Dr. David R. Montague is the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; and is a tenured, Full Professor of Criminal Justice. In this role under the university’s provost, he is responsible for oversight of student-related leadership initiatives and supervision of various student services departments and programs. He earned a PhD at Howard University in Political Science, an MA at The George Washington University in Crime and Commerce, and a BA at Morehouse College in Political Science.
Having come to UALR in 2004 joining the Department of Criminal Justice as an Assistant Professor teaching in their undergraduate and graduate programs, he has used his time at UALR to facilitate a mix of his teaching, research, and service in such a manner as to use his access to expose students via projects, collaborate both on and off campus, and generate grant and contract funding as often as possible. He founded the UA Little Rock Senior Justice Center, to promote service and research on crime against older people.
He has written numerous publications and is the coauthor of the book Travesty of Justice: The politics of crack cocaine and the dilemma of the Congressional Black Caucus, now in its Second Edition.
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Dr. David Montague UALR Faculty Bio
[0:00:09] GM: Welcome to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. Through storytelling and conversational interviews, this weekly biography show and podcast offers listeners an insider's view into the commonalities of successful people and the ups and downs of risk taking. Connect with Kerry through her candid, funny, informative and always encouraging weekly blog. Now it's time for Kerry McCoy to get all up in your business.
[0:00:34] KM: Thank you, son, Gray. My guest today, Dr. David Montague is a Professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Though his PhD is in political science, it is the subject of his master's degree that intrigues me. Dr. Montague has a master's from the George Washington University in crime and commerce. Along with being a professor of criminal justice on the UALR campus, he is also helping students as the Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.
Dr. Montague's education may have been narrow and focused, but his career has been broad, requiring him to live and work in many states. To name a few interesting jobs, he worked 14 years in law enforcement as intelligence and investigator for the United States Drug Enforcement DEA. This is not busting kids for pot. It’s a national criminal investigations on prescription drugs and chemicals, along with asset forfeiture, taking stuff purchased with drug money from criminals. He has also worked in the fraud department of Chevy Chase Bank. And my favorite, again for the United States government, he served as Senior Investigator on the JFK assassination records review board. Y'all, today, we're going to find out who shot JFK.
It is my pleasure to welcome to the table the curious, educated, service-minded, professor and author, Dr. David Montague. Hey, doctor.
[0:02:06] DM: Hello, good afternoon. It's such a pleasure to be here. Thank you so much for having me and for that wonderful introduction.
[0:02:12] KM: You are welcome. After reading about your education, I couldn't help but wonder if you know Dr. Chris Jones, who just recently ran for governor, because he went to Morehouse, I think.
[0:02:21] DM: I do know Chris Jones. Yes, and he did go to Morehouse. He went to MIT as well. I do know him pretty well. He's a fabulous guy, a family man.
[0:02:33] KM: Educated.
[0:02:34] DM: Educated. Really community oriented. In fact, my child now, college student, actually worked during the pandemic at the Arkansas Innovation Hub, when he was head of that as a volunteer, and just really loved it there. I have a lot of admiration for Dr. Chris Jones.
[0:02:53] KM: I felt like, y'all would know each other and run in the same circles, because you're both really smart and you had higher education. A political science degree, I understand. That's typical. I mean, a lot of people have political science degrees, but a master's in crime and commerce is very different and interesting. How did you even know about this degree to even pursue it?
[0:03:15] DM: Wow, that's a great question. I've done a lot of interviews, and I don't think anyone's ever asked me specifically that one about that program. It's interesting, because that program at the George Washington University –
[0:03:27] KM: Yeah, you got to put the the in there.
[0:03:29] DM: Right. I'm from originally from the Washington DC area. I have, I say roots here in Arkansas, used to come and visit growing up on my life. I was looking for something for a graduate level criminal justice program. It turned out, I was studying white collar. I mean, I was working at DEA at the headquarters building as a contractor at the time before I jumped the fence to join the Feds. I have been going to Quantico for classes and the Quantico is the FBI Academy for your listeners.
Was looking for a criminal justice focused graduate program, a master's program, and looked around. Lived in the Washington DC area, and found this really unique program. They're focused on white collar crime, that happened to be in a forensic science department. I said, well, that's unusual. The courses were also different from, I think, a normal master's in criminal justice, mostly Conspiracy, terrorism, fraud and government contracting, computer forensics, things of that nature. My classmates were also investigators in other agencies, so NASA, Army.
