Did this teenage boy commit suicide or was he murdered?

Norman Ladner with a smile

Norman Ladner

Normal Ladners lifeless body in the middle of the woods at night

Norman was found lying in the woods


Person holding a small shoverl sifting through dirt on metal mesh sheet

They sifted through dirt and found a bullet

On August the 21, 1989, 17 year-old Norman Ladner left his parents’ country store to go hunting on the family farm near Picayune, Mississippi. Norman was a popular high school student who loved the outdoors. He knew his family’s 122 acre property like the back of his hand. According to Norman Ladner Sr., his son was late coming home:

“Norman would always be back 7 to 7:30 in the afternoon or in the evening. And about seven o’clock,  I began to get worried about him because he was very punctual and it was most unusual.”

When Norman Sr. seached the property, he found his son lying on the ground:

“I knelt down by him and felt that he was cold, so I knew he had been dead for a while. It’s a deep shock and a tragedy to find your own son dead, because you could never imagine or think how this could happen until you’ve experienced it, gone through it.”

Twp people behind the bed of a pickup truck scanning the horizon for witnesses

Did Norman see drug dealers in the woods?

A single gunshot to the head had taken the young man’s life. Just after 10 PM, the Sheriff’s Department arrived. They roped off the area and began their investigation. From the start, Pearl River County Sheriff Lorance Lumpkin said he didn’t suspect a crime had occurred:

“Foul play is the first thing that I normally address in the course of an investigation. I ruled it out in this instance because I saw nothing there to indicate that. At first I thought it might’ve been an accident. It looked as though he might have been in a tree nearby and subsequently fallen out of the tree and the gun discharged.”

Norman’s father said the coroner also told him that it was an accidental death:

“The coroner came back to the store after the results of his examination, and he came up with two deputies and he said that he felt that he was 90% sure that it was an accidental shooting.”

However, Norman’s family was in for a terrible shock. When the official ruling came down, the coroner said Norman did not die from an accident:  he committed suicide. The coroner’s decision was based on the fact that Norman died from a close contact head wound. The bullet entered his right temple and exited his left. It was a very typical suicide wound. Sheriff Lumpkin speculated:

“I think that he went back into an area where he felt comfortable and for reasons that we don’t know, that he decided to take his life.”

Norman Sr. couldn’t see how that was possible:

“I knew my son too well. He enjoyed and he lived life to the fullest. He was happy. He was outgoing. He was not depressed in anyway. They made no attempt to locate the bullet. They never fingerprinted the gun. They cannot say that his gun was the weapon that was used to kill him.”

There were other problems. Norman’s wallet with $140 dollars was missing. He had a 1 ¼ inch long cut on top of his head. If Norman had committed suicide, how did that cut get there? Authorities said the head wound was caused by a bloody tree root found at the scene. Again, Norman Sr. didn’t see how that was possible:

“We didn’t see how that could happen because falling straight back  you would hit your head on the side or directly in the back, not up in the crown of your head, up in the peak of his head.”

Norman’s parents began their own investigation. They dug in the dirt area where their son had fallen to see if they could find the bullet that had taken his life. Norman Sr. found a bullet:

“We found a bullet that was longer than a bullet that Norman’s gun would hold. The chamber was not bored out for the length of that bullet. And it had dried blood and a hair when we examined it under the magnifying glass.”

Sheriff Lumpkin doesn’t think the Ladners found the bullet that killed Norman:

“We don’t have any reason to believe that it was the bullet that was fired that caused the boy’s death, mainly because we feel that the boy was standing at the time that the gun was fired. And if that being the case, it would not have been in the ground underneath his head.”

Norman’s mother had a different theory:

“We came to the conclusion that he was lying on the ground and he was shot by someone in a standing position.”

The Ladners gave the bullet to a state ballistics expert, but he couldn’t tell if it had come from Norman’s rifle. And, when they were given back the bullet, they claim it was not the same one they had found. A few weeks later, Norman’s parents went to the coroner’s office to question his ruling. His mother said a stranger interrupted their conversation:

“He said Mrs. Ladner, don’t open this case up. You have other children. I suggest you raise them for your own good.  You’ll never find the person that killed your son.  And then he left.”

