Kent State - A New Look
May 4 marks the 36th anniversary of the shootings at Kent State University. Four students were killed when the Ohio National Guard opened fire. Even though the National Guard had fixed bayonets and threw tear gas, many students didn't believe the Guard had loaded rifles.
Kent State University News Photograph
Published: April 30, 2006
There's something comforting about returning home and finding things mostly familiar. You can't do that in a lot of cities, certainly not in the Tampa Bay area where I've lived the past 25 years. Growth and development are the mantras here. But in Kent, Ohio, my son, Mark, and I were able to visit the campus of our alma mater in June and easily find our way around.
Mark, 36, wanted to show his two children Dad's Kent State University campus. Jack, 7, and Lindsay, 4, weren't too interested although they did like hopping on the concrete blocks in the huge fountain outside the KSU student union.
Mark and I were immediately drawn to the hallowed ground, the Prentice residence hall parking lot where, from up on a slight hill, Ohio National Guardsmen turned about face, lifted their rifles to their shoulders and opened fire into the crowd of students below, 35 years ago.
The blistering shower of 63 shots, went on for 13 seconds. When it was over, four students were dead or dying and nine others wounded, one paralyzed for life.
The date is engraved in the American psyche: May 4th 1970. Its pop culture shrine was penned by singer Neil Young, "Four Dead in Ohio," which begins "Tin soldiers and Nixon's comin."
My family was sideswiped by the tragedy. Kent was our home base. In 1970, I was 24, married, with a 20-month-old-son and worked at the Akron Beacon Journal, where my husband Larry Froelich also worked. We didn't live in Kent at the time of the shootings but moved there within months from Akron. We remained in Kent until 1980 when we divorced and went our separate ways, my ex-husband to the Detroit Free Press, and I to Florida.
I hadn't been on campus in the summertime in ages. It's so quiet you can hear the grass glide under your feet. No throng of students.
I graduated from KSU in 1968, so I knew this battlefield as Blanket Hill where students went to make out. My son, a 1991 KSU graduate, has no such association. After May 4, 1970, he and subsequent students knew the hill as the spot from which soldiers shot. A Web site by Jerry Lewis, my former sociology professor and father of Damon, my son's grade school friend, calls May 4th "a landmark in American social history.''
I've attended the 25th and 30th anniversary ceremonies for May 4th when the campus was brimming with media covering passionate speakers on the commons near where the bloodshed took place. Volunteers - I was one in 2000 - take turns holding candles in the marked spots where the four students were killed by M-I rifle bullets.
But during our summer visit, only a few dried-up flowers and caved-in candles graced the plaques for Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder. There was no vivid display of daffodils either. In May, the grass is so green it looks like mint jelly and is fringed by beds of the bright flowers. Even today, and despite many visits to this site, I'm astonished to see how far the slain students were from the Guardsmen. Reading that Miller was 250 feet from the soldiers, and Scheuer, Krause and Schroeder all fell 330 to 375 feet from the hill isn't quite the same as walking the lengths yourself.
As we were leaving, I saw something so typically Kent, a very free-thinking kind of community. Very close to campus, someone had painted their house in Cleveland Indians colors. Honey, can I paint our house blue? Oh, OK.
We decided to check out the Dairy Queen. This isn't a daily staple in my Florida life but in Kent, we lived a block from one and we were there so often my DQ server started making my peanut buster parfait the minute I hit the door.
My son and his family and I had lunch at DQ and laughed about a few things. One that the street we lived on, Rellim Drive, is Miller spelled backwards. Miller was the name of the developer of this neighborhood near the campus where homes were modest but nice. Same yellow house with green shutters. My husband and I second mortgaged our house in the mid-1970s for that Sears aluminum siding makeover .
We also chuckled that our DQ server, wearing a KSU shirt, spoke intelligently and was attentive. (This is not common in Florida where fast food workers mumble if they say anything at all.)
Back home, my visit revived my interest in the eventual summary of the KSU shootings. I had lost touch. I wondered if there was anything new. But what I should have wondered, I found out later, was, "Is there a conclusion?"
When I got back to work at The Tampa Tribune, I had an e mail from David Yale. I had dated his brother in college and written an editorial page story published May 4th 2003 about what the Vietnam era was like when you're a sap-happy college student trying to be normal while your peers are being blown to bits by the Viet Cong.
That story seemed really relevant as Americans were sinking into the war in Iraq. I had believed it was worth recalling the depths of despair to which both sides at home plunged during the Vietnam War.
I wrote about the gregarious Ronald Yale, whose personality endeared him to everyone he met whether they agreed with his hard-line Marine thinking or not. I described how this handsome, smart man was killed on March 24, 1971.
I embarked on a light email relationship with his younger brother, David , after he saw the story.
We thought we would finally meet during my June visit to Ohio but I was busy with my family. So when I got back to work, I wrote that I was sorry we didn't connect.
David asked me if I had read the newest book on the shootings and I thought it eerie, as if he were reading my mind. He gave me the title, "13 Seconds," and I immediately ordered a copy plus another book, "Four Dead In Ohio." "13 Seconds" isn't near the thorough book about the shootings "Four Dead in Ohio" is. Author William A. Gordon writes the shootings are "the most popular murders ever committed in the United States.'' KSU professors wouldn't talk to Gordon for his book.
Of "Four Dead in Ohio,'' I wrote to David, "I usually don't like a book that's so analytical but since I had lost touch with whatever happened to the KSU case, I found it fascinating. I know this was 35 years ago but it remains an incredible story.''
What he replied in an email would launch me on an almost yearlong journey.
"My CPA's nephew actually caused the shootings,'' he wrote. "He was an FBI informant and he was carrying a handgun that day. He was taking lots of photos of the protesters that day and when a group of students approached him, he fired over their heads. Then the big volley from the Guard rang out.''
I knew immediately who David was talking about. Terry Norman was the only civilian known to be carrying a gun that day.
David is a solid corporate citizen in Cleveland. He's an executive with Clear Channel, vice president of public affairs. I took him to be a credible source.
I responded I wanted to hear more. He called me two days later when I was climbing through the hull of a World War II vessel docked in Tampa. I couldn't talk so I had to wait through the weekend.
He called Monday and said his longtime accountant worked out of an office on Kenmore Boulevard in Akron and had known David's father. His name is Jim Norman. One day about five years ago, David recalled, Jim went to the back of his office and pulled out a file. He told David to read a 1974 Akron Beacon Journal article. (I later found the title of the story: "Undercover Agents' Role Left Unanswered by Jury.")
