Last week I touched upon the reasons why investigators might not be looking at Mack Ford of New Bethany Home for Girls. One of those reasons is the obvious conflicts of interest and fact that many people in north Louisiana have family ties that cross jurisdictional lines. I’m not the only one that came up with that theory. Patheos author Jonny Scaramanga wrote about the Grand Jury refusing to file charges against Mack Ford and pointed out several conflicts of interest just in the Grand Jury proceedings in his article titled Serial Child Abuser Mack Ford Will Not Face Charges.
He gives a good analysis of who Ford was, the horrific damage inflicted by New Bethany, but most of all, he manages to show exactly how intertwined/interrelated Mack Ford is with the leadership in that area. Here’s what Jonny said about the District Attorney that was involved with the Grand Jury – Tammy Jump and her ties to Mack Ford.
Tammy Jump’s family appears to have professional ties with Mack Ford’s
Mack Ford has two grandsons (possibly he has more, but these are the relevant two): Caleb Lynn Johnson and David Johnson. According to information publicly available on their Facebook pages, Caleb has worked for Ruston Tractor, and David currently works there. The Ruston Tractor website gives a contact name of Jeremy Gantt. Gantt is Tammy Jump’s maiden name. According to Tara Cummings, Ruston Tractor is owned by Tammy Jump’s family.
I don’t think this in itself is sufficient evidence that Jump had a conflict of interests in this case, but from her education it certainly seems that her sympathies would be likely to lie with conservative Christian organisations like New Bethany, and from her family connections it seems possible that she may have prior knowledge of Mack Ford.
Ms. Jump is not the only DA with a possibly squishy past connected to the case.
DA Jonathan Stewart was the assistant District Attorney in 1988. Here is his signature on a court document from that time which says that New Bethany residents were in “substantial immediate danger”. On Facebook, Jo Wright expressed the view that Stewart had an incentive not to want Ford to be indicted this time, because that might raise questions about why no charges were brought in 1988.
Jonny is referring to a screen capped document on his page.
Those aren’t the only troubling assertations made about both the Grand Jury and various investigations into what happened at New Bethany and possibly to Carol Ann Cole. Here are just a few I’ve been told this year.
- Several witnesses were recruited specifically for their grand jury testimony in order to discredit one of the more public voices/witnesses about the abuse at New Bethany.
- Law enforcement officers set up a Go Fund Me account for one of those witnesses and someone else was recruited to pay the water bill for that same witness.
- The Louisiana Attorney General knew of the abuse allegations at New Bethany as far back as the mid 1980s.
- Local law enforcement knew by the mid 1980s that girls were claiming to have been physically and sexually abused at New Bethany but chose not to investigate the allegations. Some in that office had links through family with either Mack Ford or New Bethany Home for Girls.
- One of the investigating officers that testified at the Grand Jury was overheard telling a witness at dinner that he didn’t find certain witnesses testimony to be believable.
What happened to the ladies that had the misfortune to find themselves at New Bethany is awful, the stuff of nightmares. They are owed some justice, even if just an admitting and apology for the abuse they suffered daily. But due to the death of Mack Ford, the statute of limitations and the fact that much of what happened to them would have been legally termed ‘sexual assault’ instead of rape means these women will never see real justice. They had to relive the worse of what happened to them for the Grand Jury only to be told charges would never be brought.
A timeline of New Bethany abuse history from NOLA.com – Timeline
Which leads me back to Carol Ann Cole. While there’s no one smoking gun that points conclusively to Mack Ford and New Bethany after talking to many different people and reading through thousands of pages of documents I think it’s entirely possible, hell, probable even that the person who murdered Carol Ann Cole was someone connected to New Bethany. Not necessarily Mack Ford, but perhaps a staff member or regular member of Ford’s congregation.
Unfortunately, just like all the allegations of abuse at New Bethany it seems like no one connected to this case is willing to consider the possibility. There seems to be an eagerness to look everywhere else, which brings me right back to the reason I decided to look into and write about this case in the first place. Sometimes law enforcement settles on a suspect and narrative in the early days of an investigation and refuses to consider any other alternative. Look at how many years and the effort expended by the Boulder Police Dept. to try and make the entire world believe that John and Patsy Ramsey killed their daughter when there were over 500 pieces of evidence that should have cleared them as suspects. They tried to get their evidence to fit their theory, ignoring anything that pointed elsewhere. Which might be what’s happened here in the murder of Carol Ann Cole.
Thanks for hanging in for this multi month series. I know it’s a lot to take in, but somewhere out there someone knows what happened to Carol Ann and they need to come forward. Even if the murderer is long dead there needs to be closure for this family.
If anyone has any information on the murder of Carol Ann Cole or knows how Carol Ann got to Louisiana from Texas please contact the Bossier Parish Sheriffs Dept at 318.965.2203 Please give Carol Ann Cole’s family the peace that comes with closure. This is still an unsolved open case being investigated.Rest in peace Carol Ann and I pray that the ladies of New Bethany Home for Girls receive the healing and recognition they deserve.
In the meantime if you wish to contact anyone at NLQ about what happened to Carol Ann Cole, or with your own story please drop me an email at SuzanneNLQ@.
Suzanne Titkemeyer is the admin at No Longer Quivering. She’s been out of the Quiverfull Evangelical world for nine years now and lives in the beautiful Piedmont section of Virginia with her retired husband and assorted creatures. She blogs at Every Breaking Wave and True Love Doesn’t Rape. She can be reached at SuzanneNLQ@
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