[0:04:41] KM: You just don't think of all the areas of crime.
[0:04:44] DM: Yeah. It's interesting, that program, or that department, I had three tracks in forensic science. One was straight forensics, so you had a lot of chemistry people, toxicology, serology and epidemiology type folks, and they had security management. You had a lot of people that nowadays, you call the computer security, cybersecurity people. Then the other was crime and commerce. Now there’s people like me, and that was the white-collar side.
You dipped a little bit into all the other two areas, but the focus of mine were on conspiracy, terrorism, fraud, things – I ended up using a lot of those things when I went to the assassination board later.
[0:05:22] KM: I can't wait to talk about the JFK assassination. But we're going to keep everybody waiting on that. Then you go to Howard University for political science. You go back and get more degrees. Why did you go after you got your master's in crime and commerce? Why did you go get a PhD in political science?
[0:05:39] DM: I finished the master's degree of – I had gone to – when I went through basic training at Quantico, I was assigned to Newark, New Jersey with DEA. I worked in the Newark field office doing white collar drug cases; pharmacies, doctors, nurses. A lot of focus that we did, now people think of Oxycontin, the oxycodone crisis. A lot of that back then, people thought of it just soccer moms and people that got hooked, going to pain doctors, things like that. Thank goodness for the state local law enforcement folks. They were really the ones that really put that type of criminality out there at the forefront. Now, it's really been adopted more. But thankfully, the state and local folks there.
To your question, I really had enjoyed what I was doing at George Washington. At that time, we didn't have high quality distance learning in most places. We're talking about the early to mid-90s. I ended up getting transferred, or assigned to Newark, New Jersey. Took some classes at Rutgers University, or we call it Rutgers, up there in Newark. I liked the program, but it wasn't the same focus. Then came back to Washington, DC, to be able to finish that program at George Washington University, and did. It just so happened that while I was trying to finish that program, that's how I got onboard with the assassination records review board. I’d started the process when I was still in DEA, but the clearance, the security clearance was so high, they had to redo my top secret again, plus, they had to do an SCI to attach to it.
That just took a long time. I was already back in the Washington, DC, area. Thankfully, I was able to get back into George Washington. Got picked up by the review board and that's how I ended up, finally, after meeting people at the assassination board, deciding I wanted to do a PhD. Because a lot of them had PhDs. The person that ran our secret service team had a PhD, the CI team.
[0:07:38] KM: Oh, peer pressure, peer pressure. You just couldn't be outdone.
[0:07:41] DM: But I loved working with them. I said to myself, “You know what? This wasn't on my radar.” Just being a college graduate was going to be a big deal. Then I had this desire to get a masters. Then finally, someone said, “Well, David. Just for yourself, why not try it?” That's reason I finally – I actually went on a journey to pray about it, to be honest with you. Drove in my Jeep Wrangler down to Alabama and Florida for a week and a half and came back and applied and got in to Howard University. When I finally got accepted, I resigned and ended up becoming a consultant doing national security work while I was at Howard.
[0:08:20] KM: A calling. It was a calling.
[0:08:21] DM: It was. It really was.
[0:08:23] KM: I interviewed a nun and she said, when whoever your religious person is you look up to, when you pray about it and it keeps calling and calling and calling, you cannot deny it.
[0:08:34] DM: You can’t deny it.
[0:08:35] KM: Did you take top secret files home with you?
[0:08:38] DM: No. I did not. No.
[0:08:41] GM: How timely.
[0:08:42] DM: No, no.
[0:08:44] KM: Were your parents in law enforcement?
[0:08:46] DM: No. In fact, I grew up – my father left when I was about nine-weeks-old. My mother and my grandmother raised me. My grandmother sold her hair business here in Arkansas and moved up to help my mother raise me in the Washington, DC, area. My mother was not in law enforcement. She was an engineer. She's known as Arkansas’ hidden figure. She's the one that's credited with designing the first US naval ship with a computer.
[0:09:18] KM: And you wrote a book. And you wrote a book. That's your mother?
[0:09:23] DM: That's my mother. Yeah.
[0:09:23] KM: That’s Raye Montague?
[0:09:24] DM: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.
[0:09:29] KM: She's smart like you. You got your smarts from her.
[0:09:31] DM: I got smarts from her. Yeah, I think so.
