A popular 87-year old World War II veteran spent his last moments on this earth allegedly being robbed and beaten to death by four teen-agers in Mississippi recently. While he survived the war defending his nation, four young Americans ironically spilled his blood and took his life on the driveway of his own home in the United States.
The former fireman first class on the minesweeper U.S.S. Herald was allegedly battered to death Oct. 18 by teenagers aged nineteen and eighteen, according to an article in the New York Daily News, today, Sunday, Oct. 28. He was airlifted to a hospital where he died.
Arrested for capital murder in connection with the brutal death of an American hero were Terrance Morgan and Edward Johnson, both 19; and Leslie Lit and Geblonski Murray, both 18, according to the London Daily Mail. Lawrence E. Shine Thornton was evidently murdered for his wallet.
He received his nickname "Shine" from friends based on him playing the song "You Are My Sunshine" during his youth. Angered by his murder, community members offered a reward which led to the arrest of the four suspects.
In addition to being a military veteran, he was a retired electrician who was successful in the hot tamale business, according to Southern Foodways. He was well-known in Mississippi for his original Maria's Famous Hot Tamales which he started making in 1984 and named after his wife Mary.
He was well-known for fiddling for customers who would drop by his kitchen in the backyard of his home in Greenville.
He reportedly met his violent death only hours after citizens of the community presented him with an award honoring his excellent tamales.
Thornton was also active in the St. Joseph's Catholic Church as well as the Knights of Columbus.
Words cannot adequately describe the enormity of this tragedy nor fully describe the loss to all Americans who appreciate the military people who serve the United States.
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