7/26/09 – AP: Convicted pedophile Alamo retains Oklahoma property

Texarkana Gazette
July 26, 2009
By: Associated Press

Convicted evangelist Alamo retains Oklahoma property

The ministry of evangelist Tony Alamo, convicted last week of taking girls as young as 9 across state lines for sex, still owns housing complexes in Oklahoma, though authorities believe at least one was vacated amid recent investigations.

The ministry has buildings in Moffett and Muldrow in far eastern Oklahoma, near the Arkansas border. The women and children who lived in the Muldrow housing complex appear to have left, said Muldrow Police Chief Tony Lewis.

“They have trailers and bungalow-type apartments in the middle of town, taken an old motel…and converted it into housing,” Lewis said. “We have no idea how many people are there now and don’t even know if anyone lives down there.”

Lewis said he assumed residents left amid investigations of Alamo and the ministry’s finances.

Alamo was convicted Friday in Texarkana, Ark. He could face up to 175 years in prison when sentenced in six to eight weeks.

A man who answered the phone at the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries Worldwide office in Texarkana, Texas, refused to comment Friday about the situation or about its holdings in Oklahoma.

“There’s no one here who can do interviews—nope, no comment,” the man said before hanging up.

Alamo has a long history in the area. In 2006, police officials in nearby Sallisaw warned the group to stop placing fliers on car windshields. An attorney for the ministries responded by saying the distribution is protected by the First Amendment.

But perhaps Alamo’s oddest connection to Oklahoma concerns the body of his wife, Susan, who died in 1982. Alamo kept her preserved body on display at his compound for six months before placing it in a burial chamber.

Alamo ordered his followers in 1991 to leave the compound and bring along the body. She was later buried in Tulsa after a legal battle between Alamo and his dead wife’s daughter.

In: 2009 - (Trial year)

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