[0:09:34] KM: Do you know your dad?
[0:09:35] DM: I know him. Yeah.
[0:09:36] KM: Is he smart?
[0:09:36] DM: He died the day before I went to Quantico for basic training.
[0:09:40] KM: What basic training –
[0:09:41] DM: For DEA.
[0:09:42] KM: Oh, okay. Yeah, for DEA.
[0:09:44] DM: Yeah.
[0:09:47] KM: We've already talked about what you did straight out of school. You worked a long time in law enforcement on a federal level. Tell us about that time. Interesting drug investigations?
[0:09:58] DM: It was. I think working for DEA, I was a young person. The money was I thought pretty good. I enjoyed it.
[0:10:06] KM: Did you sit at a desk?
[0:10:08] DM: Part of the time, but you're out in the field a lot, too. I liked it, because I had a lot of control over my schedule. That was important to me. I got a chance to really hone my skills and apply my attention to things in a very detailed way, macro level, or micro level. I also liked it because being an investigator is very – is a lot about collaboration. I like working with other people. I'm a people person. You can probably tell I'm not very shy. Those types of things bode well for someone who does investigation.
[0:10:41] KM: What was most exciting bust you ever did?
[0:10:43] DM: Well, off the top my head, I think an interesting case was a psychiatrist. Had a practice at a hospital in New York. He had another practice in his home. He lived in Brownstone. I think it was in Queens. Then he had another practice in New Jersey, in Newark, where he would come two days a week. At that time, there were not that many states that have what were called prescription monitoring programs. That's where if you go to the doctor and they write you a prescription, take it to the pharmacy. Then the pharmacy would then send a copy of it just for record keeping for types of drugs that are being prescribed, not about the individuals to the state.
New Jersey did not have one of those programs. New York did. He intentionally went to New Jersey to have a practice. Each day, he would go to New Jersey, he was in a retail storefront. He would see between 150 to 200 people in a few hours. Multiple people in an exam room at a time. He did not have any nurses. He only had armed security guards and he had two waiting rooms. One was cash and one was Medicaid. He was selling prescriptions for cash.
[0:11:59] KM: Oh, he was selling prescriptions for cash.
[0:12:01] DM: Yeah. I wanted to say, was there between $30 or $50 of prescription.
[0:12:06] KM: What's the most disappointing outcome of your career that you worked on and worked on and it never came through?
[0:12:12] DM: I really understood and believed that somebody that has a significant amount of education and experience and they know better. They know better than to take advantage of those who have the addiction. We used to say, it's not the same as Joe the crackhead in an alley. This is a person that’s maybe doing this work to earn extra vacation, or whatever they're doing. In case of the example I mentioned here, he had a good practice at a hospital, he had a practice at home as well, and this is a third side business just to get extra cash. For me, I found it very disappointing that the guidelines set up for people convicted of those crimes seem to be very minimal.
[0:12:58] KM: Oh, yeah. White collar crimes.
[0:12:58] DM: Yeah. That really always disappointed me.
[0:13:01] KM: Have they changed it?
[0:13:03] DM: I mean, some things have changed, but I've been out of the business for a little while. I was very disappointed. I would say, in terms of the assassination board, I worked two years with that agency, ’95 to ’97. I went in there with the sole intention of doing my best to try to identify records, try to negotiate transfer, try to help give people a voice to speak on how they felt and why they didn't feel comfortable initially, talking about the assassination. Being able to turn, centralize those things at the National Archives and Records Administration, NARA, or the archives. I don't feel that enough was done to really make sure that all of those things were done very quickly.
[0:13:48] KM: All right. This is a great place to take a break. When we come back, we'll continue our conversation with Dr. David Montague, Professor of Criminal Justice and Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs on the University of Arkansas campus at Little Rock. Still to come, the long-awaited answer to the question, who shot JFK, which we just talked about a little bit. Dr. Montague's opinion on drug crime in America imported and prescription and about some of the books he's authored. For instance, the award-winning book about his mother, Raye Montague, the woman who revolutionized naval engineering. We'll be back after the break.
[0:14:22] GM: You're listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy, a production of flagandbanner.com. Over 40 years ago, with only $400, Kerry founded Arkansas Flag and Banner. During the last four decades, the business has grown and changed, along with Kerry’s experience and leadership knowledge. In 2020, Kerry McCoy Enterprises acquired ourcornermarket.com, an online company specializing in American made plaques, signage and memorials for over 20 years, and more recently opened a satellite office in Miami, Florida. Telling American made stories, selling American made flags, the flagandbanner.com. Back to you, Kerry.