Jim said to David, "My nephew caused the shooting.'' He said Terry Norman was toting a camera on campus May 4th but also a gun. He was working as an FBI informant, taking photographs of student protesters. The students figured this out during the protest as he snapped pictures. They hated him. Some rushed him as he was taking photographs. Terry fired a warning shot into the air. Then the Guardsmen volley erupted.
As David was telling me about his conversation with Jim, I thought it was a plausible assessment of what happened. This is what Terry had been telling his relatives through the years. He's given no interview except one published May 5, 1970, by a Beacon Journal columnist, Mickey Porter. He told Porter he never fired the gun.
The testimony of many faculty, students and Guardsmen suggests that a single shot from a small-caliber weapon was heard just before the Guardsmen fired. Some said as many as four shots rang out; others disagreed. In all his statements to investigators, Terry said he didn't fire his gun.
There were many varied accounts of how the shootings happened. The Scranton Commission, the independent panel charged with investigating the causes of the nation's campus unrest, blamed some Kent State students for violent and criminal acts but branded the shootings as "unnecessary, unwarranted and inexcusable."
What David told me next I found hard to believe. He said , according to Jim, the Beacon Journal had planned to do a series of articles on undercover agents on university campuses, but the FBI flew into Akron and stopped that project. Really? The newspaper that won the Pulitzer Prize for its KSU shooting stories would abandon a hot story? I didn't think so.
Jim said the FBI got Terry a job and whisked him out of Akron.
I wanted to talk to Jim but David had lost touch with him. The phone at his Kenmore office had been disconnected. All he knew was that Jim lived with his sister in Tallmadge, near Akron, because he called him there once. But he didn't have a home number or name of that sister. I would have to track it down myself. If I hadn't grown up in Kenmore I probably wouldn't have been successful so quickly.
Visualize Kenmore, I thought. This is a hilly community, overwhelmingly working-class, adjacent to what was then a very grimy Akron, once the Rubber Capitol of the World, meaning tires but also condoms and balloons.
Up through the sixth grade, we lived at the bottom of the hill off Kenmore Boulevard. If you followed Kenmore Boulevard up to our "downtown' it was like finding Oz. There was a five 'n dime store and a bakery that made cream sticks the size of my arm. There was a potato chip factory and I bought countless bags of hot chips made by the OK Co. When its owner tried to relocate to the Tampa Bay area 20 years ago, you can imagine who was all over that story.
Our first home in Kenmore was my grandfather's apartment building. He was born in Romania but despite his broken English he had grabbed the gold ring in Akron. He toiled at a tire factory. This meant good pay, benefits, cradle-to-grave security. We lived in a cramped apartment in a section of mostly foreigners and blacks. People were religious about keeping up their property, squirting driveways, pruning hedges, sweeping sidewalks. The big prejudice in this urban hood was against West Virginians. They didn't paint their houses and kept their front screen doors open. Not tidy.
I was best friends with Judy Keener from West Virginia. And yes, her house was paintless. Still, I liked to tap dance in her driveway but come to think of it, I used to tap dance everywhere back then.
To find James Norman on Kenmore Boulevard, I searched online. Finally, I found an address. David said his office was by a coffee shop in Kenmore so I called my sister Helen, who lives in nearby Uniontown, to find out if she knew of one. Her reply, "Yes, the Kenmore Coffee Shop.'' Duh.
I called the coffee shop and asked the woman answering if a Jim Norman had worked nearby. She said yes. Did she know where to locate him? She checked, then came back to the phone and laughed, "We're clueless here.''
Then I went to a property appraiser's site to see who owned the building where Norman did taxes. I came up with a name and found a few phone numbers.
But before calling, I looked again and saw that the Kenmore Coffee Shop and Norman's former office had the same owner. So a few days later, I called back the coffee shop. This time I reached someone willing to give me the phone number for the landlord.
I reached a secretary. Yes, Norman left the building in April. His sister was taking his calls, but the secretary had misplaced her number.
I called back in a few days. She said she knew of someone who possibly had the phone number. She would call me with it. Miracle of all miracles on Friday afternoon, my cell phone rang with a 330 area code.
"I could tell getting this number was really important for you,'' the voice message said. Then the secretary said Jim Norman's sister was Nancy and she left the number for me.
Nancy Sidwell, sister of Jim Norman and Terry's father, Bob Norman, offered Jim's phone number. But first, she had an incredible story about Terry Norman.
Terry was presently living in the Carolinas, North or South she wasn't sure.
Terry is earning good money and living in a nice house but his life's dream had been shattered, Nancy said.
He is a convicted felon, so he can't work in law enforcement. He moved to California after leaving the Washington, D.C. police department. He worked for a firm based in Indianapolis until he was charged with embezzling from the company. He was about to leave the country, Nancy said, when the FBI arrested him. Terry served 18 months in prison.
I called Jim Norman, 73. He was in a nursing home. I thought at first I woke him. It was about 9:30 a.m. but when he started to talk I realized this is a man who is depressed. His sister had said that Jim had been diagnosed with lung cancer and had about six months to live.
"I feel great. I'm a captive of my relatives," he said. His family had confronted him in April and moved him into a nursing home, he said. "There's all these old people around here.''
I brought up Terry quickly. Jim said his nephew waved and shot his revolver while wearing a gas mask. I wanted to know when Terry fired. Unlike his long talks with David, Jim remained sketchy with me. He replied flatly, "Terry is accused of starting the shootings." He called him a scapegoat.
"My sister called me that day and said, 'Turn on the television.' There was Terry handing over a gun,'' said Jim.
After the publicity, Terry had threats on his life. "He had to get out of town,'' said Jim. He said Terry lost 10 pounds from the stress.
Of Terry's embezzlement charges, his uncle said he was living the high life during a 10-year estrangement from his family in the late 1980s and early '90s.
"He had two cars, flew an airplane and owned a boat.''
Then he was convicted of taking money from the company he worked for. Jim said Terry was submitting invoices for equipment he never bought.
Before I got a background check through The News Center research department, I did some online checking of my own and hit the mother lode. Nancy Sidwell had posted her family's history complete with photographs.
Winnie and Delsie Norman were the family patriarch and matriarch. They were a rubber worker family who had moved to Akron from West Virginia.
Akron used to be called the capitol of West Virginia because all the factory workers drove up the interstate to grab those swell tire-making jobs. My grandfather had gone to West Virginia from Ellis Island and then migrated north to Akron. He earned enough money to buy the brick, four-family apartment house where all my cousins and I grew up.
