Mar 9 2010
07:46 am
By: WhitesCreek

Every place on earth has its challenges and I would rather work on changing things than sweeping them under the rug. I still think Roane County is a great place to start a business, retire to, raise a family, recreate, and just plain visit with folks when there's time.

We do seem to have more than our fair share of certain things like this. Actually, I think we get a bad rap. Does anyone keep current crime stats in our county?

Update: It was an elaborate suicide. (note to commentors at KNS...Suicide is a tragic and painful thing for friends and family. Could you put aside the "mean" for just a little while?)


Does people just look/wait for articles to appear so they can add crazy comments. People can be so cruel. Also why can't you just add your own comments and ignore other comments instead putting others down? Just because people disagree does not make one crazy and one superior.

Johnny Carson Said it on National TV

I was watching TV one night, a long time ago, and Johnny Carson said that the best place to go in the United States to commit murder and get away with it is Roane County, TN. I could not believe that he said that nor why he said that, but he did. I'm not from Roane County originally, I am from Anderson County.

I always heard about the drugs in Roane county and how it was brought to the airport above Rockwood. I think that the bad rap for Roane County comes from the drugs and drug related people, and now from the Kingston Coal Ash Disaster. Drug problems can get better with a good police department, but as long as the Kingston Coal Fire Plant is there making burnt coal ash, that area is not a good place to live in, because no one wants to breathe burnt coal ash into their lungs and possibly die early from cancer and other diseases.

If the Kingston Coal Fire Plant was closed and all the ash removed, then that would be a wonderful place to live. It is a sad situation.

I have searched EVERYWHERE

I have searched EVERYWHERE for this clip of Johnny Carson making such a claim and have NEVER been able to find it. I'm thinking surely in the Internet age and with YouTube if such a comment was actually made it would be available. Can someone provide me a link if one exists please. I have found several other versions (all in print form) of the same story with different counties inserted in place of Roane County. I'm beginning to think this is one of those urban myths.

I think you're on to something, R-V

I've been hearing it for decades. Always somebody said somebody saw somebody reporting that somebody said they heard it somewhere sometime a long time ago.


BS, it is a fill in the blank quote

Right on man.

If you want to get away with murder, go to Christian County Il

If you want to kill someone, go to Fairmont, WV

WC what are you saying

WC what are you saying exactly? You link a suicide story and then ask for crime stats. I'm not sure what point you are trying to make about Roane County. Can you clarify?

The postings following yours talked about a drug smuggling operation that took place in Roane County in the 1980s and was dismantled years ago and referenced a Johnny Carson joke that has been linked to a million other counties across the country. So that further added to my confusion.

When that story broke it was

When that story broke it was announced as a homicide investigation. On the Knox News Sentinel web site people are bashing Roane County. I simply wonder if there are current and accurate crime stats for Roane County so that we could actually compare ourselves with Knoxville for instance and see which community is actually safer.

There WERE lots of idiotic comments there, WC.

Spoke far more loudly about the mental capacity of those who were writing than it did about the facts of life in Roane County. It was pretty sad. Those kinds of people say the same idiotic things about any county or location where bad things happen.

I'll be on the lookout for crime stats, and if I find some, will report them here.


Took me less than 5 minutes to find all you'll ever need...

TBI and the Tennessee Fusion Center do a GREAT and a very professional job with crime statistics. Read the caveat below from the TBI/TIBRS site:

"Pitfalls of Ranking
In the past, crime data has been used to compile rankings of individual jurisdictions and institutions of higher learning. These crude and/or incomplete analyses have often created misleading perceptions which adversely affect geographic entities and their residents. The FBI has a longstanding policy against ranking cities, counties, states and universities/colleges on the basis of crime data alone.

Locales should not be ranked because there are many factors that cause the nature and type of crime to vary from place to place. TIBRS statistics include only jurisdictional figures along with reported crime, clearance or arrest data. Rankings ignore the uniqueness of each locale. All jurisdictions are affected in some degree by:

•Population density and degree of urbanization of the locality and surrounding area

•Number of residents vs. the “policing population,” i.e., residents plus daily commuters, transients, tourists, shoppers, etc.

•Variations in composition of the population and economic conditions

•Modes of transportation and highway systems

•Cultural conditions

•Family conditions with respect to divorce and family cohesiveness


•Effective strength of law enforcement agencies

•Administrative and investigative emphases of law enforcement

The TBI will not analyze, interpret, or publish crime statistics based solely on a single dimension interagency ranking. The TBI will not furnish agency-based crime statistics to data users in a ranked format. When providing/using agency-oriented statistics, the TBI cautions and, in fact, strongly discourages data users against using rankings to evaluate locales or the effectiveness of their law enforcement departments."

Now that you have read the caveat, check this out:
Read the TIBRS Offense Groups: (link...)
Create your own reports online: (link...)