Unfazed, Norman’s father returned to the area where his son had died. Three hundred yards away, he found a strange, radio-like device that looked home-made. State authorities said it was not an important clue, but a neighbor suggested he show it to an ex-narcotics agent who lived in the area. Norman Sr. recalled what he was told:

“The former DEA Agent said that this was a type of device that drug dealers use to signal aircraft by sending out a low range signal for the proper alignment to drop a shipment of drugs.”

Norman believes that his son came upon drug dealers in the woods, and they killed him because they didn’t want any eyewitnesses. Authorities continue to stand by the coroner’s ruling, but Norman’s mother says it was nothing less than cold-blooded murder:

“We will not stop this investigation no matter what, until it is finished. We owe it to our son and we owe it to our children. We owe it to ourselves and we owe it to the other people’s children out there as well.”

Watch this case now on Amazon Prime in season three with Robert Stack and in season four with Dennis Farina. Also available on YouTube with Dennis Farina. Various seasons available now on Hulu.




  1. Anonymous

    Mississippi also had a similar case they called a suicide where the gentleman was on the ground, and they had him in a completely different position. The laceration on the skull had to be from repeated contact. (Because of how it bruised for 2 inches. He had to be alive.) And for a suicide you would see it more up front by the forehead. So he was on the ground with his head being bashed perhaps for the gun. His wallet is also missing. And the ballistic trajectories are completely backwards exactly like the mother said it was. I wish it was treated as a homicide and not immediately eliminated.


  2. tracy lynn ayers

    Ive heard bit and pieces of this and until now never thought about pulling the story up. Lorance was a friend of mine for 8 years and I could never dream he would do something like this, I know he struggled with drugs and alcohol until the day he passed, but never ever saw the man that was accused of such a bad horrible thing. Maybe thats why he could never get completly sober because we have to come totally honest about our pass. I really didnt know he had a problem with drugs up until right before he passed. He was always good to me and my husband so I never saw this out of him. Prayer for the Ladner family are still needed


    • Earl Shieb

      Your Piece of Crap friend was the biggest drug pusher and I know it for a fact, one of his deputies told me he believed Lorance the piece of crap did it. This man was horrible delt drugs right of the jail gad everyone on payroll. Stop defending this puece of crap


    • Joe Dierte

      Lorance did it he was a horrible person and I hope he suffered everyday of hus pathetic life


    • Anonymous

      That is very good underground investigating done by the community.


  3. Jessica Hicks

    My name is Jessica Hicks, and I confess to the murder of Norman Ladner.


  4. The Truth

    Everyone knows the truth of this story. It had to do with cocaine, the sheriff, the Dixie mafia and some locals. Speak to Tina Westbrook who sold drugs at the time (cocaine). or the sister Becky Watts who had an affair with the sheriff.
    I know several people who sold drugs and were told when a busy would be people who were paid to grow pot. Dog Fights, drugs and lawsuits. That was Pearl River County.


  5. Gavin Lamb

    look that’s my uncle i have asked the same questions y’all have asked too. and i have been told that he was murderd by my memaw aka norman’s mom and i have also been told that it was an accidental misfire by my mom aka norman’s little sister but however he was loved so much by everyone and i love him to even though i never met him he’s still family. but i do believe that he was murderd because i know those woods by the back of my hand to and i believe that he was murderd because there is a huge open field that’s at least 20 acres for a drug shipment to come in and you can’t see the field from the house if not hunters going there is another high possibility because there is good game out there . now drug dealers could have killed him for no eyewitness or he was believed to be a deer or coyote or bobcat and a hunter killed him etc…
    so there is my story and belief on the mysterious death on Norman Ladner.


    • Thomas Parnell

      My Condolences to You & Your Family For Your Loss; As a retired LEO of 28 years ( the last 20 in Investigations) I’ve studied this case(online) & All my training & instincts tell Me that Your Uncle was indeed Murdered; Also, quite a few things point towards a cover up as well. I’m So Sorry that your Family has had to endure this, & I Pray that Some day, Somehow, The Truth Will be Known!


  6. Neil

    This is what happens when corruption is allowed to persist and a country allegedly at “war” with drugs spends more time lampooning cultures that take a hard line against drug use than they do tracking down drug dealers.

    There are many nations that have solved their drug problem and unfortunately the only thing that works is getting rid of the people with personality types that predispose them to addiction. They will never reform.

