The Norman Transcript

Z_CNHI News Service

August 23, 2013

Murder tarnishes image of 'Duncan, U.S.A.'

DUNCAN, Okla. — Many in this city of nearly 24,000 say they're from "Duncan, America." The proud phrase captures a community's image of itself — and, in many respects, the reality.

But the murder that happened here last Friday - Christopher Lane, 22, was jogging along Country Club Road when a car drove by and someone fired a bullet into his back - has put Duncan on the world map in the worst way.

The killing - and Duncan - are still making international headlines. Stories about the murder of the college student from Australia, and three teenagers accused of killing him in a fit of boredom, are shocking readers around the world.

People in Duncan are shocked, as well.

“I know people who are now refusing to go out and walk," said District Attorney Jason Hicks. "They are scared."

On Wednesday, Duncan schools opened to students for the second day of classes, but anonymous threats kept campuses otherwise closed. High school students were not allowed to leave for lunch, as they usually are.

Police Chief Danny Ford urges people to keep perspective. As tragic as the Lane murder is, he said, one cannot draw conclusions that “all of society is falling apart.”

“It’s not the time to holler that Duncan has gone bad,” said Ford. “It’s just as good as it ever was.”

There's not a lot of flash in Duncan. You might say it’s in the nation’s heartland, between Oklahoma City and Dallas. And while crime happens - even the occasional murder - there are civic clubs, well-kept parks and plenty of charity. High school basketball is big, but football is king.

Duncan is the oil town where Erle P. Halliburton started a well cementing business in 1919 that grew into an energy behemoth. The company still keeps a facility here, though it moved its headquarters to Houston years ago.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014