To the Editor,
I would like to extend my heartfelt condolences to the Goodson family and to the Lumberton Police Department.
To the officer who responded, you were put in a very dangerous situation in a very dangerous place. In hindsight, you may have saved more lives than we will ever know.
The Goodson tragedy happened once before here in Robeson County. The correction officer’s name was Earl Cranston Strickland, my biological father. He was killed by an inmate on June 2, 1969, at the Lumberton Correctional Facility on N.C. 711. He was 33 years old. My mother was pregnant with twin girls due in August. I was 2 years old at the time as well.
My father, I am told, had befriended this inmate, because his family had basically disowned him. He was in prison for murder and should have never been at this minimum facility. I am told he died a few years ago in prison. I hope he died knowing my father was the best friend he never had.
My mother with her strong faith in God persevered through the years. She often told me my father would have expected no less. As does Mrs. Goodson, she had strong family support as well. My mother remarried in 1974 to a man my own father would have been pleased with — Mr. Hervie Locklear, the man I know as my father. God also blessed her with another child, her only son, my brother.
I want Mrs. Goodson to know a local woman knew her grief personally. My mother, Dr. Josephine Locklear, matured into an awesome woman, nevertheless. Mrs. Goodson will be an awesome mother as well. I am sure of that.