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Tuesday, October 4, 2022
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Vandals Destroy Headstones at Historic North Texas Cemetery

Crime

Headstones dating from the 1800s were knocked over and destroyed by vandals at the city’s historic cemetery. | Image by NBC DFW

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The Crowley Cemetery Association called an emergency meeting after several headstones at a historic cemetery were vandalized and knocked over recently.

At the start of the month, vandals broke into the Crowley Cemetery off North Hampton Road and destroyed 88 headstones. Some are as much as two centuries old, and many mark the resting places of former mayors, fire chiefs, and veterans.

“We put a lot of work into the cemetery to make it look like we want it to look,” board President Phil Hampton told NBC DFW. “And to think that within an hour, someone could come in and destroy it the way they did.”

The City of Crowley released a statement that read, in part: “This incident is by far the worst vandalism the CPD has seen in the Crowley Cemetery. Many of the affected headstones are very old dating back to the 1800s, and repairs will be difficult and costly.”

The association is responsible for the repair and clean-up of the headstones. While repair estimates will likely be in the tens of thousands of dollars, the nonprofit is confident that the community will raise the money.

“All we can say is we’re going to put it back together to the best of our ability, and we’re going to do as much as we can to keep people we don’t want in the cemetery out,” Hampton said.

Board member James Hotopp has a message for the person or people who vandalized the cemetery.

“I would say I feel sorry for you, and you will meet your judgment day,” said Hotopp. “It’s just sad that they have that lack of respect for those who came before us.”

Anyone with information regarding this vandalism is asked to contact the Crowley Police Department at 817-297-2276 option 1 to speak to an officer, Detective Cranford at 817-297-2276 extension 6301, or Crime Stoppers at 817-469-8477.     

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