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The Triumph and Tragedy of Professor William Newman

by Charly Mann

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Comments:

Charly Mann      8:30 AM Fri 10/28/2011

First MZ -I have a hard time taking a criticism too seriously that is left anonymously. Second, several credible experts I talked to as I was researching this article suggested to me the Asperger's diagnosis for Craig (All of them knew Craig). Since then a UNC psychiatrist has written to me and supported this assessment,
 

MZ      2:49 PM Thu 10/27/2011

Interesting - I was living in Chapel Hill at the time of the Newman murder and don't recall it, but it has been nearly 30 years. However I must take exception to your statements about Asperger's Syndrome, which are WILDLY incorrect. Good lord. I have a son with AS and he's about the least violent person I've ever known. You do great disservice to your own credibility by leaving this claptrap up on your site.
 

sandy      12:19 PM Sun 11/14/2010

The article said that the police investigation showed that the Newmans feared for their lives and that shooting their son was an act of self defense. It also said that Dr. Newman did not intend to shoot Craig.

What bothers me about this, is that Craig was not armed..he had no gun. Why didn't the Newmans just call the police? Craig had not even gotten into the house, it seems to me that the Newmans had plenty of time to phone the police..Mr. Newman shot him while he was still outside. Also, if he did not intend to shoot him, why did he?..and why did he shoot him twice..once in the chest and once in the head? If his father felt he had to shoot, why did he not just shoot him in the leg or elswhere, to stop him? Anyone knows a shooting in the chest or head is going to be a mortal shot.

I just think something is very wrong with this story....but that's just my opinion.


 

Bill Baggett      10:52 PM Thu 9/24/2009

Thank you for your information about Craig Newman and the great detail on it. I do not wish to engage in the controversy about what disease Craig may have had, I have no knowledge of that. I therefore am sending this directly to you. It is just a sad human interest story about a child (yes that was how I knew him).

I've read nostalgically about Chapel Hill days in the 60s by googling on names and places even though I left in 1969 . I just found your site on Chapel Hill memories and must compliment you on the quality. The soundtracks of WKIX and of Hugh Taylor, my 5th and 6th grade classmate singing were most enjoyable. People are impressed when I say I sat across from James Taylor's brother in the 5th grade.

I knew Craig also in the 5th and 6th grades at Glenwood School. I think I was a fellow misfit. We had somewhat of a rivalry about who was less of a misfit, but I remember many good things about Craig. We would discuss who was right in the Civil War, both of us agreeing that slavery was wrong. When some other kids were smoking, we both agreed that it was wrong. I have long since left Chapel Hill; been gone since 1969, but my latter years there I think I just lost track of Craig. I don't remember any contacts with him since 7th grade (1964) even though I lived there five years more. I was also in troop 826 with Craig and Jim Baucom and went to Durham Academy (my second 8th grade year and my 9th grade year) with Jim Baucomb. I remember Jill Adams as well.

A couple of other things I remember Craig saying that his father was 50 years old, when mine was only 35 and I also remember him stating that he was related to Paul Newman even though I didn't know who Paul Newman was at the time. I always remembered that when I knew who he was, and wondered if he was telling the truth. It's good to learn that he was telling the truth as this article is consistant with what I knew of him.

Thanks for your Page on Chapel Hill memories

 

Celine Williams      8:44 PM Thu 9/24/2009

Thank you for providing this piece, which gives me additional insight into this terrible disease. I have a friend with Asperger’s Syndrome, whom I would describe very similarly to Craig Newman in his interactions with peers and with family members.

I have a question for Eliza, who wrote the previous comment. I went to the TEACCH website (http://www.teacch.com/aboutautism.html), to which you referred, to read more about AS. It provided a link to "Asperger's Syndrome: Guidelines for Assessment and Diagnosis: Ami Klin, Ph.D., and Fred R. Volkmar, M.D.". Rather than having any information that would invalidate the layman’s assessment made in this article, the symptoms seem to correlate. I would be interested to learn what specifically causes you concern about this article.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here is the definition of Asperger’s Syndrome from the above referenced article “Asperger’s Syndrome: Guidelines for Assessment and Diagnosis", along with a couple of additional points worth noting:

The following table summarizes the DSM-IV definition of AS:
1) Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:
- 1. Marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction
- 2. Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
- 3. A lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people
- 4. Lack of social or emotional reciprocity
2) Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
- 1. Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus
- 2. Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals
- 3. Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms
- 4. Persistent preoccupation with parts of objects
3) The disturbance causes clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning
4) There is no clinically significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years)
5) There is no clinically significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills, adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction), and curiosity about the environment in childhood
6) Criteria are not met for another specific Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Schizophrenia.