Never mind that our back yard bordered a burning tire dump, my grandfather's property was paradise. We had stately buckeyes, the state tree, in our front yard, wild raspberry bushes on our back fence, a climbable cherry tree by our grape arbor and a hill in the back for sledding.
Kids growing up in rubber factory families back then lived the good life. When my dad gave me and my more practical sister, Helen, his charge card to O'Neil's, the swank downtown department store, to buy bathing suits, I bought the most expensive one; my sister was more considerate.
I was spoiled, but there was a price. My father, a creative man with artistic talent untapped, had to walk through factory doors for 40 years of his life.
I imagined the Normans had similar financial security. According to Nancy's online presentation, Winnie Norman was born March 1902 in Calhoun County, W.Va. He lived in Akron from 1929 to 1990 and died in 1997 in Copley, a suburb of Akron.
Winnie worked at the Miller Rubber Co. and then at B.F. Goodrich for 41 years. During those years he was also self-employed, working until his death at age 88.
Terry Norman's grandfather and his wife had six children. Terry was one of 24 grandchildren, according to Winnie Norman's obituary.
When I got our research department involved, I learned Terry Norman lived in Pisgah Forest, N.C. This was about a month after my Ohio visit. Finding time to work on the puzzle of Terry and his mysterious role at the KSU shootings would prove difficult.
I have a busy life; a husband who likes a home-cooked meal every night, a daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters, Clare, 2, and Halle, 4, who live nearby.
Should I go to Akron? I wanted to spend my 59th birthday on Longboat Key, where I could hang out in a swimming pool, walk the beach, go out for dinner and spend time with the grandkids. This is my Florida heaven.
But then there was an outbreak of stinky Red Tide and one hurricane after another poised to strike Florida. I didn't make any hotel reservations.
But I wasn't jumping to book a flight to Akron either. Spend my birthday up North? No granddaughter kisses?
Then my sister asked, "How could there possibly be anything new about the Kent State shootings?''
I booked a flight to Akron/Canton just in time to get a deal: $99 one way on Thursday, July 28; $150 coming back on Sunday, July 31.
The Soap Box Derby would be in town when I arrived in Acorn, my pet name for the old hometown. Schoolchildren in little cars race down a track right by my sister's house in a huge complex consisting of the Rubber Bowl (where football games are played, not salad tossed).
Before my visit, I called the Beacon Journal and asked if I could stop by and look in their archives. Then I called KSU's May 4th archive and an efficient woman, Cara Gilgenbach, made an appointment for me. She said she'd pull all the Terry Norman research she could find.
These were the plans for my birthday. Going through files on Terry Norman who may or may not have anything to hide but has sure vanished through the years.
I also thought what the heck, why not interview someone who was there the day of the shootings. I called two people I have always wanted to meet, Alan Frank and Alan Canfora. Both were on campus that day.
Frank is the son of the late geology professor Glenn Frank, who very courageously told the angry, confused crowd right after the shootings to get off campus - now. His plea was recorded by student radio station news director Bob Carpenter.
"I don't care if you've never listened to anybody before in your life, I am begging you right now. If you don't disperse right now, they're [the National Guard] going to move in. It will only be a slaughter. Please listen to me. Jesus Christ, I don't want to be part of this. Listen to me.''
Canfora was waving a black anarchy flag in the face of the National Guard. Some people thought of him - and still do - as the No. 1 agitator. He was shot in the wrist.
He's kept a Kent State link going strong through the years and always attends the May 4th events to talk to students.
After I told David I was coming to Akron, which also meant I'd be meeting him, I said I would like to meet Canfora. David mentioned him in a previous conversation because David's brother-in-law had attended Barberton High School with Canfora. David suggested I mention this connection in landing an interview.
You wouldn't think Alan Canfora would be hard to nail down for a chat. But since the Beacon Journal wrote a few years ago that he should get a life because of his ongoing interest in May 4th, he hasn't been as media happy. He prefers to talk to students.
I called both Alans, using the David connection. Canfora called me back; Frank didn't.
Still, Canfora was cagey about setting an exact time and place to meet during my brief Akron visit.
My trip would be half personal/half work. I could spend time with my sister, on the first anniversary of my father's death. She and I wanted to take flowers to his grave in Akron. I also wanted to eat at Belgrade Gardens, home of fried chicken and Hungarian hot sauce.
After arriving in Akron, I spent a morning looking at microfilm at the Beacon Journal. The newspaper where legendary editor John S. Knight once roamed the halls is losing circulation to The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Above the microfilm machine was draped plastic tarp to keep the water from the leaky roof coming in. John Knight, who was driven to work every day by his chauffeur, wouldn't have liked that.
A few hours later, I was driving to Kent State when my husband called on the cell phone. I thought I'd make a quick stop at DQ for lunch and then bolt to the KSU archives.
"I still haven't set up anything with Alan Canfora,'' I told my husband Ray Bassett (born in West Virginia, by the way).
"Maybe he's trying to blow you off," he said as I pulled into DQ.
Perhaps. Despite a morning of hearing, "This phone isn't accepting any more calls,'' I tried Alan Canfora's number one more time. He answered.
"Where are you now?" he asked.
I didn't want to say DQ at Kent, so I said I was headed toward campus. He said he'd meet me at the site of the shootings about 4. A man with a flair for drama, I thought.
But then he changed his mind. How about tomorrow, Saturday, for lunch at Bob Evans. I called David because he and his girlfriend, Marisa Barto, also wanted to come along on the interview. We had already decided we'd all go to the nursing home together to see Jim Norman, since David liked Jim and was concerned about him.
On Saturday, I was enjoying an Amish shopping romp with my sister , buying jelly candles and home made soap, when about 11 a.m. Alan Canfora called my cell phone. He was in Uniontown.
"Let's meet there, right now." He works for the Summit County Board of Elections and was handing out election information in the area.
OK, I said. When I told my sister of the change of plans, she was angry. How could you agree to that? she said. David was planning to meet you at Bob Evans. To change at the last minute is rude.
I thought, I'll just call David and give him a heads up on where the Canfora interview bus is headed now. But David didn't answer his cell phone.
So when I walked in to eat with Canfora, I was feeling guilty about ditching David, who really wanted to meet Canfora, a sort of folk hero in northeastern Ohio.
At lunch, my hand was shaking so much when I lifted my cup of decaf, I switched to two hands.
