This is a letter that I wrote to the pastor who was scheduled to preach Eddie Dean's funeral on June 6, 2009. He had not known Eddie Dean,and had no idea what he was going to say.
Eddie Dean Carter
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 6, 2009, at Mt. Gilead Baptist Church for Eddie Dean Carter , 61, who passed away on May 25, 2009. The Rev. Artis Allen of Mt. Gilead Baptist Church will officiate. Eddie was cremated according to his wishes.
Eddie Dean Carter was born April 18, 1948, in Roswell. He was the son of Bernett J. and Gladys Carter. He was preceded in death by one sister, Eva Mae Carter. He is survived by his parents Bernett and Gladys Carter, of Roswell; his sister, Pauline Carter (McDowell) of Hanford, Calif.; his brothers, Paul Carter, Samuel Carter, Raymond Carter, Orlando Carter and William Carter, all of Roswell, Jackie Carter, of Heidelberg, Germany, and Milton Carter, of Oklahoma City; and several nieces and nephews.
Eddie served in the Army and was stationed in Nuremberg, Germany, from 1967 to 1969.
If friends wish to give their condolences, they may do so online at www.lagronefuneralchapels.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of LaGrone Funeral Chapel.
Reverend Artis Jones
Mt. Gillead Baptist Church
900 East Summit
Roswell, NM 88203
Dear Reverend Jones,
My names I James Kisselburg, I am a retired Lieutenant with the Roswell Police Department. I was saddened to see that Eddie Dean Carter, my long time former adversary and brother in Christ, passed away last week.
I know that this seems a bit strange to receive a letter from a cop, who put Dean in jail more times than can be counted, but I cannot let Dean’s passing go with out sharing how the power of God Almighty changed my life by allowing me to pray for and witness a miracle with my own eyes through the life of Eddie Dean Carter.
This is an excerpt from my soon to be publish book, “One Cops Life in a Small Town”:
It was in June, 1985 (almost 24 years ago to date), it was 2:00 A.M., and the night was hot. The down town car (unit 105) received a call to the 300 Block of South Garden, in reference to a stabbing, to what would be later found to be Sammy Lee Jones’s house. The ambulance was running code 3 (full lights and siren).
As the Lieutenant for the midnight shift, I responded as well. I arrived just as the medics were going into the house. I went into the living room and immediately recognized Eddie Dean Carter, he was well known to me and the Roswell Police Department for many different criminal enterprises.
The medics got right to work, I heard them call in his blood pressure, “65/15”…they hurriedly stabilized him with the MAST pants... pressurized Velcro pants that push the blood from the legs up and back to the heart. He had a small stab wound in the center of his chest just below his sternum. The medics didn’t waste a second and sped off to St. Mary’s.
I followed the ambulance to the hospital.
When I arrived he was in a treatment room, the ER Doc was trying to get an I.V. line in, but his blood pressure was too low because he was bleeding out… Eddie had a small ¼ inch slit in the center of his chest, the knife blade nicked the lower edge of his heart.. . His veins were collapsed. Eddie Carter was dying.
The Doc tried to do what’s called a “cut down” on the vein in his clavicle, where they cut into the vein and place the I.V. line inside, but no luck. The Doc then went to his ankles… still no luck. I could see that Eddie’s veins were like shoe strings. The Doc asked him if he shot up drugs…Eddie said he did.
“Where do you find a vein?” the Doc asked.
Eddie pointed to the inside of his right arm; they tied him off like he was going to shoot Heroin, but still no luck finding a vein.
The frantic look on the Doc’s face compounded his words when he said: “this guy is going sour”.
The nurses were busy and I knew that Eddie’s parents would be rolling into the ER anytime. I had known Eddie’s parents, B.J. Carter Sr. and Gladys a lot of years... nicest folks that anyone could know, and I knew they would be devastated.
I had delivered too many death notices…I wanted some backup grief counseling, something that I that really never did get like doing for obvious reasons….so I went to the front desk area of the ER where all the call back numbers were written in a 4’x 8’ whiteboard. I looked for the Chaplain on duty…the name and phone number was blank! No Chaplain on duty!
I thought to myself “Now what do I do?”