Additionally, "the individual's history must show 'a lack of any clinically significant general delay' in language acquisition, cognitive development and adaptive behavior (other than in social interaction)."

Although the social criteria for AS and autism are identical, the former condition usually involves fewer symptoms and has a generally different presentation than does the latter. Individuals with AS are often socially isolated but are not unaware of the presence of others, even though their approaches may be inappropriate and peculiar.
 

Eliza DuBose      9:34 PM Wed 9/23/2009

You seem to know nothing about Asperger's, or the related Autistic Spectrum of Disorders, and to be confusing these with schizophrenia and PTSD due to long term child abuse. Surprising on this Chapel Hill history-oriented website, since Dr. Eric Schopler, longtime Chapel Hill resident, pioneered the TEACCH program and a wider understanding of children and adults with these developmental differences. While I greatly appreciate your sense of desiring a better understanding of the loss of Mr. Newman's young life and his family's trauma, you do a great disservice to people with these specific disabilities by leaving your piece on this website so un-researched, so detrimental, so erroneous and so maligning of people with Asperger's. I strongly recommend you update this as soon as possible. Feel free to contact the TEACCH program for more information should your internet searches prove unenlightening.
 

Charly Mann      11:02 AM Sun 9/13/2009

You may be correct in your theory about Craig. I have had three letters from people who know more about AS than I do who agree with my theory. One actually knew Craig in the 1970s and is also a psychologist.
I think it is clear that he had a disorder and could have used professional help.
I have also withheld additional information on Craig, at the request of several of my sources, that is also consistent with Asperger's Syndrome.
 

Ex-Chapel Hillian      8:26 PM Sat 9/12/2009

I'm not aware that there is a correlation between violent behavior and AS. In any event, while it is true that the condition could not have been diagnosed as such, something like AS could have been treated in the 1970s through TEACCH at the university. I know, because I was treated there in the mid-70s for what was AS, but there was no name for it - - the doctors and therapists simply used their skills sets for treating cases of mild autism and applied them to my case. They did a very good job considering they must have been doing some serious improvisation. Of course, Craig Newman was in college by this time, but if it was AS, treatment was more available in Chapel Hill than almost anywhere else in the country.

I have my doubt it was AS. If it was, something would have been much more obviously and seriously amiss before he hit adolescence. Since adolescence and young adulthood is when the problems started, it might have been schizophrenia.

Incredibly, I was at Phillips when the murder happened, but I don't remember it in the news at all. Undoubtedly, I must have seen Craig on the Franklin Street wall, as I walked by there all the time in the late 70s through early 90s.
 

Charles Hinsdale      1:05 PM Tue 9/8/2009

Aloha. My 15 year old daughter just emailed me this article about the Newmans. I guess I took over Jim Baucom's role as Craig's friend in junior high and high school. I remember Craig's parents were very good to Craig and I loved spending the night at his house because Mrs. Newman always gave us the royal treatment. Actually Mrs. Newman was a saint as I reflect upon it...here is an example...one time Craig sent the night at my house and the next morning there was snow on the ground so his mother drove all the way over to our house and walked thru the snow the last 1/2 mile and up our steep driveway to give Craig his boots...which of course Craig never used. It's memories like this that required me to visit Craig's parents each year after his death and to introduce them to my daughter when she was born and for them to develop a relationship that was very special. On our last visit it was obvious that Claire (Mrs. Newman) was in very poor health but still wanted to see us so when we left we knew it would be our last visit. I believe Claire died a day or two later. She was a wonderful lady. Anyway I enjoyed reading the article. Aloha
 

Neil Keane      4:08 PM Mon 8/24/2009

People with Asperger syndrome develop language normally, but have difficulty with social interactions, motor coordination, and eye contact. They can be passionate about one or two topics, and have little patience for small talk. They also struggle to handle normal daily activities, such as organizing time, managing conflict, or even facing the sensory overload presented by malls and grocery stores.
 

Charly Mann      9:13 PM Sun 8/23/2009

Good Question Leo. I got a program from the concert, and brought it to Kemp's with my mother after the performance where I got a phonograph recording of the performance which I listened to for years. I still have that program somewhere.
 

Leo Cameron      6:31 PM Sun 8/23/2009

How could you remember what Bill Newman was playing in a concert in 1955 when you were six years old?
 

Jann French      3:10 PM Sun 8/23/2009

Great reporting Charly. I moved to Chapel Hill in 1981 and this was one of the strangest events to occur during my first years in town. The newspapers never really explained why Dr Newman was not held accountable.
 

