Edited 2/28/23 – To make it a little easier to read and navigate through the post, you can find links at the bottom of the page to the timeline, surveillance footage, federal complaints and sources.
If you’ve ever taken a look – and I mean really taken a look – at the unsolved missing and murdered cases along with the suspicious death cases in Walker County, AL, you’ve probably found yourself asking, “What exactly is going on in that little, rural county, and why aren’t people talking about it?”
We are often told it’s because people are afraid to share what they know, they’re afraid of being the next one “last seen walking into the woods.” One of the most disconcerting facts is that no one, and we do mean no one, truly knows exactly who is among the missing and murdered in Walker County.
So the next logical question is, “What or, more importantly, who could instill that level of fear into an entire county?”
You may think to yourself, “There is no reason not to come forward when you know something as important to a family as what may have happened to their loved one. Doesn’t the truth and helping those who so desperately need help outweigh that fear? Surely getting the person(s) responsible off the street would alleviate that fear and pressure.”
We have both been one of those people at times, frustrated and maybe even a little angry because we’re trying to encourage others to talk and they just won’t. We just don’t get it. That is, until just one person leaves a comment on social media and it serves as the spark that starts the wildfire. We’ve followed that trail of comments on multiple occasions, through multiple pages and articles, and it doesn’t take long before the pieces start clicking together and it becomes apparent who and what the locals are afraid of.
We grow up being taught to believe that agencies, just like the Walker County Sheriff’s Office, are there to help you, to protect you, to find you… even if, or maybe especially if, you have made poor decisions, broken the law, or you find yourself mentally unwell in a way you never thought you ever would.
Most of you reading this will never have to experience anything like this. But of those who have found themselves standing on the other side, most never thought they would either.
Oh, that’s a lot to take in. But let’s for just a moment think about Karen Kelly…
Karen Kelly and her family have had to go into hiding – HIDING – after she released the security footage revealing the appalling and inhumane actions, or inactions, exhibited by the corrections officers at the Walker County jail. Footage that Karen kept because she was afraid it would be deleted before anyone could ever know the truth about what exactly happened. Based on her complaint, Karen didn’t even share that video with anyone outside of WCSO until after WCSO’s Public Information Officer TJ Armstrong issued a statement several days after Tony’s death stating WCSO deputies had taken an “alert and conscious” Tony Mitchell to the hospital on January 27th – a day later than the events actually took place, mind you – where some sort of medical emergency occurred resulting in his death.
Karen’s actions to ensure the family knew the truth of what occurred was paid for not only with the loss of her job and with her safety but also the safety of her family.
If a now former law enforcement officer has to go into hiding with her family and the community is concerned that she has now gone missing, what are those without legal back up and support to do? Who is there to protect and ensure their safety? Why are none of our figureheads in Alabama more concerned with this? It is absolutely baffling.
Then for a moment think of Anthony Mitchell who was at the mercy, or lack thereof, of those exact people we are now, finally, talking about.
Anthony’s trust was paid for with his life.
And you may think this is all overdramatic.
A story like Karen’s comes to light.
A story like Anthony’s shocks and appalls.
Spoiler alert…Anthony is not the only one.
But Anthony’s family has had enough.
And the public has had enough too. People are sharing on social media. News networks nationwide are picking up Anthony and Karen’s story.
It’s now not just another story. It’s an outrage.
As we have stated, we know that we can’t condemn before guilt is proven, but standing around instead of making any attempt to render medical treatment or call for emergency assistance makes many of those present that day complicit in his death. And if you have any doubts, you don’t have to look much further than the surveillance and still shots.
- View the surveillance footage from WCSO *VIEWER DISCRETION ADVISED*
- View the timeline of events w/references
- View Federal Complaints
- View Media Articles & Other Sources