Jennifer Joyce, Steve Stenger, Bob Mcculloch: A History of Corruption


White Supremacy in the state of Missouri and more specifically in the city of Saint Louis has always been the rule of the land. The basic foundations of our city were designed by white politicians and the everlasting desire to create a utopia of coverage for their crimes. If your family's namesake has the political clout you can basically commit bloody murder and walk away from the scene unscathed. The general public has tempered itself to bear witness to the most astounding headlines while blissfully ignoring the outcome. The Veiled Prophet Organization is a secret society of prestige and whiteness. There are black members today but the org's history dates back to 135 years ago. In 1878 former Confederate calvary man Charles Slayback joined forced forces with the most elite members of the business sector and formed the VP organization.

The symbolism of Irish poet Thomas Moore and the party styled glamour of Mardi Gras served as the parade's prime inspiration. The elite would create the myth of a mythological traveller named Khorassan aka 'The Veiled Prophet'. The Parade was the premiere attraction of the VP Fair. would later become St. Louis' official 4th of July celebration. I vaguely remember my mother attempting to describe these things to me as a child. She told me we weren't allowed to attend the fair for religious reasons, while my father boldly proclaimed the VP Fair was KKK affiliated. Saint Louis would mysteriously be deemed the prophets home base. Local elites selected an male to play the role of the Veiled Prophet and a woman to be titled the Queen of Love and Beauty. The ritual demands that they dance and partake in the 'Royal Quadrille'.Today the Saint Louis Metroplitian area Chief of Police (Sam Dotson) and other famed local politicians and businessmen are proudly affiliated with the organization. 

There were many reasons to start such an organization, but history seems to conveniently omit the VP's connection to the Great Rail Road Strike of 1877. This was a national strike, but in Saint Louis almost 1,500 Black and white railroad workers stopped the rails for an entire week. The strikes ended when 5,000 freshly deputized 'special police' joined forces with federal troops to quail the railroad strikers. After 45 days, the strike came to an end leaving 18 workers dead. The railroad strikes introduced populist ideals from workers such as an end to child labor and the start of the 8 hour work day.

Many historians say the VP's rise to dominance in the area was strongly connected to its ability to counter attack the values of the under privileged workers. The elite used the VP parade as a means of social coverage and introducing their cultural values to the poor. Their original logo bares the resemblance of a Klansmen with a rifle. Blacks and whites struggled to coexist in national labor lines  as more blacks fled the south and settled in areas like East Saint Louis. It was rumored that during this time if you couldn't find a job in East St. Louis then you couldn't find work anywhere. The place overflowed with opportunity and access for industrialized laborers. 

Next year will mark the 100 year anniversary of the brutal East St. Louis riots. By comparison to the East St. Louis riots, Ferguson was a walk in the park. In May of 1917, downtown East St. Louis was occupied by 3,000 white men who assaulted Black people at random and destroyed property. On July 2nd, a car of racist white males thirsting for blood opened fire on an innocent crowd of Black people.

An hour later a car containing four individuals, including 2 police officers and a journalist, was fired upon by the Black victims who assumed their attackers were returning to further brutalize them. This left one of the police officers and another passenger dead. Later several thousand whites returned and set fire to every single Black home, killing those that were able to flee their burning homes. Fire hoses at the fire department were cut to prevent them from responding to the fires. The national guard was called in by the governor and joined forces with the rioters as they viciously murdered the Black residents of East Saint Louis.

The participation in this brutality was not limited solely to white men as several accounts recall stories of young white teen aged girls chasing groups of black women with clubs. They called for the white men to assist them as they murdered these women. In the aftermath, 6,000 Black citizens were left homeless and there is no accurate account of the death toll, but the NAACP documented 200 deaths during their coverage of the riots. Marcus Garvey strongly criticized these riots and Ida B. Wells covered the events in the Chicago Defender. Many Black bodies were disposed of in the Mississippi River and other Blacks faked their deaths or went underground looking for ways to escape East Saint Louis. 