    If you are a conversative and against drug dealers, you shouldn’t support the police, you should hate them and hold them accountable for this crap.


  7. Marg Davis

    My question has always been who knew he had $140 in his wallet and how did they know plus how are they certain that he even had his wallet with him while hunting . I also hear theories about him falling from the tree . I live in Pearl River county and most people I know that hunt especially from trees use a tree stand but I’ve never heard mention of it .


  8. Joe Dierte

    Lorance did it just the fact


  9. Joe Dierte

    Lorance Lumpkin did it 100% facts he the coroner in his back pocket he had judge prichard and ubanks in his back pocket and he had the deupties well some of the deputies as I got my info from one before he passed on Lorance ran drugs in and out of the jailhouse in poplarville behind the hospital his deputy who had red hair and a scar on his face knows the deal but he is tight lipped and even since Lorance died he is still not going to say as not to incriminate himself. Its really heart breaking Lorance will never get what he should’ve had coming to him but the family should be able to rest once this is proven


  10. IronHeart

    Why corruption in some US states are so severe?


    • A Real American

      Red State America. They rank among the worst metrics for quality of living, especially education.

      And it all starts with education. A stupid populace is an easily controlled populace. A populace that doesn’t ask questions, is content to do what they’re told, to think what they’re told to think.

      It’s why the GOP has waged a decades-long war on education. They know they can easily control people who cannot and will not think for themselves.

      It’s so bad, a majority of Republican voters literally believe having a college education is worse than not.

      That’s why corruption is the worst in uneducated areas, especially red states.


  11. Bill

    Call Dr Cyril Wecht or Michael Baden.


  12. Bill Blaski

    Very interesting that I read normans ID and Wallet showed up in NYC? How the hell does a boy supposedly commit suicide and his wallet id and cash are missing on his persons. This case stinks! Who had his wallet and ID?


  13. Melissa

    This happened in my neighborhood! It was a cover up! His family had a feud with Jimmy Stockstill over land, seeing how Jimmy was one of the biggest drug runners in this area, with ties to the Dixie Mafia.
    For the person who commented his father did this, you’re an idiot! The father was working at the store (that the family owned) when this happened. Mr. Ladner was always there from sun up to sun down!! The parents divorced years lasted due to the fact that the father wanted to continue to search for answers and the wife heeded the warning that the Dixie Mafia gave her!


  14. KathiL

    They were all In this together and did whatever they could to cover their own butts!! Talk about total corruption!


  15. Jessica

    I believe that norman was killed because I do believe he may have come across drug dealers and I think they took his wallet after they killed him . There is no way that he killed himself. I believe he came across drug dealers because why else would there be a radio that his father died.


  16. Blueunicorn

    I wonder if the pathologist in this case was fammi malik.


  17. Just John

    I do believe their was foul play here I think that the case wasn’t properly investigated and that if it had been at the time that this would be solved by now Sheriff Lorance Lumpkin is a joke and I’m glad he is no longer around to drop the ball like this in more cases. Regardless of what you assume happened you should look at all the evidence why didn’t you try and find the bullet and just assume it would be gone? I hope some day we have real answers. Not just the word of a Lumpkin and his ignorant coroner.


  18. Norman

    For you people that believe he killed himself what happened to his wallet?Robbed no
    I dont think he was.Drugs were big in the eighties


  19. Bill Blaski

    The device they found in the woods was not significant? BS. this stinks as a cover up! When will we finally get answers on Norman case


  20. Jane Doe

    This was definitely not an accident this is the most corrupt mafia city in Mississippi.
    Charlie, please know that my heart goes out to you and your family.
    There are several families that have suffered from this Dixie mafia .
    I know..for my family is one of them.
    That whole city is under mafia control!


  21. Jen Y

    Who in their right mind processes a murder scene in the dark of night?


  22. stevenalcanzar

    Hello a very sad case a life so young! greetings from Costa Rica!!!


  23. dime dropped

    Lumpkin was involved in trafficking drugs through PR County, I know this for fact. The boy stumbled upon something he shouldn’t have seen and was silenced. If u dont think it and possible or didnt happen this way, you are in denial and naive.