I walked back to the door of the treatment room where they were working on Eddie…I silently prayed to God for some advice:
“Okay Lord, Now what do I do?”
I heard: “Go pray for him”
….I shook my head and thought to myself: “….Uh...that is EDDIE DEAN CARTER Lord!”…
“I said - go pray for him”….
Again I questioned the small voice and my faith… “I don’t know how to pray for this.”
“I SAID, GO PRAY FOR HIM!” came loud and clear.
It was no longer a request it was a direct order…I still didn’t know what I was going to say . . . but the Lord knew what was going to happen…. I knew He meant business.
I walked back into the treatment room and went to the head of the gurney. I was going to get a deathbed statement…at least we could get another crook off the street. Eddie looked up at me and I said:
“Eddie, they say you're not going to make it man, tell me who stabbed you”
He said: “Sara stabbed me!” (Name has been changed to protect the guilty)
I knew Sara. I had known Sara since the day she came to Roswell some 15 years earlier … was really tough and mean woman…drug addict, thief, and con artist, prostitute.
I said: “What was going on? - What were you arguing about?”
“The Bible” He said:
“Then what happened?” I asked:
He said: “She just got this funny look on her face, and jumped up and ran over stabbed me in the chest before I knew it.”
I knew what I was going to say then:
"Eddie, do you know Jesus as your personal savior?” I asked with urgency.
“No” He said
I said: “Do you want to?”
He said: “Yeah”
I said: “Do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and died for YOUR sins?”
He said: “Yes”
I said: “Well then, be healed in the name of Jesus”
Almost immediately after I said those words the Doctor got an I.V. line started! In the original location in his clavicle.
“We got it!” he said and rolled the line open to start the life-saving fluids… he was going to live! Praise God!
The moments after they got the I.V. started were a blur, but I remember the ER Doctor talking afterwards.
“That was humbling, I think I am going to not practice medicine for a while and take a trip on my sail boat…the Pacific Ocean might be a good place to start my travels…”
Sure enough the Doctor resigned a few weeks later, bought a sailboat, and the last I heard he had started sailing around the world.
Eddie called me the next day from his hospital room.
He said: “Kisselburg, I want to thank you for what you did….”
I said: “Man I didn’t do anything but pray…”
He said: “Well thank you anyway…I have done a lot drugs since Vietnam…and I have done a lot of bad stuff since I got back too. But I am going to change my ways and move out of Roswell. I can’t stay here and be safe, thanks again man.”
Eddie got out of the hospital the two days later, left town just as he said he was going to do.
You see, I grew up in a multi-racial neighborhood, with black, Spanish neighbors, I didn’t see any difference, we were kids, but after I went to work for the Roswell Police Department, in April 1967, I learned to hate minorities, I learned to hate them more every time I was cussed at, or spit on simply because I wore a badge, then I learned to not trust anyone, anytime.
And so, Reverend Allen, you may ask how Eddie Dean Carter has impacted my life. The answer is; did I not only pray for him but also four other critically injured people (former convicts) that summer, each one had criminal histories as bad if not worse than what Eddie had done in his life time. I prayed with them to accept Jesus as there Personal Savior, and saw God heal them from fatal gunshot wounds.
Why did I pray for them? Because God gave me faith the size of a mustard seed. He , gave me the strength to pray for my enemies, ask and it will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven, just as he commanded, to forgive those who had trespassed against me.
Jesus had a plan for me, to carry me when I was week, protect me from injury, protect my family from the death threats that I and they received, because I did my job.
Then in June 1985, He let me see that I was no different in His eyes, than my worst enemy, He loved us all, they were part of all, I was part of all.
Eddie Dean Carter was once my enemy, we hated each other, but the power of God let me see him through His eyes. God Let Eddie Dean see me through His eyes, from that day Eddie was my brother in Christ, and will be forever.
I am not here (on earth) to judge him, how Eddie spent the rest of his days living how he lived. All I could do is pray for him, with faith that God would take care of him, I know he knew Jesus, I was there when he accepted him, I saw the miracle of Eddie Dean not only having his soul saved, but God giving him his very life back. And some day I will see Eddie Dean again and we’ll talk about that night in June 1985.
In His Name
Lt. James Kisselburg
Roswell Police Department (ret)