Paula West      2:46 PM Sat 8/22/2009

I have a son with AS who is 17. Several times I would have been severely injured by him if I had not reacted quickly. Last month he nearly put a screw driver in my eye. The uncertainty and volatility of having a son like this is very difficult. It is easy for me to imagine Dr Newman shooting his son out of fear and self-defense.
 

Jim Baucom      2:09 PM Sat 8/22/2009

Craig was a dear friend until age twelve or so. George Reeves and Clayton Moore were our tv heros every afternoon. I can still quote "faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive..." I thought the world of his parents, saw (and helped?) many car engines taken apart. I sometimes think how enjoyable it would have been to see each other grow old. Jim Baucom
 

Roger Gordon      8:47 PM Fri 8/21/2009

I have not looked at Chapel Hill Memories in a few months, and I am impressed with how much more in depth and eclectic your articles are. As someone who grew up at the same time as Craig Newman it is good to be reminded that these were not always "Happy Days".
 

Sandy Lawrence      4:18 PM Fri 8/21/2009

This is such a sad story. Dr Newman was my piano instructor at UNC in the early 60s. He was a brilliant and kind man.
 

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Chapel Hill is located on a hill whose only distinguishing feature in the 18th century was a small chapel on top called New Hope Chapel. This church was built in 1752 and is currently the location of The Carolina Inn. The town was founded in 1819, and chartered in 1851.

 

 

What is it that binds us to this place as to no other? It is not the well or the bell or the stone walls. or the crisp October nights. No, our love for this place is based upon the fact that it is as it was meant to be, The University of the People.

-- Charles Kuralt

 

 

Dark Side of the Hill -- Pink Floyd, the creators of the most popular album in history, Dark Side of the Moon, took the second half of their name from Floyd Council, a Chapel Hill native, and great blues singer and guitarist. He once belonged to a group called "The Chapel Hillbillies".

 

 

Check out Charly Mann's other website:
Oklahoma Birds and Butterflies

http://oklahomabirdsandbutterflies.com

 



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

There would probably be no Chapel Hill if the University of North Carolina Board of Trustees in 1793 had not chosen land across from New Hope Chapel for the location of the university. By 1800 there were about 100 people living in thirty houses surrounding the campus.

 

 

The University North Carolina's first student was Hinton James, who enrolled in February, 1795. There is now a dormitory on the campus named in his honor.

 

 

 

 

The University of North Carolina was closed from 1870 to 1875 because of lack of state funding.

 

 

 

 

William Ackland left his art collection and $1.25 million to Duke University in 1940 on the condition that he would be buried in the art museum that the University was to build with his bequest. Duke rejected this condition even though members of the Duke Family are buried in Duke Chapel. What followed was a long and acrimonious legal battle between Ackland relatives who now wanted the inheritance, Rollins College, and the University of North Carolina, each attempting to receive the funds. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and in 1949 UNC was awarded the money for the museum. Ackland is buried near the museum's entrance. When the museum first opened, in the early sixties, there were rumors that his remains were leaking out of the mausoleum.

 

 

The official name of the Arboretum on the University of North Carolina campus is the Coker Arboretum. It is named after Dr. William Cocker, the University's first botany professor. It occupies a little more than five acres. It was founded in 1903.

 

 

Chapel Hill's main street has always been called Franklin Street. It was named after Benjamin Franklin in the early 1790s.

 

 



We need your help. Send your submissions, ideas, photos, and questions to CHMemories@gmail.com.

 

 

Chapel Hill High School and Chapel Hill Junior High were on Franklin Street in the same location as University Square until the mid 1960s.

 

 

The Colonial Drug Store at 450 West Franklin Street was owned and operated by John Carswell. It was famous for a fresh-squeezed carbonated orange beverage called a "Big O". In the early 1970s, I managed the Record and Tape Center next door, and must have had over 100 of those drinks. The Colonial Drug Store closed in 1996.

 

 

Sutton's Drugstore, which opened in 1923, has one of the last soda fountains in the South. It is one of the few businesses remaining on Franklin Street that was in operation when I was growing up in the 1950s.

 

 

Future President Gerald Ford lived in Chapel Hill twice. First when he was 24, in 1938, he took a law couse in summer school at UNC. He lived in the Carr Building, which was a law school dormitory. At the same time, Richard Nixon, the man he served under as Vice President, was attending law school at Duke. In 1942, Ford returned to Chapel Hill to attend the U.S. Navy's Pre-Flight School training program. He lived in a rental house on Hidden Hills Drive.

 

 

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