Killing Without Motive Is Still Murder

July 26, 2023 –

Being only eleven years old and a boy, my idea of crime was listening to “Crime Busters” on the radio, reading about the stories of Dick Tracy in the newspaper, or allowing my mind to engage in a crime comic. The crime was big in Gotham City, but Batman kept it under control. But on April 13, 1951, the killing of a sheriff in my hometown, Ocala, Florida, put a face on crime. That day, Marion County Sheriff Edward Porter Jr. was found savagely stabbed with an ice pick 6 times and shot to death in his wrecked car on an isolated road four miles west of Ocala.

Within two days, a suspect, a 16-year-old, confessed to the murder. Motive is often difficult to determine, but not in this case. When the state attorney asked his motive, the youth said, “I had none.”

Our attitude about events has the power to transition and transform our lives. Many events are expected, and others suddenly appear without warning. A day can bring joy or devastation, flowers, or rain. Good motivation produces good results. Lack of a motive can lead to disaster.

This wasn’t a Crime Stopper or Dick Tracy’s made-up crime story. It was an actual murder that happened in my hometown. (1951 population of 38,000).

Today, Ocala is home to over 400 thoroughbred farms and training centers and has a population of 63,591. Most of the citizens are unaware of this event that happened seventy-three years ago.