  24. Billy

    I think it was a suicide


    • Tom E. Eckert

      Gabby, From Milwaukee. Just discovered Norman’s “Murder.” My Cuz., was executed my drug traffickers in 1987. Unsolved too. In her case law enforcement not only were indifferent, but wore blinders and went after one suspect when there were at least 6 main suspects, including Police.
      Goggle “Boys On Tracks” 1987 Ark.
      A lot like Ladner family has gone through plus 10. Including lawsuits against government denying information, etc.
      May help Ladner family efforts.
      Our families quest for justice is unsolvable but seek peace, love and closure.
      Loved Norman’s headstone.


  25. Unanimously

    He committed suicide. His parents drove him to it. The whole show is a crock. Really drug dealers being that complex in the late 80’s is grasping for straws.


  26. Joe Weems

    Norman was one of my best friends and I think of him often. I miss him. We were close and were excited about entering our senior year of high school. He didn’t kill himself …….. He was happy and excited about the house his family was going to build. We always talked ……he was a great kid ! I miss you boy. You are not forgotten !


    • Gavin Lamb

      mr joe hi i’m gavin norman’s nephew now me and him are very very similar and my mama always says that i remind her of him and if you have been over there they have that huge open field which would be perfect for a drug shipment and they also have that 7 acre field in the back of the property where the dollar general is on W Union rd


      • Joe Dierte

        Lorance killed your cousin buddy it is a fact man, 100% true this guy was horrible and the filth he ran along with was all currupt.


  27. Anonymous

    Penny, Norman’s father died in 2003 http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=ladner&GSfn=norman&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSob=n&GRid=13207298&df=all& without ever knowing the truth.

    His mother is still alive.


  28. Erik Andrus

    I feel for Mrs. Charlette Ladner – given the interview, to me Mrs. Ladner was one of, if not the most – articulate, sincerest of people to give testimony in the history of the program. I feel if the Ladners believed their son committed suicide, then as his mother, Mrs. Ladner would have spent the rest of her life to prevent teen suicides; but as it stands, by her husband’s word, Norman Ladner was not unhappy or depressed. So it would ne natural for her to advocate for her son’s justice. This event has too many questions, and death ruled by suicide, in my opinion, is not an option.


  29. Cottonport

    Lawrence Lumpkin sheriff of pearl river county ms back in the 80s is,was responsible for many terrible things,he use to check the female inmates out of the jail and get them drunk and high.he dealt drugs and fought dogs,the worst thing that he did was make me and my brother think that all of the drugs,woman,violence,and money were normal.my brother and I have been in jail ever since that monster got his hands on us.i don’t know if he killed Norman Lander,but i know first hand that most of the stories being told here are true.


  30. Shaquita

    I’m very sad that this happened to Norman and his family. Gosh, I hate this so much! My 17yr old sister told me about Norman last night and I wish there were something that I could do to help.


  31. Truth

    It was probably drug dealers or somebody robbed him. Basically hitting him in the head comma and shooting him when he’s on the ground. That’s why they found the bullets. And it’s odd that the bullet came back differently. The police or the drug dealers could have been at the drop site and made it look like an accident or suicide. Or somebody just robbed him and shot him and took his money.


  32. Keri

    I think he commited suicide and his parents are letting grief cloud their judgement bc they don’t want to believe it.

    1. If his parents believed he was “shot laying down” by an attacker, then how he would he have a bullet hole cleanly through his temple?

    2. If he did walk in on this crooked Sheriff making a drug deal, why would the sheriff kill him? That would only make a bigger mess out of things and bring more attenion to it. He could have easily just intimidated the kid to keep quiet. It would have been his word (a law enforcement official with “connections”) against a 17 year old kid, he could have easily denied it.

    3. The mothers comment about how she started to worry at 7:00, even though her son doesn’t usually come home until around 7-7:30 is inconsistent and just proves her perception of things is warped towards it being a violent murder.


    • Molly

      The answer to 1) He could have been laying down with his head turned after the head wound. Shot clean through the temple, which would explain why it ended up 2-2 1/2 inches in the ground under his head.

      2) If there is corruption, coroner could also be involved to help cover up.

      3) You ever heard anything about gut instinct or intuition? They say around 7-7:30. Maybe there were times he was early. But he was still punctual. If this is the big reason you debunk a potential murder, then you don’t carry sound logic.