I soon was lost in my conversation with Canfora, a very media savvy man. He asked about me. Where is my father buried? It was a few blocks from his Barberton home.
He complimented me on looking good for being a 1968 Daily Kent Stater newspaper editor, meaning he did the quick math to realize I was three years older than him.
Canfora picked a smoky den of a roadside restaurant, Jordan's Family Restaurant. He's worked for the board of elections since 1992 and is the chairman of the Democratic Party for Barberton. He started KSU in 1967 but went to the Wadsworth branch then transferred to the main campus in 1968. His dad was a Barberton City Council member.
He earned a degree in general studies in 1972 and then a masters in library science in 1980.
Canfora came from a close-knit, patriotic Italian family. His mother was an Army nurse and his father lost his right eye in a World War II skirmish. He's fair skinned with piercing blue eyes. And while he doesn't wear his hair very long, it's longer in the back with almost a swing to it.
He bristled when I brought up the "get a life'' taunt. He replied he's not one-dimensional nor obsessed about Kent State, he said.
"I'm not stuck in the past. I deal with modern problems in politics'' like school levies.
He said the KSU shooting volunteerism through the years is just one aspect of his life. But he's determined not to forget the tragedy or let what happened fade away. He was a good friend of the slain Jeff Miller and felt a sense of obligation. ""It would be horrible if we didn't learn the lessons of 1970,'' he said.
To lunch, he wore a TLC logo T-shirt given to him by the Learning Channel, which produced a 2000 prize-winning documentary about the Kent State shootings he is featured in.
As for his library credentials, Canfora said he appreciates good research so naturally he would scour anything and everything written about May 4th.
If there was one person he could interview today it would be President Nixon. "He was most responsible for the cover-up,'' Canfora said, adding the shootings marked the beginning of Nixon's downward slide to Watergate.
Canfora said he has never approached or tried to get in contact with any of the National Guardsmen. He cites a recent story by a KSU journalism student doing the annual May 4th chore: Calling the Guardsmen for a no comment.
But Guardsman Matthew McManus chose to speak.
"It was a military operation and we were following orders,'' he told Nancy Hopkins.
Canfora interpreted this to mean the National Guard was ordered to fire. But it could also mean they had to go marching on our lovely campus.
He mused he's going to put out an appeal for others to step up and tell what they know via his Web site. "There was no sniper,'' he said. MI rifles did the damage, period, according to all he's read and knows. But he would like to talk with Terry Norman, calling him a "shadowy figure.'' He has contempt for students who were spying on the radicals.
Canfora viewed Kent State as a typical university in its war protests. He said 30 colleges had ROTC buildings burned or bombed during that era.
After KSU's ROTC barrack burning though, the National Guard was called in. That wasn't so usual. The "tin soldiers'' turned the campus into a command post. Two days later, violence.
"It was the end of our innocence,'' Canfora said of his generation. ""We were forced to grow up. And then there was the nightmarish situation of the cover-up of these murders. I was very alienated from the political system.''
Canfora didn't vote until he was 30 years old.
He rotated his milk-white right wrist to show me a faint scar. He has bone fragments, he said, but full use of his hand.
Shaking his head, he said he's very lucky. He high-tailed it out of Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna after being treated.
"They wanted me to stay overnight but I thought the FBI would arrest me.''
He told me in a sad tone that his friend Dean Kahler, the student paralyzed by the National Guardsmen, recently broke his femur.
Canfora didn't care to hear that today's students aren't interested in the KSU shootings. He said that from September to May every Thursday evening, he meets with a student-run May 4th Task Force Committee, which decides how it wants to mark the anniversary: speakers, vendors, chairs, setting up the stage.
Today a student may not know all the details. But all anybody has to do is walk on Blanket Hill and the slope-located parking lot.
"It may be hard to picture what happened, but seeing those distances of where the Guardsmen stood versus where the students who were shot is incredible," he said. "The distances are the most damning evidence. It's just appalling that such high-powered rifles were shot into a crowd.''
Canfora didn't oppose the war coming out of high school. He went from a passive student to one waving a black anarchy flag, pictured in Life magazine in a May 4 spread because of personal sorrow. His cousin was wounded in Vietnam. The captain of his high school football team was killed. Returning soldiers to Barberton pleaded with him, "Man, don't go. Find a way out of the draft.''
As for the May 4 shootings, "I really believe we are on the verge of finally learning the truth,'' said Canfora. He said it would only take one or two National Guardsmen to step forward and admit what happened. "All deny being given an order,'' he said. But Canfora believes from noon to 12:24 p.m., the National Guard were on a hunting expedition. "They chased us over the hill,'' he said. "They were ID-ing the radicals and who were the rock throwers. Then keeping their eyes on their targets, they shot us.''
The shooting victims were half intentional and half random, he told me.
Canfora said the day actually was an anti-climax because the ROTC building was already trashed. "It was an after-thought to stage a demonstration on Monday and we were at the end of it when the shootings happened,'' he said.
Now Canfora said his work at KSU centers around getting a place where all the visitors to the shooting site can stop, sit, relax, read and reflect. Unlike Elvis Presley's mansion, the shooting site isn't a historic national landmark - an issue now being discussed at Kent.
In 1998, Canfora was part of an effort to get the university to stop allowing vehicles to park on the four spots where the students were killed. "Imagine, cars are dripping oil where Jeff Miller and others were killed," he said.
Canfora gained the support of the mothers of the four slain students and finally KSU President Carol Cartwright had memorial markers installed, closing the parking spots.
Our one hour lunch flew. Canfora said goodbye and I sat in my rental car wondering what to do. No word from David. I had stood him up for lunch. He still wasn't answering his cell phone. I drove back to my sister's house.
I finally reached David, and we were soon meeting up at the Wyant Woods Nursing Home in Fairlawn. Walking into its Colonial-style d�cor (a style still popular in the Midwest), I spied a spry Jim sitting on his bed in khaki shorts.
His private room looked like a college dorm. He had a huge computer screen, printer and large TV. He snapped my photo on his digital camera not long after I scooted up a chair next to him.
Jim Norman was a counterpoint to Alan Canfora. While Jim didn't say anything like not enough students were shot - a common belief in the Midwest in the '70s - he repeated several times during our visit that stronger action should have been taken against the radicals who wanted to destroy the government.
"They let it [the protesting] go on for years,'' he tried to yell in his raspy voice - he described his condition as laryngitis - and dabbed at his nose with a hanky.
