It was exactly four years ago to the date that tragedy struck a Stone Mountain Georgia family, when a gunman’s bullet snuffed out the life of a precious daughter, a sister, and a dear friend to many, who affectionately called the pretty hundred pound teen “Honey.” She was Flora Malone’s youngest daughter, the baby girl, and a well liked kid who’s tragic murder drew mourners from around the world to help bring attention to youth violence.
Tens of thousands continue to follow her heartbreaking story with the hopes that authorities will find the cowards who shot this female in the back. The manner in which she died is a graphic and descriptive element of the case which has always bothered many. Primarily because Vanessa was the smallest and youngest person in the apartment when she was gunned down. She essentially posed the least threat among the individuals allegedly in the home that night. I’ll spare the redundant details related to the completely bizarre story that India Smith and Trevares Benford told police that night related to how Vanessa was killed. (readers can use the search function in the top right to search for other articles related to her case by typing Vanessa Honey Malone, or typing Georgia teen murder)
Rather, I’ll utilize this platform to expound on more relevant discourse pertaining to this homicide case. I’ll start by posing out some of the most obvious points of interest about why she was killed. The rumors spread around the community alleging that Vanessa was involved in “setting people up,” has no credibility. People within the community have offered this rationalization to Vanessa’s mother, but only supported such an allegation based on hearsay. “They heard this and they heard that.” Complete nonsense!
The allegations have the appearance of pure catty like behavior commonly associated with jealousy among females. While these allegations were made against Vanessa in her death, no one has ever emerged with definitive proof that she was involved in this kind of activity. There are those out there who want the public to believe that this petite hundred pound teen was a menace, that she was involved in crime, and deserved to die at the hands of violent thugs, in a brazen hail of gun fire for “poetic justice” sake. Naw, we must reject that.
I believe that the people who are spreading rumors of such a perspective seek to rationalize the killing of this beautiful child, and are in fact perhaps the very source from which such violence derived. Let’s face it, this is either pure conjecture, or those spewing such dialogue have inside knowledge about the case, and even potentially know exactly who the actual killer(s) are. Otherwise, the most poignant question has to be, “Ho do you know this?” I’ll be willing to bet that the people who have communicated these allegations against Vanessa to her mother, don’t know anything, and are just running their mouths repeating rumors that they heard within the community. Yet, we must acknowledge the fact that some one wanted her dead.
Flora Malone told TPC that her daughter was very respectful about notifying people that she would be stopping by their home. This certainly is a plausible trait of her character considering all we have learned about her, because southern folk just simply have manners like that. You don’t just show up at people’s home in the south. Its a matter of respect. So, with that being said India and Travares were probably completely aware that Vanessa would be coming by their house that night, and the fact that alleged gunman were there seemingly awaiting her arrival, doesn’t take rocket science to figure out. The fact that Vanessa unfortunately and allegedly walked in on a home invasion in progress, has always been just to convenient for most rational and logical thinking people who have followed her story.
Not just that though, Vanessa having been shot in the back is also very telling in itself. They meant to kill her, to silence her, probably because she knew her killers, which raises even more suspicion upon the others that were there that night, and the completely unbelievable story they told the authorities. Those who have been closely following this case, already know that questions continue to linger pertaining to the third adult allegedly in the apartment when the so called home invasion occurred. This “Mercy” character left the scene of a violent crime, a homicide, and held up in a neighboring apartment while the murder investigation took place.
I don’t how most people or even how the cops are thinking about that element of the case, but its ground zero for me. The fact that he was allegedly hiding to avoid an arrest for an unrelated gun charge makes the alert bells in my head sound even louder, because he apparently is a person with a propensity for violence. That’s why the cops really needed to talk to “Mercy” that night. Hell, we aren’t even sure if the cops have been briefed regarding him being held up in the upstairs apartment, or if they have interviewed the people who lived there.
Most followers of TPC Blog who have read about Vanessa’s murder are already aware of my curiosity about exactly where “Mercy” was at in the apartment during the home invasion and subsequent shooting that killed young Vanessa. Those details are crucial to the investigation. We already know that India and Travares were allegedly tied up in the bathtub, but we need to know exactly where “Mercy’s” punk @ss was (excuse the colloquialism, but enough is enough with this nonsense). Did the invaders tie him up also? Was he held at gun point? What? Why would he retreat to a neighboring apartment to hide out when I’m sure he had plenty of time to leave the area altogether prior to police arrival? These are questions that need to be answered if anybody is ever going to find out who committed this heinous crime.
Moreover, who are the tenants in the apartment where “Mercy” was hiding out at? What kind of people allows someone to hide in their home while an active homicide investigation is taking place in the apartment directly downstairs? Who does that? Call me a snitch, a rat, or what ever the hell you want. Even if I’m afraid of “Mercy” or was being held at gunpoint, I’m running out of their. Shoot me in the back, because the volume of cops down their would have been sufficient help for me. I would have been running and screaming for my life like a little *itch. The police would have helped. This didn’t happen, and the people who allowed “Mercy” hide may be complicit to murder and should be held accountable.
