Juan Corona: Rush to Judgment?
Curious about the hole, Kagehiro returned to the orchard that night and saw that it had been filled in. That made him doubly concerned, so he called the police, who arrived the next morning to see for themselves. At the very least, someone had trespassed on the property, possibly to bury their trash. No one expected to find anything of significance.
Several deputies proceeded to dig, and to their surprise, instead of what they had suspected, it yielded the body of a slender white man. They immediately called in the homicide detectives. The victim, Kenneth Whiteacre, had been stabbed in the chest, bashed in the head, and slashed several times across the back of the skull. His hands also bore deep cuts, as if he had struggled to defend himself. He was fully dressed and in his pocket was literature that suggested he might be homosexual. At that point, the gay rights movement had just begun in nearby San Francisco. Gay men were agitating and people with prejudices against their lifestyle sometimes struck back out of anger and fear. Yet there were no clues, aside from tire tracks near the lone grave, as to who had killed him and buried him here. It was a homicide, to be sure, but seemingly nothing to be alarmed about. Not that day, anyway.