The city has never fully recovered from this massacre; today the former Black economic strong hold is limited to a jaw dropping 1% employment rate. The primarily black city (97.74%) has a population of 31,542 people, 11,178 households, and 7,668 families living in inside its township.

This history of corruption and special privilege for the elite is not limited to the days of old. In December of 2010, 27 year old Adrienne Nicole Martin was found dead in the Frontenac home of August Bush IV. The case was ruled an accidental overdose. Apparently the only guilty party involved was the oxycodone found in the young woman's system. The Bush family has fleeted any uncomfortable questions surrounding the suspicious circumstances of her death, the story starts and stops with the death of the young woman and has never been revisited.

Recently Saint Louis County Executive Steve Stenger and Saint Louis County Police chief Jon Belmar were both exposed for submitting hand written letters to Judge Catherine Perry requesting a pardon in punishment for the nephew of a former Stenger employee. The whistle was blown on the story by an inside man who was upset about not getting a job offer from Steve Stenger. His aide, Jon Saracino, decided to step down from his $130k annual salary a week after it was revealed that his 27 yr old nephew, Michael Saracino II had ties to an elaborate drug distribution network. This story also includes accounts of kidnap, extortion, and complete reckless abandon for the law. Jon Saracino released a statement saying there is "nothing shameful" about the letters. Chief Belmar decided to use official Saint Louis County Police letterhead in his address to Judge Perry.

The Post Dispatch reports that Attorney Scott Rosenblum mentioned the letters 3 times in person to Judge Perry, stating this was reason enough for his client to be sentenced to home confinement. Judge Perry referenced the letters when casting her final judgement and the criminal did not report immediately to jail after the verdict. Saracino II was allowed to attend his wedding ceremony in Captiva Island, Florida while details surrounding his crimes having been swept under the rug along with the role Stenger and Belmar played in cushioning his punishment. 

In stark contrast, 19 yr old Josh Williams who is a Ferguson protestor is serving 8 years in prison due to a judges discretion. While in March of this year, prosecuting attorney Jennifer Joyces' step son was arrested for possession of heroin while trespassing at Barnes Hospital. The Post Dispatch reported they would not be releasing the mans name because no charges had been filed against him. The 32 year old man was arrested March 17 at 12:40 pm after security reported him to the police for suspicious behavior inside the hospital; further details surrounding the case are limited. His fate looks nothing like Josh's because he has the complexion for protection.

Joyce released a statement which seemed to be more concerned about the public perception of her husband. The fact that other peoples' children have been handed down harsh punishment by her for similar offenses with no regard for their families has been ignored. Her step son has been allowed to retain respectability through his heroin addiction that leads him to commit crimes. Ready for more corruption?  Reggie Clemons has been on death row for 25 years and Joyce is gearing up to retry him after his case has been overturned by the Missouri Supreme Court.

The State Supreme Court reexamined the evidence and ruled that Clemons was beaten and forced to confess to a crime he did not commit. After 25 years on death row they moved to drop his charges but only after a 60 day review of the case. Joyce has shockingly decided to retry him and raise more charges than his previous case.

It is alarming that Joyce would discuss the necessity of family when her own stepchild breaks the law, while simultaneously attempting to send an innocent man to his death. It is even more alarming that she would raise charges against him after the state Supreme Court exposed the corruption attached to his case. The state of Missouri has a history of political corruption like no other. Joyce, Stenger, and Belmar are members of a long lasting legacy which promotes favoritism, patriarchy, sexism, and extreme racism. All families matter unless they are black, poor, and underprivileged.

In 2016, the new East Saint Louis riots look and smell like the aftermath of the Ferguson uprising The VP is still very much a real shot caller behind the scenes in Saint Louis politics.When this type of corruption goes unchecked for decades then eventually the powder keg is destined to explode. Politicians like Steve Stenger, Bob McCulloch, and Jennifer Joyce vehemently benefit from the abuse of relationships and the power attached to their names.