  33. doug roberts

    norman lander is a victim of the MENA cocaine smuggling operation/MENA illegal drug smuggling cartel. bill and hillary clinton are major players in the MENA drug cartel. google/serch: the crimes of MENA. google/serch: barry seals. google/serch: allegations of CIA drug trafficking.


  34. John smith

    I killed him sorry i was selling drugs and he saw me so i shot him


  35. joey

    Any updates on this


  36. Anonymous

    This is a story of the Dixie Mafia…… Sheriffs Ranch Lumpkin, Ronnie Peterson, Joe Price, etc….have all protected the drugs coming in back then. Look up the murder charge against Sherff Lumpkin in St. Tammany Parish. He accidentally shot the assistant DA ofPearl River County over in Louisiana. This assistant was turning evidence over on Sheriff Lumpkin. His brief case came up missing out of the trunk of his car……and he was shot and killed (accidentally) by Sheriff Lumpkin. People were scared.


  37. Ray

    I believe whole heartedly this was a murder and a murder done with selfish intentions, and I do believe it was drug related and I believe the sheriff had all the evidence or witnessed it first hand. The reason I say this is were I live in Zama MS it was a man that went by the name Big Boy Williams. He owned what was know as Big Boys Bar. He was known to be a drug lord. With a air strip in a remote wooded area known as Happy Hollow. In Happy Hollow has been numerous bodies dug up and body parts found. I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t have or was involved in this.


    • Jason

      Really? No updates on this after all these years? They can’t find the bullet that killed him? They can’t tell if the cal of bullet of Norman’s rifle matched the diameter of the hole of the entry wound? Was the trajectory measured to see if it was PHYSICALLY possible for Norman to shoot himself with a rifle? No investigation into the “transmitter?” If he didn’t die by a .22 (or whatever caliber rifle he was found with), he didn’t kill himself. Period. We’re not getting the whole story, which prob means the police dropped the ball, or he did shoot himself and no one wants to look at why.


    • Claire

      I live near Happy Hollow as well. I also have family ties to the Dixie Mafia. This whole case does feel sketchy to me. I have been debating doing an expose on Happy Hollow and the ties to the mafia, but I’m frankly nervous about getting killed over it.


  38. joey

    Did they ever solved. This case.


  39. Zoe

    I think Norman killed himself. The authorities know what they are doing and if they thought it was a murder, they would have investigated the situation more thoroughly rather than leaving it alone. I’m sorry to say your son committed suicide.


    • lala

      Seems like you and I are the only sane people here.


    • I call bullcrap

      If law enforcement always did all they could and never covered up an investigation and you believe they were as thorough as they should’ve been and called all cases right without the influence of personal investment and biases then you must have rainbows coming out of your a**! I’m not hating on law enforcement but you can have 500 ones with hearts of gold and good intentions and one selfish, corrupt sob and this could happen. Let’s let this happen to your son and you can sit back and say law enforcement does all they can…be sure to smile and wave and blow kisses if you see them sweeping stuff under the rug.


    • Elle

      If you only knew how truly crooked this town is you might understand a bit better. Those evil roots go deep.


    • Me

      That’s why you are not police. Police make mistakes to. They also are crooked and refuse to look into a case for crooked reasons. There’s to much evidence to prove they are full of bs.


    • Gavin Lamb

      he didn’t kill hinself i’m hi nephew and me and him are like the exact same people and how would it make sense for him to kill himself if his id was found in NYC and there was another bullet that didn’t match his rifle and because it was a different caliber and there is about a 20 acre open field on the 122 acre land which that is perfect for a drug shipment so no he didn’t kill him self i believe he was murderd .


  40. Pete

    Hi I live in the UK and the episode was shown on TV here last night 30th SEptember 2015 when was this programme originally aired.I have read all the comments and do not believe it was suicide.What happened to the guy who spoke to Mrs Ladner and basically threatened her after reading what Charlie Ladner wrote his family were hurt deely by blowing up there gas station and putting up the bomb under Mrs Ladners car Charlie if you read this my thoughts are with you and your family and sorry to hear of the passing of your DAd who passed away without knowing what really happened to his son


  41. Not an accident

    It was not an accident. Boy had a one and one quarter inch laceration to the top vertex of his skull with a surrounding two inch diameter bruise. The laceration had maggots present. The entrance and exit wounds had mere larvae eggs. The oldest wound is the laceration of the vortex. The gunshot Wound is staged.


