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Given his past in the army, Reel writes, DuMond was hardly the most sympathetic character when he crossed paths with Clinton's relatives in late 1984 in Forrest City (named after Ku Klux Klan founder Nathan Bedford Forrest). He was an anonymous handyman, married with kids. One day, the daughter of prominent mortician Stevie Stevens saw DuMond driving down the road in his pickup. She identified him as the man who had raped her 45 days earlier.
That introduced DuMond to Sheriff Coolidge Conlee, a notorious gambler, bootlegger, dope dealer, and racketeer. He was so corrupt that, as it was later revealed in court, he even used crooked dice to shoot craps against his own deputies. Even as he threw dice in the sheriff's office, Reel writes, he was busting black-run gambling houses, except the ones that paid off his chief deputy, Sambo Hughes.
In early March 1985, with Wayne awaiting trial, his wife, Dusty, wrote a letter to a local newspaper defending her husband and blasting Sheriff Conlee.
Only days later, Wayne DuMond was sitting at home, drunk, when two men broke in, hog-tied him, and made him give one of them a blowjob"just like you made her do," the perp snarled. Then they castrated him with a knife.
One of them, DuMond later said, chortled, "Mr. C would be proud." They left him to be discovered by his children.
Sheriff Conlee strolled into the DuMond home a few hours later. By his own court testimony, related in Reel's book, Conlee scooped up DuMond's testicles from the evidence scene and put them in a matchbox. He drove home, dumped the balls into a fruit jar, and then sped over to Stevens's funeral home. There, Stevens and funeral home employee Regan Hill were waiting. Hill poured formaldehyde over DuMond's balls. Clinton's cousin Stevens recounted later in a deposition that the sheriff said to him, "Here are DuMond's testicles. Do you want to see them?" Stevens, continuing his testimony, recalled, "Of course, they are looking at me, so that was it."
Over the next few days, Sheriff Conlee proudly showed the jar of DuMond's balls to several people. Eventually, he flushed them down a toilet.
"When we found out the sheriff had his testicles in a jar, we felt that maybe the sheriff would put my breast in a jar. We didn't know what he would plan next."
No one was arrested for castrating Wayne DuMond. But after he was convicted of the rape, DuMond sued Conlee and St. Francis County in federal court for humiliating the DuMond clan by displaying the balls. He won a judgment of $110,000.
It was during that trial that DuMond angrily talked about "my testicles." Dusty DuMond, who stood strongly behind her husband, told the court, "When we found out the sheriff had his testicles in a jar, we felt that maybe the sheriff would put my breast in a jar. We didn't know what he would plan next, so that was one of the things that made us decide to go into hiding."
While waiting for Wayne's rape trial, they fled Forrest City. After they left, somebody burned down their house, another crime for which no one was charged.
DuMond's chances at his trial were hopeless. There would be no change of venue. The prosecutors were Clinton ally Gene Raff and his top local aide, Fletcher Long, who was also Sheriff Conlee's personal attorney. Raff and Long were old college frat brothers of Stevie Stevens. The sheriff himself was the courtroom bailiff.
No evidence linked DuMond to the teenager's abduction, forced submission to oral sex, and brief penetration. In the primitive blood-semen testing that had been done (DuMond's lawyer said a more expensive DNA test wasn't needed), DuMond's semen, as a match to a spot on the teen's jeans, couldn't be ruled out. (A DNA expert later testified in one of DuMond's numerous appeals that the spot did not match.) The judge wouldn't delay the trial for a single day so the defense could bring in its own witness. The teen had said her attacker had blue eyes; DuMond's are hazel. But she insisted (and still insists) that DuMond did it. It was her word against his. DuMond's trial lawyer never brought up her previous identification of someone else as her attacker.
DuMond was convicted and sent to prison. He got out on parole in October 1999. Now he lives in a small Missouri town outside of Kansas City. Dusty didn't live to see it; she died from injuries in a Christmas Eve 1998 car crash on her way to visit relatives in Ohio.
The pain of all those events seems to have left Wayne DuMond. He sees his torment as a political act.
"As to the reasons," he told the Voice, "there's never been but one: money. My wife and I were actively campaigning against the sheriff. We were being mouthy toward him in the wrong direction, you might say."
In 1986, Sheriff Conlee lost a bid for reelection. A couple of years later, he was put on trial for racketeering and other felonies. Several pals turned against him, including deputy Sambo Hughes, who tearfully testified about the routine extortion of black-owned nightclubs. Conlee was convicted and died in prison.