Crosslin's Passions Led To Downfall

  Crosslin's Passions Led To Downfall

Posted by FoM on September 05, 2001 at 09:24:06 PT
By Lou Mumford and Christine Cox, Staff Writers 
Source: South Bend Tribune 

Grover T. "Tom" Crosslin had plans for his home, the sorely neglected former Underground Railroad site at the intersection of Michigan 60 and Calvin Center Road. Crosslin was passionate about restoring the historic place. Passionate about his belief in the legalization of marijuana and in the righteousness of personal freedom. Those passions likely contributed to his death Monday afternoon. 
Crosslin, 46, died when he was shot by an FBI agent on the perimeter of his property, the Rainbow Farm Campground, 59896 Pemberton Road. He had held police at bay for four days before pointing a rifle at the agent, who then shot him, Cass County Sheriff Joseph Underwood said.Also killed on the property was Rolland Rohm, 28, who lived with Crosslin. He was shot Tuesday after he allegedly set fire to the farm house and walked outside with a rifle.Underwood said Rohm pointed the weapon at a Michigan State trooper, and the officer fired in response.An ardent supporter of marijuana legalization, Crosslin was known for holding festivals and concerts during which visitors allegedly got high.But he had other interests and a kind heart, family and friends said.He was remembered Tuesday not as a law breaker, but as a kind, caring individual who staged Easter egg hunts for children and believed strongly in individual rights."Tom had the biggest heart I ever saw. He wouldn't stand for any injustice. He had this sense of fairness about him,'' said Trena Moss, a Hillsdale, Mich., woman who identified herself as a friend and supporter.His sister, Shirley DeWeese, of Elkhart, said that it was only when people "started pushing him,'' that Crosslin felt the need to push back."They did nothing to deserve the way it ended,'' DeWeese said of Crosslin and Rohm.In June, Crosslin talked about how he found success after dropping out of high school and working a number of jobs that ranged from driving trucks to installing flagpoles.The former Elkhart resident ultimately found success in real estate.In July 2000, Crosslin bought the former Bonine home, the Underground Railroad site.A history buff, he was working to restore the house into a bed-and-breakfast, complete with basement visits to see an underground tunnel that slaves squeezed through on their way to freedom.A talented craftsman, Crosslin planned to spend at least $350,000 on his "hippie-friendly" bed-and-breakfast. A lover of music, Crosslin had allowed bands to stay the night in the finished rooms of the house.He was just as generous with his campground, allowing people to stay there for free if they pitched in with some of the work.DeWeese said Crosslin bought the campground about 15 years ago largely so he could have a place for his family and friends to get together. DeWeese said children looked forward to the Easter egg hunts, hayrides and Halloween parties Crosslin regularly staged for the youngsters."They loved Uncle Tom,'' she said.She denied the notion that her brother was responsible for drug activities on the campgrounds.Crosslin stressed that he never bought or sold drugs on his property, and that anyone caught doing so would be kicked off the farm.Jeanie Haines, of Vandalia, said her 12-year-old son was a regular visitor at Crosslin's residence, going there to play with Rohm's 13-year-old boy. She said her son stayed "many days'' at the farm house and she had never seen any indication he had been influenced by drugs.Although she did observe people at campground festivals smoking marijuana, she said Crosslin, a supporter of legalization of the drug, had rules for the practice."He wouldn't allow it in front of kids,'' she said."To him, it was a personal freedom thing. But he also had expectations about people. He thought they should have respect for other people's rights.''DeWeese said it was only when authorities removed Rohm's son from the campgrounds, based on drug charges filed against Rohm and Crosslin in May, that her brother's anger started to build."They came in and ripped his home apart. They took (Rohm's) son away,'' she said.Still, Crosslin's aunt, Josephine Vanitta, of Smithville, Tenn., said she found it hard to believe Crosslin intended to cause anyone harm."I don't believe Tom meant to kill anyone. He knew he was going to go to the pen and that was his only way out,'' she said.Crosslin's uncle, George Coldwell, of Elkhart, said things seemed to be going well for Crosslin until recently."I saw Tom a couple weeks ago, and he was just ... joking and laughing,'' he said. "He said it was going real good and he had plans to extend the farm ... and have more activities.''David Watts, of Elkhart, said he was a friend of Crosslin and had worked for him. He remembered that Crosslin would take money from his farm and buy Christmas presents for children in the community. He'd also use farm equipment to pick up discarded washers and dryers from creeks and ditches, to improve the appearance of the area.As for himself, Watts said he helped build the structures at Rainbow Farm."I can build new buildings, but I can't build a new friend,'' he said.Tribune staff writer Jim Meenan contributed to this report. Source: South Bend Tribune (IN)Author: Lou Mumford and Christine Cox, Tribune Staff Writers Published: September 05, 2001Copyright: 2001 South Bend TribuneContact: vop sbtinfo.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Rainbow Farm Campground Fatal Ending: Vandalia Standoff Claims 2nd Life Expected Different Outcome Drew Police Long Before Standoff's Standoff Status Shocking Endings Leave Supporters Wondering