He talked about Terry, but his family had cautioned him about this. One of his first statements was, "Terry has a good job now. His mom wouldn't want to do anything to jeopardize that.''
I didn't realize until a few weeks later the import of that comment.
He started talking about Terry anyway. The kid was a ham radio operator in high school, knew all the doctors and lawyers in town who had the same hobby. Because Terry was very intelligent, said Jim, the professionals came to him for ham radio know how. Terry once communicated with Barry Goldwater. "You know who that is?'' Jim asked me chuckling.
Terry, said Jim, just wanted to be like the movie star double agent James Bond. Local police, including KSU and Akron, and even the Akron office of the FBI, would give Terry free film after he enrolled at Kent State to study criminal justice. The law enforcement agencies tossed him a few bucks when he came back with photographs of anti-Vietnam War protesters.
Jim said students jumped Terry the day of the shooting and beat him up after the National Guard fired into the crowd. But just before the shootings, Terry was nervous as he spotted students who realized the young man in the gas mask taking photographs was not on their side.
"He was the main target at this point,'' said Jim. So Terry waved his gun around to scare them off. Jim waves off my question of whether Terry fired his gun before, during or after the Guardsmen fired or at all.
"They dismissed all charges against everybody,'' said Jim
"Did Kent State ruin Terry Norman's life?'' I asked him.
"It didn't do him any good,'' answered his uncle.
He said his brother Bob, Terry's father, lived a few blocks away in this leafy, semi-affluent suburb of Akron. Jim hadn't seen Terry in 20 years.
He occasionally goes to dinner at Terry's parents' house, though. Bob retired 20 years ago as a Goodyear Tire supervisor.
As we were leaving Jim's room, he repeated , "Terry just wanted to be James Bond.''
Downstairs, David said, "He sure looks OK. I can remember seeing him so many times in Kenmore, smoking a cigarette, poring over my taxes.''
Back home, I scoured records. The Beacon Journal files showed the newspaper to be tenacious in its coverage. Terry told columnist Mickey Porter he heard what he thought was a shot from the roof of Taylor Hall, where architecture and journalism classes were held. Then, he said, the National Guard opened fire. He stooped to aid an injured student but he was surrounded by others who raged, "Get the pig,'' knowing he was a police photographer.
He pulled out his gun and ran for protection to the National Guardsmen.
But in his statement to campus police immediately after the shootings, Terry didn't include this rooftop shot.
On June 1, 1970 he gave a statement to the Ohio State Patrol. He said he saw the National Guardsmen shift from carrying their rifles in an up position to leveling them. "I heard what seemed to be either a small-arms weapon report or possibly a firecracker. Right after that the Guard opened up,'' he said.
In this statement, Terry said he was given a ride home after the shootings by the National Guard in an Army vehicle.
More than a month later, an Ohio Senator told the Beacon Journal that about 50 FBI "students'' would be in classes for the summer session. How many FBI informers and agents were on campus that fatal day was never revealed.
This was a sticking point at Kent State. In an Oct. 17, 1970 Beacon Journal article, students at a rally asked for the expulsion from their campus of police like CIA and FBI. Besides the fact that these undercover agents were armed and potentially dangerous, some suspected they were stirring things up so Nixon would have damning proof that protesters needed to be silenced.
On March 31, 1974, the Beacon Journal reported the federal grand jury was ready to end its investigation without providing answers on the FBI undercover question.
Enter Terry Norman. The KSU archives/May 4th collection provides more information. As a mother and a grandmother, what startled me the most about reading his police statements is how he matter-of-factly describes showing up on campus on May 4.
Along with his camera and tear gas mask, he carried a left side cross draw in a semi-shoulder holster. This concealed weapon was a Smith & Wesson Model 36, 38 caliber, nickel plated 2 inch barrel with custom grips and trigger shoe. There were four rounds of Super Val and one of Armor Piercing.
At 12:45 p.m. May 4, a half-hour after the shootings, campus police interrogated Terry.
Did you fire this weapon? "No.''
Are you bonded to carry a weapon? "I believe so at this time but will have to do some checking.''
An extensive investigation by the same police department, but not until 1973, revealed that he wasn't bonded to carry a concealed weapon.
In other papers, asked if he was injured in any way on May 4th, he said, "Yes but not extremely.'' Because he was struck above the right ear he went to a doctor who said his ear was clogged with wax.
"I assume this was from the kick in the ear,'' said Terry.
In November 1970, Terry said he'd gotten the Model 36 revolver in a trade "with a guy name Bruce'' the previous year. That was Bruce VanHorn, an Akron police officer, records show. The patrolman traded the gun to Terry on Sept. 19, 1969. The gun was purchased by VanHorn through the Akron police chief's office.
Whatever happened to the gun? Smith & Wesson had it for testing, but in an Aug. 24, 1973 letter said it couldn't be returned to the Special Investigations Division because it had been picked up by the FBI.
The FBI whisked Terry away to Washington, D.C. where the metro police employed him as an undercover narcotics agent in August 1970. A Sept. 21, 1973 letter in the May 4th file reports Terry was relieved of the power of arrest and no longer had permission to carry a gun. He remained as a police officer but had a desk job.
The first week of August, I was chasing leads, most of which didn't pan out. Terry at one point had a lawyer named Mr. Christmas. I laughed until I discovered via the Internet there are 10 attorneys in the United States with that last name. None are old enough to have been Terry's lawyer back in the 1970s.
Then I thought about Terry's high school. I hadn't asked Jim where he went.
I thought about Jim telling me Bob and Dawn Norman went to New York to see grandkids. He spoke as if they were small children, but the couple were both 75, a little old to have the four cuddly grandchildren I do at age 59.
I remembered a listing of a Miles Norman as a possible relative of Terry's from my News Center research. Online, I found Miles B. Norman, who lives in Elmira, N.Y. He works as a photojournalist. He's 39, meaning he would have been about kindergarten age when his brother Terry was involved in the KSU shootings. On the other hand, Terry's parents had him when they were teenagers.
Next, I wanted some high school input. Sometimes this tells you nothing about a person but you never know. I was editor of my high school newspaper, quiet and into clothes and guys. I wouldn't say I steered off course much.
On the August morning that the world woke up to learn ABC anchor Peter Jennings had died of lung cancer, I called Jim. I wanted to check on him. I liked him. If I lived in Akron, I know I would visit him.
He sounded happy to hear from me and told me Terry had attended Copley High School.