[0:14:59] KM: You’re listening to Up in Your Business with me, Kerry McCoy. I'm speaking today with author, educator, Dr. David Montague, Professor of Criminal Justice, Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. We're about to tell some American made stories. Dr. Montague, your resume says, you served as a senior investigator on the JFK assassination records review board. Tell us all about that. You've been talking a little bit about that. What did you find out? Nothing. Sounds like nothing, because nobody would talk.
[0:15:33] DM: Actually, quite the opposite.
[0:15:34] KM: Oh, good.
[0:15:35] DM: People love to talk about –
[0:15:38] GM: Were they saying anything good.
[0:15:40] DM: Yes.
[0:15:41] KM: Ruby did shoot Oswald. Did Oswald shoot JFK?
[0:15:46] DM: My personal belief, I don't know how – because the official findings of the Warren Commission in the Warren report was that Oswald acted alone as the lone gunman. During the 70s, there was material introduced from audio evidence from one of the Dallas Police motorcycles. The audio evidence indicated that there might be an additional gunman. My takeaway from my time there, I just don't know how Oswald could have done something like that by himself.
There were many people that said that they thought they heard additional shots. Part of the reason that there was another investigation beyond the Warren report was that a lot of people, once the Warren report was released, said that they gave evidence to people, they had photos, they gave statements, they were in Dealey Plaza that's in Dallas, Texas. Dealey Plaza. That those reports, or records did not appear in the official Warren report. A lot of that that we documented in our official findings that are available publicly in the official report that was submitted by the assassination board to President Clinton, who was present at the time. I spoke with a lot of people that said that they had turned over statements and records and photos and that they were not ever put in the official record.
One of the things I think was interesting about the work that we did was we had to look at multiple avenues and multiple angles of this thing, such as multiple Oswald theory. The belief that there were multiple people that were living that life as Oswald, or Oswald-like, if you will, to be able to maintain official records in different places, be able to work in certain patterns or operate in certain patterns. There's still so much controversy about his defection to the Soviet Union and how did he get back in the country, what was going on with him while he was in the Soviet Union.
Oswald left the United States and went to the Soviet Union. Then that's where he met his –became his wife, Marina Oswald. They had a baby. They came back to the United States. That seemed unusual at the time to be able to get your family to be able to come back around the same period of time, what connections might you have? What I'm saying is there were so many different angles connected to the enigma that I call Lee Harvey Oswald in his life. Some question whether he was really just a patsy and not really a gunman at all.
The movie JFK had just come out the year before. Oliver Stone movie. So many people were incensed. He said, “I knew where I was when the president was assassinated. I don't feel that the people have done enough to release the records. I don't want the government telling me what I need to believe about this.” Our mandate was quite simple was to have full unquestioned authority to be able to identify what we determined to be an assassination related record, to be able to go after those records and have full negotiation authority to convert those into records at the National Archives.
[0:19:05] KM: They’re public now.
[0:19:07] DM: Everything that we found is over at the National Archives. There are still some things that have not been released. The access is very limited. For us working at the agency, we just had scan cards and walk right through the doors. For instance, when I arranged us being able to go examine the Zapruder film. I didn't think it was a big deal. We all have full access. The Zapruder film is the one that became so controversial. Abraham Zapruder up on the pergola, up on the steps on the pergola and being able to get help from his assistant, actually, to be able to film, I believe it was 8-millimeter. Then you see the limousine go in front of what's called the – it was on the other side when you read it. It's Stemmons freeway. That's the film where –
[0:19:52] KM: You can't tell which way his head goes.
[0:19:54] DM: Right. If you believe it came from the six – the Book Depository and then it came this way. But if you believe it was another conspiracy, then might have been –
[0:20:03] KM: Which one do you believe?
[0:20:04] DM: I don't think Oswald could have done it by himself. I have interviewed people like James Take, who was at the triple underpass, further down past the
[inaudible 0:20:12]. He said, he was hit by debris and he kept that debris. I interviewed him in 1995. I think there was more than one shooter.
[0:20:25] KM: We're pretty sure then that he was not acting alone. Everybody always thinks that Bobby and him were killed by the mafia.
