The News Media works in strange ways, they tend to act like Guppy’s in a fish tank. If one outlet picks up on a story, the rest are ready to join the School in search of sustenance and safety in numbers.

The Matthew Owens story is a complex one. Mr. Owens was beat into an unconscious state by at least one person, but possibly more, while a larger group allegedly stood by and did nothing.

One thing is clear, Matthew Owens is not making this up, a picture is worth a 1000 words, and this picture says it all.


The media seems to be fixated on the George Zimmerman – Trayvon Martin story, but the Matthew Owens story is just as disturbing. Of course there is a twist, Owens is a white guy, who an (alleged) bunch of African-Americans beat him to a pulp.

It had been reported that Matthew Owens has retained the services of Mobile, Ala attorney Alexander Almond. I like to verify information before publishing and contacted Alexander Almond. While this has nothing whatsoever to do with the case, I do want to tell you my impressions about him. He is a very nice and helpful man. He sounded somewhat surprised that the press might be even remotely interested in his clients predicament.

Obviously the race card is one that could easily be played in this case. Matthew Owens is a 40 year old white man and the alleged mob that did the beating were African-American.  While Alexander Almond agrees that there are some that might wish to play up the issue of race, he does not. “It is not about race, it is about common decency”.

One of the sticking points in the somewhat scant coverage of this story is exactly how many people were involved, and what roles they played. Some reports claim that 15-20 people were involved.

Only one arrest has been made so far. Terry Rawls. There are reports that Rawls and Owens had a history of not getting along, Rawls however is maintaining his innocence of involvement in this beating.

When asked, Alexander Almond said that it was possible that more arrests could be in the works.

As for the victim Matthew Owens he out of ICU (where he spent a number of days), but remains in hospital with a cracked skull and possible internal organ damage and bleeding. He apparently has no intentions of making this a media circus, but obviously would like to see a resolution to the crime.

His recollection of the beating are at best sketchy. This is hardly surprising as he was beaten unconscious!

It will be interesting to see how this case unfolds.

Simon Barrett


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