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8. Martin Davis
Martin Davis' fragile sensibilities were first upset in 1997 when he stumbled across a copy of The Faber Book of Gay Short Fiction, in a Charlotte public library while looking for a biography of Thomas Jefferson. How he found a gay fiction book in the history section is another question, but not one we have time to deal with here. Aghast at the book's homosexual themes, Davis filed a string of complaints with the library. Martin then appointed himself Charlotte's official moral watchdog, and began reading excerpts from certain books during televised County Commission meetings, ostensibly to shed some light on what he claimed to be lewd and objectionable material. Thus was born Davis' nickname, The Dirty Book Guy.
In March, Commissioner Chairman Parks Helms had apparently had enough of Davis' sex-filled readings, and ordered police to eject him from a commissioners' meetings. This rallied a few supporters, who defended Davis' First Amendment rights and placed him ever so briefly in the spotlight. But even this small group of supporters faded quickly when The Charlotte Observer published a rambling and bizarre op-ed piece by Davis in which he ranted about government tyranny and the evils of the New Deal. Just as scary as Davis himself was the fact that his antics, coupled with some political posturing -- most notably by folks like Bill James (see # 5) -- resulted in the library staff being ordered to review the procedures used to select materials, and children's access to them. Three months later the review revealed that Charlotte Mecklenburg's policies are similar, and sometimes stricter, than other libraries its size.
Before he started his one-man crusade to rid our libraries of dirty books, the UNC-Chapel Hill graduate was a struggling actor in New York, where he apparently indulged in plenty of debauchery and promiscuity. Eventually he tired of New York's party scene and his failing acting career. He moved back to Charlotte in the mid-80s, found Jesus, cut out his wild ways, joined the NRA and started picketing abortion clinics. Now 44, when Davis isn't battling pornography, he sells life insurance.
7. Leslie Cobb Raborn
Who's the scariest maniac on the loose? That honor goes to Leslie Cobb Raborn, who this year won a spot on the police department's highly competitive 10 Most Wanted list.
Unlike most of the other good folks on the most wanted list, Raborn hasn't actually killed anyone yet (that we know of). But after careful consideration, Creative Loafing judges singled her out as the most twisted of the bunch for the sheer audacity of her crime.
Raborn, 33, is charged with first-degree rape and seven counts of second-degree sex offense, which she committed in partnership with her boyfriend, 42-year-old Kevin Bradley Sutton last November.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Detective Marsha Dearing said Raborn and Sutton picked the victim up from work under false pretenses and lured her to their residence on Farmhurst Drive and raped her.
"Both of them sexually assaulted the victim," said Dearing.
Sutton has been apprehended, but Raborn remains at large. Raborn has been spotted in the Rock Hill area, and has family in Gaston County. Raborn, who has been known to frequent the Charlotte area, has used the aliases Michelle Raborn and Michelle Jones in the past. She's 5'7, and weighs about 140 pounds. Anyone with information on Raborn's whereabouts should call Crime Stoppers at 334-1600. If she knocks on your door trick-or-treating, we wouldn't let her in if we were you.
6. Susan Burgess
In true horror movie tradition, no matter how many times you drive a stake through her heart, Susan Burgess just keeps coming back. Driven by a thinly veiled appetite for power and handicapped by an apparent inability to wield it, Burgess has managed to alienate the other members of not one but two political boards she has served on in the last five years.
"She's solar powered," one of her council colleagues said this year. "She's gotta have all the lights on her."
When her colleagues on the school board were getting ready to depose her from the chairman's post, she resigned from the board and ran for the Charlotte City Council at-large in the next available election cycle.
The child-like sweetheart intonation she adopted for the cameras in the council chambers didn't make up for what came across to those in the know as a lack of knowledge of the subject matter at hand.
For most of her two years on the council, she's spent her time prepping for a mayoral run with near-total disregard for other politicians' own ambitions or political territory. When Burgess ran for council, she was one of very few candidates who refused to commit to a referendum on a new arena for the Charlotte Hornets. But as the tide of the arena debate changed, she became one of the loudest referendum proponents on council.