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VOL. 104 NO. 2 Thursday, January 9, 1992 Kings Mountain, RSS F85¢
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Media's role in suicide under investigation
Killer's mother, stepfather face cha, _s
The mother and stepfather of a Grover murder
suspect who took his own life December 30 after a
five-hour standoff with police have been charged
with accessory after the fact of homicide. Alexander
County Sheriff Ray Warren says the case is not
In Cleveland County Tuesday Sheriff Buddy
McKinney drew secured warrants and arrested Sarah
Carpenter and her husband, John Carpenter, of
McKinney says other warrants are pending. He
said his office and the FBI are investigating the role
of relatives and out-of-county media who interfered
with officers making contact with the suspect.
Warren, of Taylorsville, said his office and the
FBI and SBI are still evaluating all the evidence and
it will take about two more weeks for interviews to
be done and depending on the evidence, before the
case is closed.
"We had complied with some of Dean's demands
and I had gone up on the ‘porch to talk with him.
Some of the media started talking back and forth
with him. We think maybe some people changed his
mind. I think Dean was ready to surrender to police,"
Officers allege that the Grover couple hid Dean
Hamrick, wanted for four murders in Alexander
County, at the home of Hamrick's stepgrandmother,
Helen Jennings, on Groves Street in Kings Mountain.
Police found the suspect at the Jennings home after a
manhunt all day Monday, December 30.
Hamrick ended 24 hours of terror, which had be- -
gun in the Bethlehem Community ofAlexander
County on December 29, by taking his own life at
9:30 p.m. December 30 after holding police at bay in
East Kings Mountain for nearly five hours.
Although police believed only Hamrick responsi-
ble for the murders of his former girlfriend, Karen
Hayworth Pilios, 33; Frank Mark Grasso, III, 48; and
his wife, Clara Elizabeth Grasso; and Nathan Gray
Grasso, 20, the suspect said in a telephone conversa-
tion recorded on WBTV 3 that he was responsible for
only the murders of the two men, saying that that he
was the first to be shot at the Grasso home in
The four died from multiple shotgun and handgun
.wounds. Hamrick was shot in the right shoulder.
Members of Hamrick's family say Dean Hamrick
loved Karen Pilios and wanted to marry her.
According to Hamrick's brother, Buren, Hamrick had
gone to the Grasso home on several occasions to try
to persuade Pilios to get back together.
"This thing just didn't happen yesterday," his
brother claimed. "They had threatened him and the
last time he was there had hit him in the face with the
butt of a gun. He had been there a couple of times to
talk to her and they wouldn't let him see her."
Mrs. Carpenter said her son told her by phone that
he was the first person shot in the killing spree. "He
said the guy shot him first and the rest jumped up and
started running around,” she said. "He said he was
shot in the right shoulder and it about took his arm
Members of the family also said Hamrick had indi-
cated to them by phone that another man, whom he
would not identify, killed two of the people and he
killed the other two.
Mrs. Carpenter said she was convinced she could
talk her son into surrendering if the police would let
her go into the house. "He called me and told me to
come up here, that he wanted to talk to me," Mrs.
Carpenter said, "but the law won't let me go out
there. If he comes out for anybody it will be me."
Mrs. Carpenter said she did not fear her son harm-
ing anyone but himself,
Moments later, a Kings Mountain policeman took
Mrs. Carpenter and Buren Hamrick by patrol car to
the scene where Mrs. Carpenter talked to her son by
a car telephone and tried to persaude him to surren-
der. He reportedly told his mother that he loved her
and his children but he would have to end his own
KMPD Chief Warren Goforth quoted Hamrick as
saying "it has to end this way" and said the suspect
talked with McKinney for about 40 minutes, backed
out of the Groves Street house about 9 p.m., then
placed a military-style shotgun under his chin and
pulled the trigger.
Hamrick relatives criticized police action but both
Sheriff McKinney and Chief Goforth said if relatives
had been allowed to enter the house with Hamrick
that an even more dangerous situation could have ex-
isted. "This was a real tragedy but it could have been
worse," said McKinney.
McKinney said law enforcement officers have an
obligation to the public. "We don't hide information
from our citizens and we know the media's responsi-
bility is to report the news. However, I question the
media's role in this case because they interfered with
our officers in the line of duty getting back with the
suspect whom we were pleading with to surrender.
Hamrick should not have taken his own life."
Fire destroys home,
Cleveland County Fire Marshal
Beau Lovelace is investigating a
fire of suspicious origin which de-"
stroyed a house at Lake Montonia
Fire Chief Frank Burns said fire-
men from Kings Mountain,
Bethlehem, Grover, Chapel Grove
and South Gastonia fire depart-
ments responded to the blaze at
Burns said that the house, owned
by Bryant Kennedy Grier, had un-
dergone several additions and it
was difficult to control the fire
which started in the attic and
spread quickly. Fire melted the
vinyl siding on a nearby residence
owned by Gary Cooke.
Burns estimated the Grier house
at Mountain View Prive a total a
Burns said n no one was injured i in
the house but the owner was taken
to the hospital for observation.
Earlier Monday, Kings Mountain
firemen went to the home of
William McCleary on Gregory
Lake Road at Lake Montonia. No
one was injured in the fire which
destroyed a brick veneer house.
The fire marshal is also investigat-
ing. Burns estimated the McCleary
house a total loss.
Burns said a surging water line
triggered a false alarm at Wix
Filters behind Baucom Chevrolet
Arson is blamed for a fire which destroyed the home of Bryant
Grier at Lake Montonia Monday night. Firemen from five fire de-
partments battled the blaze which spread to a nearby house and
Photo by Brent Leigh
melted vinyl siding. The county fire marshal is investigating.
