To recap, police said Robin Rankins-White, 53, who currently resides at 209 Carlton Drive, and three accomplices made up stories of racial vandalism and phone harassment and blamed the contractor, who recently performed renovations on a house she owned in Hampton Heights. Spartanburg Public Safety Director Tony Fisher said Rankins-White, who is black, apparently thought no one would wise up to her scheme, which unraveled after investigators traced "harassing" phone calls back to the house under renovation and her cell phone. Rankins-White wanted to obtain money from the contractor, who is white, or have him arrested. Allegedly the letters "KKK" were painted on the front door, along with other "racist" slogans.
According to police reports, Miller said Rankins-White was $52,000 in debt on the house he wanted to buy from her, and she had approached him with the plan. Miller said he agreed to participate because he expected to receive a financial benefit.
Robin Rankins-White has been charged with five counts of filing a false police report, two counts of conspiracy and one count of telephone harassment.
Rankins-White's sister, Betty Goins, 56, of 253 Charlesworth Ave. has been charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of filing a false police report.
The man planning to buy the Hampton Heights house, Darrell Lee Miller, 37, of 203 S. Hampton Drive, has been charged with filing a false report, two counts of conspiracy and telephone harassment.
Rankin-White's daughter, Erica D. White, 22, of 209 Carlton Drive has been charged with filing a false report, two counts of conspiracy and telephone harassment. White is the only one who has not been apprehended by police as of this post.
Rankins-White and her daughter also accused of making "anonymous" calls to an elderly neighbor in Hampton Heights, making racial slurs to her and also threatening to burn her house, however it doesn't appear that any additional charges for this have been levied at this time.
Additional research reveals that back on October 29th, 2007, when the story of the "vandalism" originally broke, the Jewish-owned Black Entertainment Television channel (BET) jumped all over this story and posted a report. However, in the wake of this new report that it was a hoax, someone left the following comment to the story:
posted by: jayinsc10 (12/9/2007 2:05:19 PM)
i live around the corner from this house and the minute i saw the painting on that door, i knew it was a hoax. this is a very mixed community and for the most part everyone enjoys the diversity of the neighborhood. there's never been a problem like this in this neighborhood before. so anyways, this past week, ms. rankins-white and mr. miller and her daughter were arrested for painting the slurs on the door themselves.
If this individual "knew" it was a hoax, why didn't he or she post this information earlier? BTW, BET has "scrupulously" avoided any mention of this new development on their news site so far.
This is more common than you think. The Sweetness-Light.com website has documented a partial list of prominent hate crime hoaxes during the 2006-7 period. An additional list of hate crime hoaxes documented HERE; there may be overlap between the two lists. It looks like there may be a market for an objective blog devoted solely to reporting all hate crime hoaxes which are publicized by the mainstream media; the question is where to "start the clock", so to speak.