He was a 1967 Copley grad. His name in a file at the school is marked, "Unable to locate.'' The school put me in touch with a 1967 graduate who wanted to remain anonymous. Of course she remembered Terry - the class had just 230 graduates, she said. She agreed to call back when she found a copy of her yearbook.
The News Center search turned up a federal tax lien listing Terrence B. Norman as the debtor at his parents' address, 398 Cartwright Drive, Fairlawn. Nicky Sipe, spokesperson for the Summit County Recorders Office, said this was a 1040 assessed debt June 12, 1995. The unpaid balance was prepared in Cleveland in Oct. 31, 1995. Her office received the claim Nov. 9, 1995. What does this mean?
It means there's a tax lien on Bob Norman's house in Terry's name for $16,140. "The IRS has not released it,'' she said. "If someone wanted to buy that property a title search would show this tax lien.'' Is Terry making payments to the IRS to clear up some debt? Sipe said the IRS wouldn't release that information.
It looks like Terry's parents put up their mortgage to help him out of an IRS jam.
The Beacon Journal has never published much background on Terry. Yet his mother, Dawn, wrote to the newspaper on Feb. 22, 2004. She was upset that the newspaper put a gay couple and a Playboy playmate as main stories on the front page.
"It makes me angry that this type of perversion is foisted upon us almost daily and we are paying for it to be brought into our home,'' she wrote. "It is bad enough that the TV news has almost nonstop coverage of perversion but to be bombarded with this in our home is too much.''
A family with conservative values.
Meanwhile, the KSU Tampa Bay alumni group was preparing to meet at Tropicana Field for a Cleveland Indians baseball game. Attending this, I was reminded that University of South Florida president Judith Genshaft earned psychology degrees, master's and doctorate, at Kent State. She went to school there in the early 1970s. I'll check this out later.
I again call the high school source about more on Terry. This person reads that Terry's yearbook ambition is to be a lawyer and career soldier.
I call the KSU alumni office and mention the fun Indians vs. Rays baseball game. I tell alumni official Michael Butts, who I know from our alumni group, I would like contact information on former graduate assistant Harold Sherman Reid, who made sure Terry surrendered his gun to the police after the Guardsmen shooting.
Butts said Reid had dropped off the radar at KSU.
Jim Norman died Oct. 24. His obituary said he served four years in the Air Force starting in 1949 and then later was president of the National Association of Accountants, Akron chapter. I told my sister I couldn't believe he died of lung cancer within three months of my energetic visit with him. She said two words: Dana Reeve.
I learn through the Daily Kent Stater online that The History Channel has been on campus filming for its upcoming series on Baby Boomers. Reportedly, the cable channel plans to lead off the series with the Kent State shootings. This is a defining moment for the Baby Boomer generation, said the article.
But unlike silly 1970s pop culture, Kent State on May 4th was not the good old days. After the Beacon Journal won the Pulitzer Prize for its general reporting coverage of the shootings , editor John S. Knight (1894-1981) no doubt influenced this editorial which began: "We never thought to see the day when the Beacon Journal was sorry to win the Pulitzer Prize.''
Back to reporting. I call the Washington, D.C. police department to learn what years Terry worked there. Sheriff Lupe Trevino of Hidalgo County, Texas, has arrest records for Terry. He was in jail 5/28/94, released 5/31/94 on a conversion jail charge. He or his office will get back to me about what this means and with information on where Terry may have gone to prison.
Trevino said he was a freshman in college when the KSU shootings occurred. "Some things just stick with you,'' he said.
When I asked him if the sheriff's department knew Terry was a former police officer when he was in jail, he said, ""I won't go on a fishing expedition for you.''
I start again on people I'd like to talk to. Fred DeBrine, the NBC newsman on campus on May 4th, is high on the list. All of his archive footage is shown over and over, even of Terry handing over his gun. DeBrine is quoted in "Four Dead in Ohio'' as saying that Terry said, ""I had to shoot! They were going to kill me.''
Then DeBrine heard the KSU campus policeman who took the gun away say, "My God! He fired four times! What the hell do we do now?''
I find DeBrine in Florida, retired and about an hour from Tampa.
I call him. DeBrine said he knew Terry as a bright kid and FBI informant. He said Terry then "clammed up and disappeared.'' Retired for six years as a broadcaster, DeBrine has boxes of information but never got around to writing that book.
I'm off to the DeBrine interview in Summerfield. But first, some loose ends.
I call Miles Norman, the Elmira, N.Y., photojournalist and brother of Terry.
"I was 4 years old at the time,'' he said. "I have no recollection of what happened.''
Didn't he ever do any reading on the subject? Silence.
Norman, the father of boys ages 6 and 9, according to his photography Web site, wouldn't comment either on whether he's close to Terry. Then after I ask a few more questions about the tax lien on his parents' home and Terry's arrest record, he said before hanging up, ""I just don't want to comment. Thanks.''
I find out that Terry was a Washington, D.C. police officer beginning in Aug. 24, 1970 and he resigned on Aug. 11, 1983, according to Karen Clark, records clerk in human resources at the D.C. police department. Records show Terry moved to California.
What's the impression on campus of Terry's role during the May 4th shootings?
At Kent State, professors take turns teaching a class on May 4th. Carole Barbato, associate professor of communication studies, is teaching the class with an eye on cultural analysis - of books, movies, TV. She said peace and pro-War rallies are held several times a year. Three years ago, students clashed with the Kent city police so the university stepped in immediately to make marches more controlled. Now there are "free speech zones'' and marchers must get permits.
Barbato, the product of a steelworker family from Youngstown, believes undercover law enforcement and agents provocateurs remain on college campuses. "They aren't as obvious as back then," she said," because in the 60s and 70s they stood out with their short hair. Today, they blend in more. There's no reason to believe it (undercover) doesn't exist today with how paranoid our government is.''
As for Terry, she said, "Terry Norman was paid. Some people would do anything for money.''
Barbato, on campus May 4, 1970, was persuaded to stay indoors by a speech professor during the protest. She said she took a deep interest in the shootings after conversations with returning Vietnam veterans.
As for the Beacon Journal dodging the undercover story, John Dunphy, a business editor at the Orange County Register, spent seven years, full-time, working on Kent State shooting stories for the Beacon Journal. Did he pull back at any time because of FBI influence as the Norman family believes? He says loudly, "Not true. Did not happen.''
Dunphy said it wasn't just law enforcement on campuses checking on government dissenters. He checked out army intelligence officers posing as students and other government agency staffers. His best sources weren't what he calls FBI types but justice department lawyers. It's a wonder there were any regular students, I said. He laughed, "Everybody was spying on everybody.''