[0:20:35] DM: That's another angle that was put out there.
[0:20:39] KM: What do you think about that angle?
[0:20:40] DM: I think it's really interesting. My understanding of the of the federal government during that time, was that there was not a public acknowledgement that organized crime was actually real. Quite frankly, I think that was a joke, because everybody knew it was real. We did look at some – It's in our official report. We did look at some people who were known to be connected with organized crime. I did have to travel to some places and look at some records. We do know of certain people that connecting with Castro, anti-Castro Cubans. Rolando Masferrer and the car bombings.
[0:21:21] KM: Do you think Bobby being shot and John being shot are the same two groups that shot him?
[0:21:28] DM: There are several theories regarding the assassination of Bobby Kennedy. We did look through some of those records. I do not know which ones of those have been released, so I can't speak to those. I do know that we did look through some of the Martin Luther King records. I will say, I think, for the for the record, that being a Morehouse College graduate, that's the same college that Martin Luther King graduated. That really became surreal for me to look at records in their true form and be able to say – the same thing with the president. I mean, just imagine being a 28-year-old, sitting in a room at the National Archives, and they bring out the First Lady's pink outfit, the President's suit. They bring out commission exhibit 399. It's known as the magic bullet for your listeners. The rifle, the Mannlicher-Carcano rifle. Then going through and looking at these autopsy photos and X-rays. I’m 28, that's my first week on the job. I'm like, “Whoa, this is the president the United States’ brain, the brain of record.” I don't know if that was –
[0:22:34] KM: I bet that was surreal.
[0:22:36] GM: That is surreal.
[0:22:37] KM: Gray, you're going to say something.
[0:22:38] GM: I’m just going to say, that's also nuts. For the listeners, mom's about to jump out of her seat, wanting to know who killed JFK. My takeaway is that your job during this whole process was really just to find the pieces of the puzzle. It was not really to solve the puzzle, necessarily.
[0:22:53] DM: Right. Just for your listeners, we had – in terms of our structure, I ran the investigations team after Anne Buttimer, who was my colleague, left. We had other teams. We had a CIA team, we had a FBI team, forensics, military, Secret Service. We would all work together. Something would come to our attention, or something we wanted to try to clear up a controversy that was out there in what we call assassination lore, and be able to try to find records of those things. We were fully authorized to do so. It's also important for the listeners to understand that we did have to keep safety concerns in mind. There had been hundreds of people that have mysterious things happen in their connection with the assassination.
[0:23:42] KM: Really?
[0:23:43] DM: Oh, yeah.
[0:23:43] KM: Like what?
[0:23:45] DM: I mean, there are a lot of people that were called to testify in the 70s.
[0:23:49] KM: They jumped out of windows.
[0:23:51] DM: Well, they had heart attacks, or car accidents were very – There's a really good book. I believe, the guy's name is Craig Johnson. It's dated. It's an older book now. He actually did a pull a pie chart that actually showed the type of death. We went out to Los Angeles, and we sent him a letter to interview him, and he was found four days later, dead in his apartment in Los Angeles. The point is that I think the mandate was very important to –
[0:24:17] KM: You killed that man.
[0:24:20] GM: Mom.
[0:24:21] DM: For our structure, because you asked about the, what were some of the difficulties, I mean, think of the complexity it took from an investigative standpoint. If I'm going out in the field and to your point, I'm not trying to solve it. I'm trying to go out and work with my colleagues on these other teams, be able to do – now you have Google, but a lot of what I was trained to do in terms of intelligence gathering, some people call it skip tracing. If that 400 Craig Johnsons, from Craig F. Johnsons, there could be 400 in the United States that are alive right now. Maybe 40 of them are in that region of the country. I'd have to go deeper and deeper, deeper. I was trained to do that. I would identify the person from assassination lore, verified, stamped. Usually, I'd reach out, have a conversation. Let them know it's not a joke. This is real. We're really a federal agency.
[0:25:17] KM: We'll be there in four days and you're going to be dead –
[0:25:19] DM: No, no. They convinced them to talk to us.
[0:25:23] KM: It would have to be Russia to be able to kill so many people and not get caught.
[0:25:28] GM: They're falling out of windows all the time over there.
