LEBANON, Tenn. -- Siblings Connie Cooksey Minick and Butch Cooksey enjoyed an idyllic small-town childhood in Lebanon during the 1950s and ‘60s. Their father, Charles Cooksey, ran a popular country store on Highway 70, while their mother kept the home fires burning.
But tragedy struck in the summer of 1969 when Cooksey, not quite out of his teen years, was killed in what was presumed to be a hit-and-run accident, and the family was never the same.
Now, some 40-plus years later, the cold case has been resolved.
In light of the developments, Minick is sharing the heart-rending tale behind her brother’s death in “A Tooth for a Tooth: The Butch Cooksey Story.”
Minick will sign copies of her book at Hastings Books, located at 1660 Memorial Drive in Murfreesboro, from 6 p.m. till 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2.
“This book should never have had to be written, but there has been so much interest and so many questions asked by many people over the years,” Minick said. “The interest increased dramatically after his case was reopened, thus I’ve attempted to answer those questions and to share what it was like for my family all those years of not knowing what really happened to Butch (Cooksey) that fateful night.
“We could never have dreamed that 40 years later, we would go through it again when his case was reopened. That meant an exhumation, an autopsy, another funeral and burial, the anxiety, the court hearing and finally facing the one who was responsible for all of our heartache, a man that we had known most of our lives.”
Minick described the book saying, “It is a 40-year-old cold case of intriguing mystery, of my teenage brother’s hit-and-run death, which ultimately proved to be homicide. I take readers from our childhood through the eventual conclusion of the crime.”
As for her choice of title, a phrase from the Old Testament, it came from the gruesome tale she and her sisters heard about their brother’s killer possessing some of Cooksey’s teeth in a box, which he showed on rare occasion.