Saturday, August 13, 2011

Family Matters

Like many Americans, I had been following the exploits of the infamous “Dougherty Gang” until they were apprehended on August 10th. For those of you who do not know, the “Dougherty gang” is comprised of three Florida siblings (brothers Ryan & Dylan and their older sister Lee Grace) who stand accused of bank robbery and attempted murder of a police officer.
            Ryan                               Dylan                       Lee Grace

As best we can tell, the trio’s crime spree began on August 2nd after the youngest (21 year-old Ryan) was convicted of texting sexually-explicit messages to an eleven year-old. After his conviction, Ryan was fitted with a monitoring bracelet which he quickly removed just before a Zephyrhills, Florida police officer attempted to stop the Dougherty kids for speeding.

They opened fire on the officer and blew out his tire before fleeing to Georgia where they allegedly utilized their stockpiled assault weapons to rob a bank. The authorities soon began a media blitz that produced a tip that the Dougherty’s were in Colorado leading to a high speed chase that ended with all three being apprehended.

As the story progressed, it became apparent that this was not the first time the Daugherty children had encountered the justice system. Ryan had already racked up fourteen felonies (including burglary, drug possession, and destroying evidence) and Miss Lee Grace had amassed five felonies and was working part time as a stripper at the Cheater’s Gentlemen’s Club.

My favorite part of the story came when the media identified Lee Grace as the ringleader and began interviewing her associates. Discovering that she had been living with her boyfriend at his parent’s house, they contacted the boyfriend’s family and spoke to the boyfriend’s father who insisted that Lee was “a lot of fun to be around” and “didn't come across to me as the kind of person they're portraying her as.”

I can think of no finer judge of character than a 66 year-old man who allows his son’s stripper girlfriend to live rent-free in his house between her felony convictions. And what exactly does “she was a lot of fun to be around” mean? I am sure Ted Bundy was a lot of fun to be around too but that is no basis for a comprehensive moral assessment.

The media then tracked down Steve Procter, the bouncer/day manager of the Cheater’s Gentlemen Club where Lee Grace practiced her craft. As insightful as he was eloquent, Mr. Procter elaborated on the little-know musical hierarchy in the field of erotic dance:

“She was sporadic at best. She danced to the usual hip-hop or rock. The girls don't get to choose the music unless she was a top draw. She wasn't."

I personally cannot fathom a more rewarding experience for an exotic dancer than being able to choose her own music. I am shocked that the industry hasn’t publicized this incentive more heavily to lure young women into the trade. Why there must be thousands of eighteen year-old coeds saying to themselves, “I would gladly bare my naked body to strange men for cash if only they would give me some creative control over my performance.” Is this an actual conversation the owners have with the dancers?

“You know Sapphire, if your numbers keep improving I think we can finally let you pole-grind to that Blessed Union of Souls song you have been nagging me about.”

So we don’t get a skewed picture of Miss Dougherty, the media did publish a description she posted in an online profile:

“I have a huge, crazy family. I'm 28 but act like I'm 17 most of the time. I love to farm and shoot guys and wreck cars. I'm a redneck and proud of it. I like milk and German engineering and causing mayhem with my siblings."

Here is a woman who is just as passionate about agriculture and dairy products as she is traffic accidents and gender-specific gun violence. Certainly the last line about causing mayhem seems to be somewhat prophetic, but what about Dylan, the middle child? Where does he fit into all this? After all, there is no evidence that he has a prior criminal record.

Like most siblings, there appeared to be an inherent rivalry. Big sis is piling up the felonies while dancing for singles and little brother has been raising Hell & sexting 5th graders since the final Harry Potter book hit stores. Poor Dylan was under a lot of pressure to live up to the expectations of his family and I cannot help but wonder if he was in the middle of this by choice. He probably was, but I am holding out hope that the other two told him they were just going to pick up some hot wings and before he knew what was happening they were handing him a ski mask and asking him if he was ready to “gaze into the abyss.”

If it would be any consolation to Dylan. I think he nailed the mentally-unhinged mugshot look.....


  1. Great story !

    I understand that Bonnie & Clyde liked to have fun too.

  2. So its a group of family rubber? They look and they have the same eyes. I guess there's an advantage to work as a family.


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