I reach a cousin of Terry Norman. His name is Russ Fisher, the son of Nancy Sidwell. He's a 42-year-old truck driver who co-runs Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary, an animal shelter and rehab center near the KSU campus. Russ and his wife, Annette, take in Amish horses grown too old to haul buggies.
Fisher said he's too young to know much about the Kent State shootings. He's seen Terry a few times through the years but can't remember the last time. He knew Terry sold cars in North Carolina.
"I go through North Carolina all the time but I never look him up. It's too bad he's kind of estranged from the family.'' Fisher added, "My uncle Jim told us stories about what happened at Kent State." He added, "I'm sure he knew what he was talking about. He was a real smart man.''
I haven't talk with David since last summer. I call him in Cleveland. I break the news that Jim has passed away.
David said his tax man of 15 years talked freely about the KSU shootings. "He said Terry caused the shootings. I know he was subdued around you. But with me he would have talked for four hours if I would have let him," said David.
On April 17, I'm in Summerfield. Nestled in gently rolling hills and curvy roads south of Ocala horse country is Del Webb's Spruce Creek Country Club. This is a senior enclave where retired newscaster Fred DeBrine lives in one of 3,800 homes for the 55-plus set.
Wearing an orange knit golf shirt and khaki shorts, DeBrine ushers me into his beautifully decorated home (his wife Yvonne loves sparkling Waterford crystal) and doesn't waste any time getting down to his version of Terry Norman events.
A 1959 graduate of Michigan State, he worked at eight TV stations over 43 years. He's used to delivering the facts fast.
And he does. I hand him a copy of Terry's first statement, given to the KSU police.
DeBrine, 68, put on his reading glasses and noted that information like this wasn't available when he was a reporter.
Then he answered a question for me. Yes, he did testify before a federal grand jury in 1972. He left the NBC Cleveland affiliate in 1973.
He read Terry's statement and said, "This differs a little bit from what he told me. Some of it is pretty correct though.''
DeBrine said it was very common for law enforcement to employ students and others to pose as members of the press back then. Norman had a fake press pass issued by the KSU police, giving him access to the front line of demonstrations.
"Terry told me how this worked,'' said DeBrine. The FBI and other agencies would give Norman a roll of film and then pay him per picture for photographs of demonstrators the agency didn't have in its file. The price per photograph was as low as $1, Terry told him.
"This way the FBI would have a dossier of those troublemakers on and off campus in all parts of the country,'' said DeBrine.
Once in awhile, since Terry lived in Akron near DeBrine's NBC bureau, the student would grab a ride to campus. "I didn't know he had a gun,'' said DeBrine.
What happened on May 4, DeBrine retold with precision. He and his crew, cameraman Jorge Gomez, who recently died in Miami, and soundman Joe Butano didn't follow the National Guard when troops went across the commons and began to chase students over the ridge beyond Blanket Hill. DeBrine said they feared their camera equipment looked too much like weapons. The Guard then circled back and stood on a crest in front of a pagoda.
"We heard what sounded like shots,'' he said. Afterward, the Guard retreated down the hill. Within a short time, Harold Reid, a black professor with a briefcase, was chasing a student and yelling, "Stop that man!''
"Here's where the story gets interesting,'' said DeBrine.
DeBrine said he was standing next to the man Reid ushered over to the police. It was Terry who handed his gun to KSU police Officer Harold Rice, who then passed the gun to KSU Detective Tom Kelley.
Kelley yelled, "My God! He fired it four times. What the hell do we do now?"
Shaking, Terry said, "I had to shoot. They were trying to kill me.''
Just then an ambulance siren blared and word spread that students had been shot.
The police took Terry away and DeBrine joined his news crew, who raced off to the hill to eventually view the carnage.
DeBrine said Kelley later denied that he said Terry had fired his gun.
The next day, DeBrine saw Terry. "I ask him, 'Terry what the devil happened?' ''
He said the protesters were trying to kill him. Then Terry said, "I waved my gun at them and then fired a couple shots into the air." Terry wouldn't go on camera for DeBrine.
Terry was positioned in a grove of pine trees, which DeBrine said explained why the National Guard fired toward the parking lot. The trees are near the parking lot, downhill from the pagoda.
"All of a sudden the Guard heard shots from that direction. They thought they were being fired upon,'' DeBrine said.
"The grove of pine trees. That's where Terry said he was. The whole darn thing was an accident. There was nothing deliberate about it. Terry thought he was protecting himself.''
DeBrine worked this angle as a newsman but without Terry going on camera and amid so much conflicting information, he could never fully report what he knew. A National Guardsman told him, "What happened at Kent State isn't what you hear.'' But what he was hearing was a big coverup, he said.
"The door was shut on everything,'' he said, including Terry who "clammed up and disappeared.''
DeBrine said Terry was obviously scared. "I don't blame him but I don't feel sorry for him."
Demonstrators tried to mob him and kill him and Terry told police he stuck around to help a student who was bleeding.
"I blame the university for allowing things to get out of control,'' he said. The administration approved most demonstrations, said DeBrine, so tension could be released.
But DeBrine didn't spare words about the demonstrators either. On his desk, he has a railroad nail he picked up from the campus after the shootings. He said 42 bushel baskets of the railroad nails were collected. The 6-inch nails along with good-sized rocks were thrown by the students.
"These would kill ya if you were in the way," he said as he thrusts the railroad nail like a dart.
He said it was "sheer folly" for students to think the Guardmen's rifles weren't loaded. "The Guard has fixed bayonets and empty weapons?"
He has picked up a few books on Kent State through the years but never read them. "Hell, most of those people writing (including James Michener) weren't there," he mused.
Featured in the HBO Emmy Award-winning documentary, �Dear America: Letters Home from Vietnam,�� in 1987, DeBrine said he asked to be sent to Vietnam but because he had three small children, his TV bosses would never send him.
He summarized his opinion, something he couldn't offer as a newsman.
"It was an accident. The National Guard didn't commit murder. It hasn't happened anywhere else. It was an accident.''
It was convenient for the federal government to let the National Guard take the blame instead of admitting Terry's role.
Terry "liked the opportunity to hang around with 'us guys.' We did this for a living. He liked access to press conferences and blending in as a reporter."
Was Terry taken advantage of by the FBI? "Possibly,'' said DeBrine.
To work a story you go to the top or bottom for the best information. I go to retired Lt. Col. Charles Fassinger, commander of the National Guard troops. He was the highest ranking officer in the chain of command on Blanket Hill on May 4.
