Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Brash, Young Journalist was a Crusader

**Incredibly pleased to republish my father’s crime and history column which first appeared in the Gainesville Georgia Times in the Fall of 1987. Many thanks to Shannon Casas, Editor in Chief at The Times.**

Brief Bio: E. Alexander Taylor, faced with being drafted by the military, hitchhiked along with a cousin and a buddy of the same age to Atlanta from north Georgia mountains. They drew straws as to what branch they'd join. As it turned out, my father, Alex, entered the Air Force that day. At the end his hitch, training as a bomber at MacDill AFB in Tampa, Florida under Gen. Paul Tibbets, his superiors thought him a perfect candidate for Tampa's Police Department. Turns out, they were right.

He quickly excelled from Patrolman to Detective, ultimately taking the reins of TPD's Criminal Intelligence Unit, combating all forms of organized crime, including Tampa's infamous mafia. (BOLITA is concentric to this era). After the mob murder of a friend and colleague with the Department, Alex became friendly with several mentors on the FBI, who encouraged him to continue his education. Shortly thereafter, graduated from the University of Tampa with a Masters and, through the grapevine, had a new job opportunity awaiting him as a professor of sociology and deviant behavior with Brenau College (now University) in Gainesville, Georgia — just a small hop from his ancestral home. For another decade or so, he instructed innumerable policemen and civvies the often cruel psychology to which law enforcement officers are often exposed, and the understanding of it.

Of course, he has many stories to tell, but he is also a lifelong student of history and possesses this uncanny 80wpm skill on a manual typewriter. Have to keep this short, but extracurricular activities, particularly his love for the outdoors, and certain luminaries in that field, meant he soon found his way to the Gainesville Times as a part-time contributor, including his work with Ed Dodd, of Mark Trail fame. Many outdoors articles later, The Times took interest in his crime stories and history involving it, offering Alex a regular Tuesday column. That run lasted from 1987 to 1992 and was regarded as a reader favorite.

Here's the first...


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T. Nelson Taylor | Official Site | DusT | Bolita