A man who helps preserve historic black cemeteries says he's not surprised by the theft they're accused of committing.
When Houston police said three teenagers dug up a child's grave, stole the scull and later turned into a marijuana pipe, many people were shocked. W.W. Jones was not among them.
"There's been tremendous abuse just from the general public," he said.
For more than 15 years, the Houston man has fought for the recognition and preservation of historical black cemeteries. The grave police say Jones and Gonzales and a 16-year-old violated belongs to 11-year-old Willie Simms, who died in 1911. It's located in a cemetery were several black war veterans and their relatives were buried.
Jones has seen the desecration of the graves of more than he'd like to count. But what makes this one atypical to police is what they say Jones told them they did with the corpse's skull
We did some digging online and found out the idea of turning a scull into a pipe is not unheard of. Some stores sell ceramic skull bongs. Another has a picture of what a more realistic one looks like. And on a message board were discussions on how something like that could be made.
Gonzales' brother, Chris, finds the idea disgusting. He believes his brother only went to the cemetery.
"Yea, that's what he said," he said. "He stopped like in the middle. He just left."
All of it saddens Jones. He links this kind of alleged behavior to a deterioration of values.
"Just the lack of respect in general for one another, for you fellow man," he said.