Hate Crimes Against the Amish

This post comes from author Mary Ellis, whose admiration and respect for the Amish is reflected in her bestselling novels.

While researching my current book, A Marriage for Meghan, God placed the perfect person to help me in my path. Although my main plot focuses on a struggling teacher, I developed a concurrent sub-plot which involves escalating criminal acts against the Amish.

I met Lieutenant Matthew Linnscott of the sheriff’s department where I live in a Subway Restaurant. He gave me firsthand information about crimes against the Amish in Wayne and Holmes Counties, Ohio. Thugs had been robbing them on deserted country roads as they returned from auction sales or the grain elevator. They would block the buggy’s path with their cars and then rob these pacifistic people of their cash.

How does one catch criminals in sparsely populated rural areas? I’ll tell you how the sheriff’s department handled it. In a joint effort of several agencies, including the FBI, teams of detectives borrowed buggies, dressed in Plain garb, and meandered down country roads during the time period the thieves favored. What a surprise for those thugs when their “helpless victims” turned out to be well-armed, highly-trained officers of the law. Now there are a few less criminals on the streets. And I was able to “pump the brain” of one of my local department’s finest for accounts of other hate crimes aimed at the gentle-hearted Plain folk. Nothing like being in the right place at the right time!

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