  42. On the trail

    History of this area………
    The Dixie mafia is big here…….it is supported by law enforcement agencies and goes high up. Look up Sheriff Leroy Hobbs. Mayor Pete Halat, Sheriff Ronnie Peterson…… For some brief history…..by the way…don’t you think Boy’s boots were a little too big for his feet? Does it appear that he came prepared to hunt that day….with his own hunting boots?


  43. Do rednecks really need airstrips???

    Not far from there……up the road in in Hancock County is a private neighborhood called. White Cypress Lakes…..it has it’s own security police. It has it’s own private airstrips. They burn little piles of fire on bot sides of their strip. A really interesting but creepy place. This is Ladner country. Just saying……


  44. On the trail

    I happened to ascertain that Ranch, Cagle, and Stuart was involved and the cover up. Boy’s father was involved with the local law enforcement individuals and they were running drugs. On this specific day Boy was suppose to be in school however he and his friend…..stockstill skipped school. They ran across the plane that dropped the goods behind the store. Boy and his friend ran. Boy was struck from behind however his friend got away. Boy was killed and his friend ended up in a mental institution in Slidell. They got away with it. This had nothing to do with the Corolla family and everything to do with the Dixie Mafia.


  45. On your trail

    Actually the dad was involved with the local law enforcement agency and Boy skipped school that day. He observed the drug drop with those involved including his father……and ran but was overcome and subsuquentially was killed. Ranch, Joe, and Cagle covered it up. Man up and deal!!!!! This was nothing to do with the Corollos!!!!! His Dad didn’t realize it was him until later. So sad for Charlotte.


    • tim castalian

      who r u? whoever u r u know 2 much to not have been involved, why don’t u man up and deal……#guiltymfgonnaburninhellforkillinganinnocentchild……


  46. savage

    I watched it a few days ago and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know exactly what happened just sad


    • charlie ladner

      i am the brother of norman who was killed. i was only 5 years old at that time. after the episode aired. we had are gas station shot up with over 416 rounds of 9mm. then we had a bomb placed under my mothers car. we had to be home schooled because of this. my dad i passed away on 12/28/2003. we got the FBI involved later. they felt the sheriff was involved some how.


  47. kyle

    Yea smthng is definitely up. The sheriff admitted himself, that when he arrived he decided it was an accident.. what kinda investigation is that? And as for the dumb comments here, I.e. Aaron, some people are too ignorant to understand that there are A LOT of bad cops! Most cops are just the kids bullied n school anyways, and once they get that badge they go power crazy. That along with the fact that they are literally above the law is never a good thing. I mean seriously, some minimum wage jobs do a more thorough background check and drug testing than these southern community’s do for their police.


  48. Anonymous

    you died not fight normey


  49. The Watcher

    Stay out of the woods. Could be a crooked cop helping to cover a drug operation.


  50. Penny

    I just saw this on TV. I wonder how the parents have done since he’s passed? And their other children – how have they fared out? Such a sad situation.


    • jenny

      He was murdered I was young when this happened but I had family on the department when this happened and remember talking and conversation about it! Some of those family members left the department not long after this due to hearing things they were not comfortable with. . When you are in the law in this small town there are many people who hands were dirty and they covered this up and kept it closed as for the family the father has since passed away his mother is still living and still searching for his killer which she will probably never get to know either! Fact is they showed up late at night with very little lighting to do a crime scene investigation way before forensics was popular and even now in 2016 they don’t do much of that type of thing to know much about it! Someone may not have been found and convicted but they will pay!!!


    • Jason

      I believe his father passed in 2003. As of 2020, no idea.


  51. Mike

    I heard Lumpkin was a bad sheriff who protected drug dealers in PRC!He also fought dogs and got usted in the process.He died a few years ago,cause God got rid of his evil butt.Norman’s family knew their son was killed,cause he stumbled up on them,and he might have told them to get off their land.And they took his his money!The stranger was the real kicker;they would never find the killer who did this!So that let you know the sheriff was in on the murder!I heard about this story a few years ago and I live about an hour away from PRC!