As you can see, this is a very flexible and user friendly system. You can see how various statistics compare. HOWEVER, as someone who has formally studied - yes, in college - criminology and such, I can tell you that the warning I quoted above is something you absolutely need to have in mind as you form conclusions. You can form opinions all you want, but unless you bear those things in mind, they are opinions only and may or may not be borne out by a valid analysis of the statistics. The TBI and those in the criminal intelligence and crime analysis business understand these variables and the pitfals of making too quick a conclusion. People at RoaneViews should display the same level of intelligence even if they don't have the same level of expertise.


In simple crime rate per 1000 population...

Roane is # 16, Knox is # 10, with a rate/1000 of 73.40 and 86.92 respectively.

But, as with my previous post, bear in mind that may be oversimplification and may not include any number of relevant factors. There are lots of way to look at crime on the websites I provided links for. Most interesting stuff. You can spend all day there if you want to, looking at things various ways.

If you want to get serious about it, the analysis views you can generate are even downloadable (nice word, huh?) in various forms such as .csv files, etc. You can create your own crime reports if you want to take the time. Learning how to interpret them correctly is altogether another task...


Roane is # 16, Knox is # 10,

Roane is # 16, Knox is # 10, with a rate/1000 of 73.40 and 86.92 respectively.

RB, could you elaborate a little more to help me understand? Roane is #16 of what? And what does rate/1000 of 73.40 mean?

I figured since you've got the background I wouldn't need to hurt my head trying to figure it out myself :)

Sure thing, Grasshopper...

With 1 - 95 as being the counties in rank, number 1 having the highest incidence of crime per 1000 population, number 95 having the lowest.

This statistic is kinda blind, in that it doesn't differentiate as to what kind of crime - is it violent crime, is it crimes against property, is it a white-collar crime, etc. It's just reportable crimes (see the websites I linked to for what they define as reportable). It means how many crimes per 1000 population.

So Knox county's rate (I believe it was 2008 or 2009, probablyt 2008) was 86.92 crimes per 1000 population. And in Roane the incidence was 73.40 crimes per 1000 population. That of course, does take in the variable of population, so we're not just looking at a gross number of crimes. This is kind of like saying "net" rather than "gross" if we were talking money.

Hope that helps.


Got it!

Thanks RB.

Gotcha...That makes sense

Gotcha...That makes sense then. Thanks for the clarification. I still have no idea what "personwhocares" was trying to say.

I heard Johnny say it, at least I thought so

Yes, personwhocares post didn't really fit in this thread.

The best relation I could make was that maybe personwhocares was trying to prove that Roane County tends to get a lot of negative attention from the media, maybe reference to all those comments on the original linked article? Then attempted backing it up with the Johnny Carson clip.

I'll also digress from the original thread briefly. Back sometime between 1979 and 1981 my best friend and I were in bed watching Johnny as usual when we heard Johnny say "if you want to get away with murder, go to Roane County, Tennessee." We both looked at each other in awe, and questioned whether that was what we actually just heard. The next day at school others were talking about it. Most were pretty sure he said "Roane" Over the years I convinced myself he could have said Rhea, or some other county. No option to google it or anything back then. But it was said very briefly, like seconds. There was no lead-in warning it was coming as I remember, and he quickly moved on to another topic.

I admit that was quite a digression from the original thread, but I'm pretty sure the Johnny clip isn't urban legend.

I'm pretty sure...

... I've heard that story prior to that time period.



It couldn't have been too many years earlier than '79. I would have been too young to stay up watching Johnny. And I remember everyone talking about it at school for almost a week. Unless it was a rerun?


... funny - I was trying to edit my resonse just as you made your response, and so I was kicked back out to look again...

Anyway, what I had added to my response was that I didn't mean to imply you weren't being truthful, only that I had heard it prior to that year. As you say, could have been a re-run.

But I was a LEO in those days - through the late 70s, etc - and I don't know what he would have been referring to. Only unsolved one in that period I remember was a headless "floater" on the banks of the Emory River that we worked on with Bill Bass. Pissed him off that he could never identify that skeleton (it really wasn't a floater - it was skeletal remains with no head). Could it have been the two elderly ladies in Kingston on the corner where the bank is now? Other than that, I'm not sure what he could have been referring to in that time period. I don't recall either murder making national news.


There's been a few

There's been a few questionable deaths that were ruled "natural causes." Like the Neal girl found a couple of miles from her home. ANd what about the buring body fund at the dumpster South of the River. Did they ever find anything out on that one? Maybe they were referring to them

When were those cases? Also,

When were those cases? Also, he could have been refering to solved cases where those charged got off, or got off lightly. At the moment I can't think of any high-profile cases in that time period. Who knows, people were getting away with a lot of stuff other than murder back then. Maybe he just was saying "get away with murder" as a cliche'.

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