At the very least charges for hindering a police investigation should be in order, because the actions of the neighboring tenant may have allowed for the discarding of potential forensic evidence pertinent to the case. “Mercy” was taken into custody two days later on the outstanding warrant for an unrelated handgun charge. I’m not saying “Mercy” was involved in Vanessa’s murder, but if he was, he had sufficient time to discard of his clothing he war that night. There may have been blood splatter or other DNA evidence that could link him to Vanessa’s killing. I’m just saying, when people run they typically have something to hind, and in this case “Mercy” may have utilized the help of some very despicable people to allude being pinched for a violent crime that took Vanessa from this world.
Also, the fact that “Mercy” wasn’t available to police until days later, dashed all hopes of getting a good Gun Shot Residue (GSR) test on him. If he was the actual shooter, during the time he eluded the police, he could have taken measures to hinder the authorities ability to determine whether he shot a weapon the night Vanessa died. I ‘m wondering if the cops even took a GSR test on Travarese or India as well. To do so would have been standard procedure in most police agencies because of the serious nature of the crime. Then again, we are talking about the Dekalb County Police department. I’ll touch on that momentarily.
While a plethora of unanswered questions remain regarding “Mercy,” he is not the only person of interest the police could have zeroed in on. The “low life” individual I’ll refer to as the “weed man,” who handed over Vanessa’s purse to her mother days after she was murdered should have been brought in for questioning as well. How did this individual even obtain possession of her purse in the first place? According to Flora Malone the purse contained extremely personal items that she says her daughter would have never left with anyone, especially a person the likes of him. Ms. Malone did admit during an interview with TPC that she had a prejudicial opinion of the man’s character that stems from a previous incident, when his girlfriend (a much older woman than Vanessa) physically attacked Vanessa about a year prior to her murder.
Her opinion of him is a natural reaction I’m sure any parent would have related to their child, but the mother had cause to suspect his involvement, solely on the fact that he showed up at her doorsteps with her murdered daughter’s pocketbook days after her death. A respectable person would have turned it over to the family or the authorities the same night of the shooting, but no, not this dirt bag. He waits until the cops are all gone to bring the purse to the girl’s family. Ms. Malone would be the first to tell you that her daughter was no angel, but that she was a very good person, and certainly didn’t deserve to die in such a violent manner. In most murder cases, people who are in possession of such sensitive items belonging to the victim, typically are brought in for questioning. That also hasn’t occurred.
Since the gunman were allegedly masked, if you even believe that nonsense, “the weed man” could actually have been one of the invaders, because if Vanessa had her purse with her at the time she left the house to go over there, it more than likely would have been somewhere near the crime scene after she was shot. So, again its crucial for the police investigation to determine the actual path of how that pocketbook of a murder victim got back to her family. The police’s failure to connect the dots related to such rudimentary fact finding is simply incredulous.
Moreover, the police haven’t been transparent with the family related to Vanessa’s murder. Its understandable for the authorities to withhold certain information relevant to capturing her killers to avoid compromising the investigation, but not releasing her autopsy report and other information that’s typically public record raises suspicion regarding how the cops are handling this particular case. The family has been advised to file FOA (Freedom of Information Act) documents to obtain her autopsy report and other relevant information. This aspect of the case is highly controversial, something Dekalb County Police are certainly familiar with.
Many people from my generation and others who remember, know all to well the history of Dekalb County Police. In the early 1980’s the agency failed to capture the person(s) responsible for the serial murders of young black children, now infamously known as the “Atlanta Child Murders.” Convicted killer Wayne Williams was ultimately held responsible for the killings, but what the public doesn’t know is he was never actually convicted of killing any of the children connected to that case.
During the spree of killings two adults victims were included or attributed to the serial murders. Prosecutors successfully obtained a conviction of Wayne Williams, based on very shady carpet fiber evidence in the prosecution case for one of the adult victims. Once he was convicted, the prosecutor’s office mad the determination that Williams was in fact the serial killer in the “Atlanta Child Murders” and closed all of the other cases. Essentially insuring that the real killer(s) would never actually be determined. Dekalb County Police has always been an extremely bizarre police agency that only a few have forgotten.
We must never let them forget Flora Malone’s beautiful and precious daughter Vanessa “Honey” Malone. Call them today and demand for justice in the killing of this beautiful child, and for the swift prosecution of anyone who may have been in involved in her actual killing or who may otherwise have assisted the murderers. Four years later we still are hopeful that justice will prevail. It won’t long now baby girl, just rest now. #justice4honey.
The People’s Champion
I’m Crime Blogger David Adams