Anthony is running for award
Penny Anthony, kindergarten
teacher at East Elementary School,
is one of 24 North Carolina teach-
ers being considered for the
Christine McAuliff Fellowship.
The fellowship was begun after
McAuliff's death in the space shut-
tle accident that stunned the world.
Anthony is a finalist for two
$17,000 awards or grants. Her
grant proposal is to introduce a
snack program into the kinder-
garten grade. Anthony said that
East has such a program at this
time, but it needs more funding, es-
pecially for expansion.
She looked over the snack pro-
gram at Claremont School and
elaborated on their ideas to form
her own proposal, Anthony said.
Anthony has had her interview
with the awards committee and is
now awaiting the results.
"I was hoping I would get a
chance to ask questions, but it was
very formal," she said.
This is Anthony's ninth year in
teaching. She has taught Head
Start, 4th and 5th grades and in the
Exceptional Children's program.
"] like it all," she said. "It's hard
for me to say what I like the best."
Anthony said she likes being
back in a regular classroom.
"I like the ownership that goes
with it," she said. "Those are my
With a B.S. in Early Childhood
Education and a masters in Special
Education, Anthony said that she
believes education for children
means daily successes.
She and her fellow teachers at
East use the Circle of Childhood
Program method of teaching
kindergarteners. The children learn
‘Grover Rover’ brings
town, citizens together
By RENEE WALSER
Of The Herald Staff
Three Grover women have
brought a popular institution back
to the town with great success.
The Grover Rover, a newslet-
ter/paper begun by Paul Sorrell
several years ago as a Baptist com-
municator, is alive and thriving
thanks to editor-in-chief Evelyn
Willis, editor Ann McCarter
Traugh and roving reporter Jackie
- These three women are on a
mission -- to bring Grover closer as
a community, and they think
Signs point to it. Willis said she
receives lots of calls asking when
the latest edition will be out. (It is
printed once a month as close to
the 20th as possible.)
"Sometimes it's like pulling teeth
(to get the paper out), but we've
had one every month," Rountree
The Grover Rover began publi-
cation in July of 1991 after Willis
asked Rountree to help her with a
"I thought she meant a weekly
newsletter,” Rountree said. But she
found out Willis was aiming a little
higher with her ambition.
Traugh, who is mainly interested
‘in politics, she said, was sought af-
See Rover, Page 3A
through play. They have 15 operat-
ing centers set up and each child
rotates to the centers throughout
the week. The centers include
math, science, art and dramatic
play, for example.
"I really think that all children
learn differently,” she said. "What
might work with one child might
not with another."
The method they use allows the
child to be very independent,
Anthony said she likes the hirgs
best of all about her job.
"I really like the closeness," she
said. "I'd bring all of them home if
Anthony has a 15-month-old
daughter named Lydia. Her hus-
band, Ed, is an electrical engineer
and they are renovating an older
home on Gaston Street. °
Ann McCarter Traugh, editor, Evelyn Willis, editor-in-chief, and roving reporter Jackie Rountree,
right, look over the latest edition of "The Grover Rover." The three women say townspeople can. ‘hardly
wait for their paper to hit the streets.
State Report Card
due to be released
The Kings Mountain Board of
Education will discuss several im-
portant matters at its’ monthly
meeting Monday ‘at 7:30 pansat
the Administrative Office.
Supt. Bob McRae said it's possi-
ble the board will receive a report
on the State Report Card. The State
Board of Education meets today in
Raleigh and has said it will release
the Report Card if it is through the
printing stages. If not, it may be
February before this year's Report
Card is released.
The Kings Mountain board will
continue its review of policies and
will begin serious discussion about
possible policies for substance
"We have been reviewing per-
sonnel policies and will be present-
ing those policies to the board in
the next month or two,” McRae
said. "We have to get definitive of
“how widespread a dug esting pros,
gram, if any, thar we want to have.
Discussion at this month's meeting
will be more pointed than it has
been in the past in terms of at least
approaching some resolve about
what an employee substance abuse
testing program would be like and
whc/1t would involve."
In another matter Monday, the
board will discuss driver's educa-
tion. The state will require driver's
education be taught outside the
regular school day beginning next
"We'll be presenting information
on the required changes and come
See School, Page 3A
Herald to publish
The Kings Mountain Herald will publish an Outlook Edition on
Thursday, February 20.
The paper, which will be included in the regular Thursday paper, will
highlight the services provided by the city, businesses and industries,
government, education, recreation and other areas in Kings Mountain
and Cleveland County.
Publisher Darrell Austin predicts that the edition will be the biggest
paper ever published in Kings Mountain. Advertisers who have not al-
ready been contacted may call the Herald at 739-7496 to reserve a space
in the edition.
"This edition will be unlike any other ever published by the Herald,"
Austin said. "In the past we have tied our progress editions to celebra-
tions of the history of the town and Battle of Kings Mountain. This edi-
tion will include history, but it will also focus on the services our citi-
zens receive. It will be a valuable tool for realtors, the Chamber of
Commerce, and others who are trying to attract new families, businesses
and industries to the Kings Mountain area, and it will be a valuable re-
source for citizens to know where to look for certain services."
Any persons with old photographs or story ideas that they would like
to see included may contact editor Gary Stewart no later than Jandary
to visit KM
Kings Mountain Hospital will
host a visit of the Red Cross blood-
mobile Thurs., Jan. 16 from 1-6
p.m. at First Baptist Church.
This is the annual "soup" visit.
The famous Red Cross soup will
be served in the canteen to all
"As is customary, Red Cross
blood donations slipped during the
holiday season, and with the flu in
our area the twa week projections
indicate a substantial need for in-
creased blood donations,” said
Sandi Bolick, Director of Blood
Services for the Cleveland County
Bolick said no appointment is
neccessary to give blood at the
Kings Mountain visit.