[0:25:29] KM: That's what I mean. Sorry. All right, we’ve got to take a break. We got to get off this subject. We got a lot more to cover. All right, we come back, we'll continue our conversation with Dr. David Montague, Professor of Criminal Justice and Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at the University of Arkansas on the Little Rock Campus. Still to come, I want to ask about fentanyl, why some pills kill you and why they don't. I want to understand the psyche of criminals and why we all love crime shows so much. I want to ask you about the Idaho four, you know what I'm talking about, those college kids. We'll be back in just a minute.
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[0:26:27] KM: You're listening to Up in Your Business with me, Kerry McCoy, and I'm speaking today with author, educator, Dr. David Montague, Professor of Criminal Justice and Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs on the University of Arkansas campus at Little Rock. Before the break, we talked about who killed JFK. If you missed it, you've got to go back and listen, although we didn't ever solve the problem, because Dr. Montague is very closed mouth, but I think he knows. You just want to tell us, because he works for the man.
[0:26:54] DM: Sure.
[0:26:55] KM: That's why he gets that job with the all-access pass, because he can be trusted. Let's talk about fentanyl, the pill. It was legally produced for pain.
[0:27:07] DM: I'm not that familiar with fentanyl the pill. Back when I was doing cases, we had patches. Any anytime we’re talking about any controlled substance, how it's used, it can be easily abused. Just even with aspirin and analgesic. Take 13 of them, you have a problem, right?
[0:27:24] KM: Right. A liver problem. Are the pills coming in from Mexico? Do you have an opinion about where are all these pills coming from that the kids are getting? They're not manufactured in the states, are they?
[0:27:36] DM: I can't speak to what you're talking about, which is a counterfeit drugs.
[0:27:40] KM: Counterfeit drugs.
[0:27:42] DM: That has been an issue for quite some time. I used to belong to an organization called the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, NADDI. I, for one, am one of those people that was responsible for being part of the regulated chain of drugs, is what it's called. That's where you have an import-export, potentially, if the raw material could be raw pseudoephedrine, it comes in from maybe China, or some other country. Comes in, it's in a big barrel. Then it goes, it's imported to a company, an American company. It's gone through all the proper taxing stamps, all that stuff. Everything's legitimate. Then you have to turn that from a powder, or crystal form into actual pills, or tablets.
There's a manufacturing process associated with that. That can be examined by investigators. We used to look for what's called theoretical assays of how many pills should you yield from that raw – from that original barrel. That's one of the ways you can tell like, are things okay or not. You know that there's only a certain amount of pills, or tablets that can be produced by X company in a given year. The markings, they call that drug ballistics that are on the pills or tablets, you'll see little stamps, numbers, indentations. Those things are there for a reason. They're there to let you know of the purity, the quality, that that's the actual thing that your doctor prescribed, or the generic.
If you look on the pill bottle, you'll see a description. You can easily go online and look for information to know whether what you're taking is real. However, it is important for listeners to know that for a very, very long time, there have been a lot of people in other countries and in our country that are producing counterfeit drugs. That's not a secret. What I saw when I went to the NADDI conference years ago, they had some teenagers that were on the stage and they were all in drug rehab programs. Most of them just acknowledged that their assumption is if they buy it off the internet, that it must be real. They believe, if it's on the internet, someone must have checked things, regulated things. That's not true.
[0:29:53] GM: I feel like, that's the opposite of true. Never trust the internet.
[0:29:58] DM: Well, I think that people become savvier now, but –
[0:30:01] KM: Back then.
[0:30:02] DM: If you think about the impact of people that don't have health insurance, and are going out to try to find a lower cost of the same drug, they don't know if it's counterfeit or not.
[0:30:10] KM: That's not what's killing the kids. They're buying that fentanyl pills on the street, I guess. I don't know.
[0:30:17] DM: I mean, if you think about a regular illegal drug that's cut, or mixed with something, like cocaine, you don't know what it's been cut with. I remember, we did an investigation once when I was in Newark, New Jersey, and we had to go and audit a manufacturer that produced cocaine hydrochloride for surgical. Now that was 97% pure.
[0:30:46] KM: Did you steal some? No, I’m just kidding.
[0:30:47] DM: On the street. Of course, if I had stuck my finger in it, it would have killed me, if I had a cut on my finger.
[0:30:51] KM: Are you serious?
