The Jefferson Iowa News®


  Strange Graffiti Found on Mahanay Tower

Residents of this community awoke last Thursday to a startling discovery. Vandals had defaced perhaps the most sacred monument in Greene County. Somebody had spray-painted their name on the southwest side of the Mahanay Tower.

This was not just any ordinary old graffiti artist. Law enforcement officials state that in order to achieve this task, the trouble-maker(s) would have been required to dangle several stories above ground, perhaps risking their very lives while suspended in mid-air. The only apparent reason for this act of vandalism appears to be publicity.

The Jefferson Herald refuses to report the event, stating that it would only encourage future incidents of this nature and require costly overtime for their vast, talented staff. Fortunately, Jefferson Iowa News was in the area and able to take photographs that will undoubtedly survive in infamy. Although many hundreds of incidents of graffiti have occurred locally over the years, this one most certainly surpasses all others in boldness and creativity.

Local law enforcement officials are adamant in their resolve to solve this case. Too many times in the past, graffiti has been written off as nothing more than adolescent pranks. This time, they vow to apprehend the perpetrators. The Greene County Sheriff's Department has assigned no less than two of their top investigators to the task of solving this crime.  All local residents will soon be interviewed in an effort to determine if anybody or anything unusual was seen in the area of the tower on the night in question.

We are told that the investigation will not stop at that point, however. Photographs and other evidence have apparently been forwarded to FBI headquarters in Quantico, Virginia. It is hoped that this crime can be matched up with similar incidents and the resulting patterns will culminate in arrests. Handwriting analysts have been brought in for the same reason.

We have learned that experts consider most graffiti artists to be chronically poor spellers, and this fact has been factored in to the investigation. Top forensic analysts assume that the name written on the tower was most likely done in haste, causing spelling errors.

Officials have narrowed the list of suspects to a Mr. Jeff I. Newels, who resided in the Jefferson area briefly in the 80's, and a Jeff and Irma Newell, who lived in town shortly after World War II. This couple now resides in a nursing home in Raleigh, NC and federal agents are currently heading there, hopefully to make an arrest and solve this case.

 Spencer Straight, 11-03-2008