Story was ‘poorly researched,’ ‘sensationalized’


To the Editor:

An article appearing this week about an encounter between my neighbor and friend Eric Hudson and some local teenagers misrepresents the incident and casts him as an unsavory and probably dangerously deranged character. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The article is poorly researched and contains sensationalized falsehoods:

The teenagers “went to explore an area on a road near Hudson’s property on River Bend Road in Siler City.”  “The mother...said the road...was not marked “no trespassing,” nor was it marked “private.”

That would be our shared, dead-end, marked private, gravel driveway.

“According to the incident report filed by the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, Hudson threatened the victims with a gun.”

Eric says he doesn’t own a gun. I believe him. Never heard him talk about guns, never seen or heard a gun around him. I do not believe three trespassing teenagers just because they say he threatened them with one. 

This is a most serious, unsupported allegation. Where is any evidence of this? 

“The area is reportedly known by many as the site of what some have described as a “devil church.” The brother and sister reported seeing goat heads on spikes...”

“Reportedly known”? “devil church“? “goat heads on spikes”?

Known by whom? Over 20 years’ worth of too many anonymous, uninformed intruders?

The enthusiastic myth-making targets the home of a graduate of the UNC fine arts program in sculpture. Neighbor to me and Eric’s wife’s parents for 43 years, and now Eric and family. 

“I don’t usually stir any pots,” the mother said, “but he teaches children. People need to know who’s teaching their children.”

Yes, they do. If they’re fortunate, by someone like Eric, esteemed by faculty, staff and students as a good person and a very good teacher. 

By contrast, the intruders, who drove by Eric shouting “F--- you, b-----!,” are cast as innocent victims. The mother’s outrage rings hollow to me. The word of teenagers in trouble is famously biased toward their own innocence. Zero consequences for them. Good luck with that.

This article should have been flagged as one-sided, factually unsupported, sensationalized, and lacking any statement by, or supporting the person being characterized as a dangerous potential criminal. Guns, the devil, goat’s heads and schoolchildren are catnip to a journalist, but to feature such clickbait should have been weighed against the human cost of publishing.

The allegations and characterizations will have profoundly damaging effects on the reputation and career of Eric Hudson, a good neighbor, husband, father, teacher, citizen. A sorry history of teenager trespass and confrontation exists in our otherwise peaceful neighborhood. This will encourage more.

I believe a statement of regret is in order. 

Lewis Caraganis 

Siler City