"Physically, I was at the spot of the shootings,'' the 75-year-old Fassinger said. What happened never seems to get answered, he said, because people didn't tell the exact same story after the shootings.
"I heard what I thought was a shot,'' he said. "Then there was a pause followed by the Guardsmen shooting.''
He said he feels remorse but not guilt because he believes the Guardsmen's lives were in danger. He only heard about Terry Norman later.
"There was some evidence afterward that weapons other than military ones had been fired,'' he said.
I tell him where Terry was standing, according to newsman DeBrine. "That would be consistent,'' he said.
But, he said, everyone there saw and heard things differently.
"You're a reporter,'' he said, "you know how that goes."
There was no order to shoot planned in advance, he said. "I was the commander. I would have issued it."
He said there was also no last minute order to shoot.
"Absolutely not. The noise level and gas masks would have made that tough to hear."
Fassinger said these days he gets telephone calls from middle school students writing papers. "They ask some pretty good questions,'' he added slyly.
The Texas officials finally got back to me. Basically, Terry had been arrested on federal charges of fraud. He spent three days in the Hidalgo jail before being transferred to Indianapolis.
Basically, everything Jim told me was correct, except that Terry served more than three years, not 18 months.
When Terry left Washington, D.C., for California in 1983, he went to work for a company later acquired by Anacomp, Inc. This is a firm that takes documents or computer information and puts the data on microfiche.
Terry was eventually in charge of the telecommunication system, an interest that ties into his ham radio operator days in high school. He approved all Anacomp invoices.
According to the indictment, Terry submitted 181 false invoices totaling $397,200 from just one of the fake companies he set up. Anacomp lost a total $675,653.88, the indictment said.
He bought a boat, "Content II Cruz." He bought an airplane, an Aero Commander. And he owned a house in San Diego, and a 20-acre ranch in Texas.
He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to scheme to defraud of property by false and fraudulent pretenses, two counts of mail fraud and two counts of money laundering, records show.
He went to prison on 5/28/94 and was released from a prison camp 1/12/98, according to Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Mike Truman. He served most of his time in the federal facility at Seymour Johnson Air Force base in Goldsboro, N.C.
After giving up all his goods and property, Terry was ordered to repay $300,000, records show.
USF President Genshaft won't talk with me. I think the topic of undercover persons on campus is timely. USF publicist Lara Wade said whenever she brought the Kent State connection up, Genshaft hemmed and hawed.
"She didn't feel it appropriate,'' Wade said. "It wasn't a good time for her."
I was referred to Sgt. Mike Klingebibl, Public Information Officer for the USF campus police. He hopefully will discuss whether undercover persons are on campus for drug spying, whatever.
I drove to the campus on a hot, cloudless April morning. Sgt. Klingebibl greeted me at the police office with the information that he wouldn't be talking with me. Someone more informed would. Capt. Bob Staehle, operations commander. He not only handles demonstrations on campus but he was in the Kent area during the shootings.
I found a friendly police captain who had indeed been drinking in downtown Kent, which he likened to Ybor City, a few days before the May 4 shootings.
In 1970, Staehle, now 55, was a sophomore at the University of Akron, about a half-hour from Kent State. He went to Kent with friends for the "near beer,'' a 3.2 percent alcohol content brew students could legally consume at age 18.
How law enforcement behaved on May 4 has influenced the training Staehle received in confrontation management. There are always loads of references to the riot at Kent State.
At USF, Staehle, a 26-year officer, said the campus is the site of multi-faceted, "freedom of expression demonstrations'' - not called riots, rallies or protests anymore. From the heated trial of Sami Al Arian to animal rights, students and others speak out. Other popular causes include Cuba's dictatorship and pro life or pro choice. "Die-ins" are used to protest the Iraq War. Demonstrators lie on the ground representing those who have lost their lives in military service.
How many attend varies greatly. The day of my visit, April 21, the student newspaper The Oracle had a front-page story about a Christian evangelist with the photo caption: "A man preaches his religious beliefs near Cooper Hall earlier this semester. Religious speakers on campus often cause tensions."
The rules for these demonstrations include permits for bullhorns or amplification. No demonstrating in streets or buildings. No carrying a gun on campus.
There isn't a free speech zone, however. Staehle said the demonstrations, which he believes are designed to get publicity, should be staged where it's germane to the issue.
Forty-seven campus police officers handle safety at the demonstrations . There is also plainclothes work by officers investigating crimes from drug dealing to car burglaries. No students work plainclothes duty. Asked if the FBI is on campus doing undercover, Staehle said, ""You'll have to ask the FBI."
"We want to make sure we ensure constitutional rights,'' said Staehle. While law enforcement has changed in its response to campus demonstrations since the Kent State days, using shields and batons instead of bayonets, one troubling aspect remains. Staehle said the famous photograph of 14-year-old runaway, Mary Vecchio, screaming over the body of Jeffrey Miller represents to him the ongoing challenge of keeping outside agitators in check. It's not often a majority of students who are at campus demonstrations or even in trouble with the law, he said.
"We have runaways staying in the residence halls," he said, shaking his head.
Staehle becomes emotional when talking about what happened on the campus of Akron U. when students learned of the shootings at Kent State. He said everyone streamed out into the streets to grieve. And the campus and city police let the students do just that. "The police responded very appropriately,'' he concluded.
I call the Tampa office of the FBI. Spokeswoman Carol Michalik graduated from Kent State in 1978. The USF campus isn't in the FBI's jurisdiction, she said.
"They [campus police] handle crimes on a local level,'' she said, adding she hasn't heard of students being hired by the FBI in years.
Terry Norman turns 57 today. His phone number in Pisgah Forest, Transylvania County, N.C., was busy all last weekend. I called his neighbor Paula Hennie, who said the Normans are very private people.
"We live in the mountains, so I can't see their house from here, but I can hear their geese,'' she said.
When the Normans are away, Hennie said, they keep a chain across their driveway. The chain was up as she spoke.
Another neighbor, Wendelyn Kotowski, said she wouldn't describe her family and the Normans as neighbors.
"There are seven to eight homes on 10 acres each," she said.
Kotowski said she's talked with Terry and his wife, Kathleen, a few times in the five years they've lived there. He never discussed being at Kent State on May 4, she said.
Terry's wife, she said, works for an organic health food store.
"They seem like a nice couple.''
Janis Froelich can be reached at (813) 835-2104.
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