On Monday, January 15th, the Charleston Public Library will host a Meet & Greet event with Anita Paddock, author of two true-crime titles. Paddock’s latest true crime release, Closing Time is the true story of the robbery and ruthless double murder that shook the town of Van Buren, Arkansas, on September 10, 1980. Well-respected jewelry store owner Kenneth Staton and his daughter Suzanne were discovered brutally murdered, with nearly $100,000 in diamonds and other jewelry missing. This senseless, bloody crime rocked the town of Van Buren and set its lawmen, sworn to find the killers, on a fiercely determined hunt that led from Rogers, Arkansas, to Jacksonville, Florida, and all the way to Vancouver, Canada. Closing Time tells the stunning story of good and evil colliding in the most tragic of ways, both for the victims and the loved ones left behind to re-live their horror. Seventeen years later, was justice served?


Anita Paddock grew up in Van Buren, Arkansas, and attended high school with Linda and Sam Hugh Park, the children of the publishers of The Press Argus newspaper. In May of 1981, Mrs. Ruie Park was found murdered in her beautiful home on top of Logtown Hill. Nearly everyone, including the local and state police thought the Park son, a drunken homosexual lawyer, committed the crime because he and his mother often argued about his sinful lifestyle. When Anita read about the case, she vowed to her husband, a Fort Smith attorney, that this was the book she would someday write. Some thirty-five years later, she came through on her vow with her account, Blind Rage. Now, in her own inimitable style, she has brought the story of the Staton murders to the written page.


The Meet & Greet event will begin at 5:30 PM and end at 7 PM. Copies of her books will be available for sale and signing. Refreshments will be served. For more information, please contact the library at chpublibrary@yahoo.com or 965-2605. This event is free and open to the public.


Misty Hawkins


Branch Manager