    • Sue

      Your comments about Lumpkin are very true……he WAS a dog fighter and a drug lord want-a-be…..If you go and research the local paper, you will see that many “pot” fields were discovered during his stint as sheriff..those fields were called their “BUNK” fields…meaning the pot was not cared for…meanwhile, as the police were burning those bunk fields, the real fields was being harvested…..If you are from this area, then you may remember a fish house on Rock Ranch Road, it was also several different churches….after the harvest was completed, Lumpkin would meet up the planter (Who is now dead too) and be paid off. The money was always in a brown paper bag and small bills…..I know this because those sorry people had my brother make the payments.


  52. Rebecca

    Somebody from the sheriff department is responsible, that is why they’re not keen on investigating the case, because it is one of their own. If it was the next door neighbor or someone else, they would have been knocking on doors and flashing search warrant. The family is right by keeping the investigation open, that is their loved one that was murdered, it is their right to know what happened to their son, they need closure. His life was taken from him at such a young age. So sad rest in peace Norman.


    • trudy

      I say the sheriff was responsible he was a dirty sheriff and I lived there and all the story’s were that he walked up on a drug deal


  53. michael r. gipson

    The reason it wasn’t investigated, Aaron?, is the head of the law enforcement (as bad as it was) of Pearl River Co. Miss. pulled the trigger on the MURDER weapon and is guilty and has an innocent child’s blood all over his crooked fingers. Put that in your pipe and puff on it for a minute, which is about how long that innocent child lived after the sheriff pulled that trigger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  54. Aaron

    If he was killed by drug dealers, then why are the police supposedly so concerned about them finding out who killed him? This “stranger” who supposedly told the mother she will “never find out who killed her son”. Were there any eyewitnesses to that conversation? I’m sorry to say that i don’t believe that ever happened. It seems too far fetched. And that crap about the bullet they found underneath him and the authorities returning the wrong one to them…i don’t buy that either. If any of that were true then why wasn’t it ever investigated?
    This whole case just stinks from all sides. And I’m sorry to say that it will probably never be solved.


    • Don't be nieve

      It makes perfect sense if the law enforcement were involved in the drug activity. It’s possible that one or more persons in law enforcement had connections to people in drug trafficking and was given a heads up of what happened to protect the operation and continuation of money/drugs/etc into the county. Or even threatened or in fear of their own life to back up the claim of suicide. If a drug dealers with a ruthless demeanor (who is already breaking the law, and at risk of jail time, with so much money involved, whose already risking their own life dealing with thugs) becomes at risk of being discovered and every thing on the line, then yes-it’s possible. If a person in law enforcement is involved then they have everything on the line as well-do you really think they wouldn’t switch a bullet or lie to cover their ass. This boy could’ve stumbled upon a deal, been hit over the head and shot, and in quick thinking staged as a suicide. If this is the case, the murderer is not dumb- to ensure the situation be kept under wraps – the next step would be contact the best possible connection to seal the story, then no ones caught, drug dealing continues, cops is paid off and it’s done. If any other evidence like the radio being left behind just means there was someone also involved who wasn’t as quick thinking and maybe in over their head. Drug dealing is rampant, corruption is fueled by money, things like this (drug deals) happen all the time. You’ve got to understand- people involved in illegal activity make a choice, they start crossing lines and will let go of morals and values in order to continue what they’re doing- they’re not going to all of a sudden have an epiphany and allow themselves to be caught. That’s like betting that a lion will let a piece of steak sit in front of them and not eat it- bet on something else. I’m not saying this boy’s death wasn’t suicide but don’t be nieve and think a murder is far fetched…bc You might’ve just had the wool thrown over your eyes and outsmarted by a drug dealer with the right connections-just as intended. Always trust you’re gut and be open to possibilities- that’s how mysteries are solved!


    • braidyspice

      “Norman would always be back 7 to 7:30 in the afternoon or in the evening. And about seven o’clock, I began to get worried about him because he was very punctual and it was most unusual.”
      As said by Norman Ladner Snr.
      Now, why would he be worried about his son being late at 7pm when it clearly states that Norman Jnr was usually home between 7-7.30? I would start to be concerned about him being late if it was after 7.30, not in the 30 minutes he was due home. Plus, 7pm and 7.30 pm are evening hours, not afternoon so the fact that he says both is a bit odd, to me anyway.


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