[0:30:52] DM: Yeah. When you're dealing with something that you buy on the street, you don't know what it's mixed with, or what. The same thing with buying the prescription medication. Just because you buy a pill on the street, doesn't mean –
[0:31:05] KM: Do you think drug commerce is helping, or hurting our economy?
[0:31:09] DM: I think drug commerce is actually very helpful. David Montague’s personal opinion, I do think the pricing of drugs needs to be looked at. I think that you want companies to be able to make money and you think of the – at the same time, you think of the number of folks that just, if they are fortunate enough to have access to healthcare, to be able to get their hands on medication that they need. I have been in pharmacies where the person in front of me, and we’ll just say, “No, I can't afford to get that one. I'll have to –” Because it’s $300 for them, or $500.
[0:31:43] KM: You do so much social work for so many things. Are you going to start getting on that board to try to fix all the drug problems? You're so smart, I think you could fix it all.
[0:31:52] DM: Well, thank you for the compliment. I was fortunate enough to be asked to testify twice for two different drug bills that were being considered to create a prescription monitoring program here in Arkansas. Actually, that prescription monitoring programs, that was the topic of my doctoral dissertation.
[0:32:11] KM: You've written numerous publications, one, as a co-author of the travesty of justice, the politics of crack, cocaine and the dilemma of the Congressional Black Caucus. What is the dilemma of the Congressional Black Caucus?
[0:32:25] DM: Well, it speaks to the 1980s. At that time, crack was a huge thing. Huge. Len Bias, who was a college basketball player with College Park, University of Maryland, College Park, he had just gotten signed on to join the Boston Celtics. He went out and he overdosed and died, but he died of powder cocaine. What happened in Congress, because there have been numerous attempts to get increased emphasis on drug penalties on the floor of – in their Congress, they basically said, we need to do something because Len Bias has died and we need to do something about the scourge of crack cocaine. But he didn't die of a crack cocaine overdose.
What came out, because there were at that time, attempts to try to say, okay, should the difference between how you federally criminalize powder cocaine to crack cocaine, should you make it for every packet of crack cocaine, should you have to have one powder cocaine, or should you federally, to get the same sense, or should you have five? These people in Congress is going out, amounts, without any real science behind it. The result came out that they federal disparity of a 100 to one. You would need a 100 times as much powder cocaine to get the same sentences of one packet of crack cocaine. If you think of it packets like that.
[0:34:01] KM: Oh, that is odd.
[0:34:02] DM: Which didn’t make any sense at all.
[0:34:03] KM: Well, that's because those rich people were using cocaine, so they didn't want –
[0:34:05] DM: The powder cocaine. Well, and to add insult to injury, the head of the US Sentencing Commission at the time even testified and said, “This doesn't make any sense. You're going to be putting people in prison for decades.”
[0:34:16] KM: How long did that stayed?
[0:34:18] DM: Oh, it changed when Obama was president.
[0:34:20] KM: Wow, that's a long time.
[0:34:21] DM: He changed it to 18 to 1.
[0:34:23] KM: If you were poor and used crack, you went to jail for a long time. If you were rich and used cocaine, you –
[0:34:27] DM: Powder cocaine. Yeah.
[0:34:29] KM: Okay. I got it. All right, this is my favorite book I want to talk about. Overnight Code: The life of – this is your mother. The life of Raye Montague, the Woman Who Revolutionized Naval Engineering. This book was featured on Good Morning America and received the 2022 Georgia Author of the Year Award for a biography. This book is good. It's got national recognition. Tell us about it.
[0:34:52] DM: My mother, really had been raised in the – she called it the child of the deep south. She had my grandmother who was from Pine Bluff, Noble Lake area. Told my mother growing up that she had three strikes against her. She was an African-American. She was a girl, and from the segregated south. There are a lot of stereotypes about what a southern education and just coming from the south meant to people who are outside the south. That she should recognize that and understand that that doesn't have to limit her and that she would need to prepare herself. My mother grew up around a lot of strong women. She was on Good Morning America and being recognized as Arkansas’ hidden figure.
[0:35:40] KM: Who was? Your mother?
[0:35:41] DM: Yeah. In 2017. We all went up there and Janelle Monae from the movie Hidden Figures was there. Michael Strahan and Robert Rock. Oh, yeah, of course, my mom was trying to flirt with Michael Strahan and on –
[0:35:56] KM: Good girl. Good girl.
