counts of a federal indictment accusing him of bringing young girls across state lines for sex. He will be sentenced in about six to eight weeks after a pre-sentencing investigation is conducted.

U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes will sentence Alamo, who could be facing a maximum of 175 years. Each count also carries the possibility of a $250,000 fine.

“Justice was found. I’m excited and believe justice was found,” Mixon said. “I’m excited for the girls who were victims and for everybody in Fouke who stood together and prayed together. I believe this is proof when the community stands together, goodness will always prevail.”

Mixon said the community and victims will have several issues to “work through” in the future.

“I know a lot of things are ahead of us. The girls, who were victims, will have to work through a lot. We’ve got the momentum now and this is proof the Lord does bless and hear us when we stand together and pray together,” he said. “If we stay focused on the community, we can make it stronger and better than it’s ever been before in whatever we face in the future and keep God in our focus.

“I hope if anymore victims are inside the compound, who have been confused and wanted out, will be braver and make the steps to get out. I want them to know the people on the outside care what has happened to them and the people of Fouke care,” said Mixon.

When Mixon opposed the closing of South Circle Drive, Alamo verbally attacked him through his ministry’s radio program.

Alamo described Mixon as a “small spoke in the wheel of the Vatican, a blind leader leading the people in a ditch, made fun of his name, called him an imp, a weasel and a Nazi.”

Mixon’s daughter, Brittani, was working at Jerry’s General Store when she heard about the conviction Friday morning.

“That’s all everyone has been talking about. A woman who knew about the guilty verdict came in the store with her arms and hands up in the air and said, ‘Praise the Lord,’” said Brittani.

Mayor Terry Purvis described the verdict as “wonderful for the victims.”

“First and foremost I’m elated for the victims and yet my heart goes out to them. They will have to live with what happened to them for the rest of their lives. I hope and pray after getting justice, they can move on and live a good life,” said Purvis. “The victims will finally get some justice. I’m proud Fouke banded together and wouldn’t give up and got information to the proper authorities. It was really great.”

In: 2009 - (Trial year)

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