A Mother’s Tortured Journey Toward the Truth

HUNTSVILLE, Tex. — Gilreatha Stoltzfus fussed with the bandanna in her hair while she zigzagged across a patch of dried grass. Fidgety, annoyed, towing her cluttered purse over her left shoulder as if it were a backpack, the hard-featured woman of 43 stopped suddenly and slithered her fingers through the chain-link fence of the visitors’ area at Huntsville Unit, a maximum-security prison featuring 30-foot red-brick walls, where she had come to see her son. “Fuzzy, I need the keys to the car,” she muttered to her husband in a tired rasp. “I left somethin’ in there. “Fuzzy!” The ruckus made an armed guard motion for someone to control the woman. Sitting on a wooden picnic table in the prison yard 15 yards away, Carlton Dotson looked up. “Is Mom coming in today?” he asked his stepfather. “I don’t think so,” Elmer Stoltzfus said quietly, looking at the ground. “Mom’s havin’ a hard time getting herself together today. Maybe tomorrow, Carlton.”
She keeps saying she will be there for her son.

Five years ago this month, Dotson shot Patrick Dennehy, his teammate on the Baylor University men’s basketball team, the first known case of a player killing a teammate in the history of U.S. intercollegiate athletics. Dennehy’s disappearance, Dotson’s panicked drive home to Maryland, his confession to police and the subsequent discovery of Dennehy’s body near a gravel pit just three miles from the Baylor campus in Waco, Tex., generated headlines across the country in the summer of 2003. The sordid tale was held up as an example of the moral free fall of big-time college sports in the United States.

washingtonpost.com
6/22/08