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Comment #6 posted by TuckSteven on September 13, 2001 at 00:30:36 PT:

Does Nobody really care anymore?
Hello from exile in Canada, sure has been busy here working with Mark as he sure is a dynomo. It's been 3 month's since that crook of a sheriff in Humboldt played the same game on me and not one word of outrage have I saw or heard. Hell if no one else gives a shit about the disabled then I was wasting my time anyway as I could only have done or gave away so much by myself and the rest of you lazy bastards sure ain't gonna do nothing but talk about the good old days and all the buds you could have grown if God would have issued you a pair then some of our dying patients in Cali might not be suffering and doing without, Cartman is right about all of you! Some movement, I am sick of recreational smokers riding our tails; if they can't help with anything but bank trips! Here talk bs some more and then tell yourselves how cool you are.
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Comment #5 posted by freedom fighter on September 06, 2001 at 23:33:24 PT

"Passionate about his belief in the legalization of marijuana and in the righteousness of personal freedom. Those passions likely contributed to his death Monday afternoon." Hey people, is freedom just another word for choices??Why does one have to die for a choice that does not peek into anyone's bedroom windows, or break into someone's door to tap the phones or to snoop into someone's bank account? Why indeed does one have to die for a choice that does not rape, rob or have killed anyone in the last five thousand years of human history? Why does one have to die for a choice that does not turn one's child into a snitch?ff
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Comment #4 posted by goneposthole on September 05, 2001 at 14:50:40 PT

money and evil
Some people tell me that money is the root of all evil. It is not, the love of money is the root of all evil.The funerals, interment and the grief that follows will be difficult to bear. The anger that will swell will be difficult to quell. The love that these two families have for the deceased must be considered above all else. Leave them be, nothing we can say or do will stop the hurt.As for the actions of Tom, he was driven to it by the previous actions of the judge, local law enforcement, federal and state law enforcement. You have commited a hate crime. You have gleefully pursued your efforts without impunity. Or, have you? 'Vengeance is mine' sayeth the Lord. He will see fit their just punishmentLay down your swords, melt them down, forge new plowshares and plant hemp everywhere.If it were as bad as the official diktat of Amerika proclaims, there would be none at all.I was at a 4th of July celebration on the Mall In Washington, D.C. in 1973; there a booth and tent was set up by a few long haired hippies who were shouting to everyone as they walked by, "Free marijuana, free marijuana.""If you have never tried it before, come on over here and smoke some."Back when freedom existed, that was how it was. Now, I hope that we can free marijuana and free us, too!
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Comment #3 posted by Rock-N-Roller on September 05, 2001 at 14:15:09 PT

Get up, Stand up, Stand up for your right.
In order to bring more media attention to this tragedy we need to make a lot of noise. We need the likes of Gary Johnson, Jessie Ventura, and Normal to attend the funerals and deliver the eulogies. We need to have thousands of, even more people, attend the services, so many people it overcomes the place, just like the police and firemen do. If this could happen the media cannot completley ignore this. If we get more media attention it can possibly help to educate the ones who need it. E-Mail Gary Johnson's office, and Normal, lets try to get them there. I will make several posts of this comment. Do not be angry or surprised if you see this again. I will post it in other places to get more attention. Get up, Stand up, Stand up for your right.
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Comment #2 posted by revolutionary man on September 05, 2001 at 12:16:38 PT

Lesson learned.
Waco, Ruby Ridge, Rainbow Farm (etc.)... How many more times are we going to let this happen and do nothing about it? The lesson learned is that the feds think they are above the law, and that human life has no value to them if it interferes with their greedy desires. We must over-throw those thugs in power or they will continue their criminal behavior at our expense. We need to have a "real" revolution - not a "social revolution" like in the 1960's, but a violent, bloody revolution that will bring down the clowns in power, and then execute them for their crimes. Violence appears to be the only language they understand, so let's speak to them in their language from now on - all over the country. I hope to see federal building blown-up everywhere from now on, and I won't be surprised when it happens...
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Comment #1 posted by E. Johnson on September 05, 2001 at 09:30:10 PT

Is hate serving greed?
Marijuana has been demonized beyond all proportion.Marijuana can't be worth killing over.Maybe what's worth killing over is the property being seized.Maybe the hate is just a cover for the greed that lies beneath it.
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