Local News

Wake County cemetery vandalized

Posted May 7, 2009
Updated May 8, 2009

— Police are investigating defaced graves at the Oak Grove Cemetery, on Ligon Street.

Caretaker Rudolph Loftin, 82, noticed nearly 25 headstones turned over Thursday morning. Stone to stone, he followed footprints in the mud where the vandals slipped.

“The devil gets into people,” Loftin said.

The situation was especially difficult for Loftin whose wife and son are buried at the cemetery. One day, he plans to be buried there too. “It upset me,” he said.

cemetery gravestones overturned Headstones turned over at Raleigh cemetery

Getrude Pope, 77, also has family buried at Oak Grove. She described the situation as “hurtful.”

Loftin is trying to reach families with loved ones buried there to tell them what happened. Officials are hoping to clean up the cemetery this weekend.

Oak Grove dates back to 1885.


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  • Professor May 8, 2009

    This is not a hate crime.

  • Professor May 8, 2009

    I hope the law finds the vandals quickly and send them to prison for several years. This a shame. What kind of parents raised them?

  • Thought Criminal WS May 8, 2009

    Calling anything a hate crime amounts to a group seeking supremacy and not equality. Crime is crime. This seems like vandalism of the youthful idiotic sort, which is shared members of all races and genders.

  • haggis basher May 8, 2009

    "I'm sure none of the little darlings did or said anything here during the vandalizing that they wouldn't have done out at Raleigh Memorial Park where their own grandmas are buried."
    Do we have any evidence as to the colour orf those kids that did this? It happens in the UK to with white kids knocking white foljks gravestones over. Its just a drink and stupidity issue there........

  • Nancy May 8, 2009

    Just because of the cemeteries history, that does not make this a hate crime.

  • Con Amor luvs u regardless May 8, 2009

    The first thing that poped into my mind when I heard this story on the news this morning, was that the strong winds and tornados that went thru Wake county earlier this week could have VERY well caused this damage. Now I read that there were foot prints. But I'm still not sure that the foot prints come from vandals. The storms could have very well caused damage to tombstones, if it tore apart houses and knocked over trees.

  • rhoda_penmark May 8, 2009

    You guys are absolutely right. I'm sure none of the little darlings did or said anything here during the vandalizing that they wouldn't have done out at Raleigh Memorial Park where their own grandmas are buried. ;-)

  • LoveMyLab May 8, 2009

    I wouldn't go so far as to call this a 'hate crime'. A hurtful crime most definitely. Cemeteries are prime candidates for vandalism, no one's there to keep an eye out for everything at the wee hours of the night.

    As Mr. Loftin said - "The devil gets into people" And this is a clear case of destructive behavior for no reason. Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending their actions, not one bit. They should be made to pay for the damage and then be made to go in there and clean up the mess they made, and then go to some other cemeteries and do the same thing for the rest of the summer. I just wanted to bring some focus on the fact that this cannot be called a hate crime this soon without evidence of that.

  • haggis basher May 8, 2009

    Hate crime? More likely just some thoughtless kids having "fun"
    These are the sorts of crimes that the pillory and stocks were so good for punishing..........

  • rhoda_penmark May 8, 2009

    This story is significant because the church and cemetery are located in Raleigh's historical Method community. Method was established by emancipated slaves after the Civil war. The community lies adjacent to North Carolina State University in west Raleigh and is often the target of crimes of this type of hate crime.