One year ago today, Marc Thompson, Chico, California area activist, student of sociology, was found murdered in a burning car in a remote area outside the small town of Oroville, California where he had grown up. The murder shocked and saddened the many people who knew and loved Marc in the area. The story is here.
Among the many shocked and saddened was Julie Withers who blogs here. She was his mentor at Butte College where she taught and he attended, and cast him as a student in her film “If These Halls Could Talk.” Marc, Julie, and the others spent many, many hours and days together during what turned out to be Marc’s final years as he moved beyond Butte College, and into Chico State where he was very active in Associated Students politics.
I won’t re-tell the story of Marc here, rather I urge you to read this article which Julie wrote, and was published in a local issue of a Chico, California, area newspaper, The Synthesis last December The article tells the story of Marc’s life and death extraordinarily well—which is a reflection of Julie’s skill as a writer, story-teller, and ethnographer. And here is the link to the article “Season of Homicides” about Marc. Read it, “Like” it, Forward it. It is excellent writing, and deserves to be read far beyond Chico.
As for Marc’s case? It is still unsolved. Anybody who knows anything should of course contact the Butte County Sheriff. Julie is hearing things about the status of the investigation, and will, I hope, be writing about it soon.
Tony Waters is czar and editor of Ethnography.com. He came to us from the Sociology department at California State University at Chico where he has been a professor since 1996. In 2016 though he suddenly found himself with a new gig at Payap University in northern Thailand where he is on the faculty of the Peace Studies Department. He has also been a guest professor in Germany, and Tanzania. In the past, his main interests have been international development and refugees in Thailand, Tanzania, and California. This reflects a former career in the Peace Corps (Thailand), and refugee camps (Thailand and Tanzania). His books include: Crime and Immigrant Youth (1999), Bureaucratizing the Good Samaritan (2001), The Persistence of Subsistence Agriculture: Life Beneath of the Marketplace (2007), When Killing is a Crime (2007), and Schooling, Bureaucracy, and Childhood: Bureaucratizing the Child (2012). His hobby is trying to learn strange languages–and the mistakes that that implies. Tony is a prolific academic, you can read more of his work at academia.edu.or purchase one (or more!) of his books from Amazon.com.