[0:35:58] DM: My wife and my now college student was with us. Actually, Good Morning America sent a limo down here to Arkansas. My mother couldn't fly at the time. Drove us up there.
[0:36:10] KM: No way.
[0:36:11] DM: The reason I bring it up is because after that Good Morning America debut, we got a call from a literary agent in New York. She called and said, “I saw you on TV. Has your mom ever thought about a book about her?” I put my mom on the phone and said, “Hey, very interested.” My mother had been asked many times by people, you should do a book. In my mother's mind, it was about her career. She not only developed the first naval ship with a computer, she went on to become the first woman to be program manager of ships, which is like a CEO of a company.
At one point, she was in charge of all computers for the Navy. She was the first woman on Numerical Control Society Board of Directors. That's the technology that builds your headset, your phone, your computer, stuff. She's like a grandmother at the computer age, if you think of it that way. When she went into hospice, one of the things I promised her was that I would finish the book. We did.
[0:37:10] KM: She’s gone.
[0:37:12] DM: She passed in 2018. We have all of her papers in a collection through UALR at the Center for Arkansas history and culture here in Little Rock. Some students have been able to go and do –
[0:37:23] DM: I know. I mean that's the whole purpose. I remember, one of the things that she said, was her goal and agreeing to do the book was that she knew her health was declining. She just loved going out and doing public speaking. It hurt her, because it was harder and harder every single time to recover. She physically was drained.
[0:37:44] KM: She want to pay forward her knowledge.
[0:37:45] DM: Her life force. Yeah.
[0:37:46] KM: She wanted to pay forward what she'd learned.
[0:37:48] GM: That's why this radio show exists.
[0:37:49] DM: That's right.
[0:37:52] KM: All right. Let's take our last break. When we come back, we'll continue our conversation with the interesting and very curious, Dr. David Montague, Professor of Criminal Justice and Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs on the University of Arkansas campus at Little Rock, and Raye Montague’s son, because she's very important. The woman who revolutionized naval engineering. We'll be back.
[0:38:15] ANNOUNCER: We want to take just a second to thank everybody who helped make Dancing into Dreamland is such a huge success this year. Great crowd, great performers, great judges. Matter of fact, listen to this quote from new Dancing into Dreamland judge, actress Joey Lauren Adams, “A man actually proposed to his fiancée on the dance floor after finishing up their routine.” She said, “Thank you for letting us all share in your dream tonight.” It was our dream to put on another Dancing into Dreamland. We'll be back again next year. Thank you.
[0:38:45] KM: You're listening to Up in Your Business with me, Kerry McCoy. I'm speaking today with author, educator, Dr. David Montague, Professor of Criminal Justice and Associate Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock, Arkansas. Before this last break, at the beginning, we talked about who shot JFK, because Dr. Montague served on that review board. Then we talked about his mother who is – was the first woman to revolutionize naval engineering.
I have noticed that I thought was interesting is that most of the computer people that I hire that go to school for computers, they're good, don't get me wrong, but the ones that are self-taught, they have a passion for it and they're really, really good. Now, we're going to talk about what he's doing now for seniors, crime against seniors. What are you working on? Aren't you responsible for founding the University of Arkansas Little Rock Senior Justice Center to promote service and research on crime against older people? Is that a real problem, or is it just cyber?
[0:39:46] DM: Well, I would say, it runs the gamut, just like other types of criminality. When you talk about Garrow criminology is another way –
[0:39:54] KM: What is it?
[0:39:55] DM: Garrow criminology, with the G. Garrow criminology. There are scholars that are looking at that and what it means. There are some people that think it might just do with Medicare fraud, or Medicaid.
[0:40:08] KM: That's what I would think. Yeah.
[0:40:09] DM: But a lot of it has to do with physical assault. Has to do with taking of pills. Sometimes it may be family members that are taking the pills from grandma's medicine cabinet, people that are fraud in terms of Medicare fraud in terms of the companies that will go in and try to get you to give them their information. For instance, we did a project out in the Delta. We met some seniors and said, “Oh, just last week, this company, such as such company, came out and said, if we give them our names and bank account numbers, they'll give us free orthopedic shoes every month for a year, and they brought pizza and Coca-Cola.” There's some people that they grew up trusting. They leave the doors unlocked at home. They leave their car doors unlocked.”
[0:41:02] KM: Still?
[0:41:02] GM: Especially in small towns.
[0:41:04] DM: Yeah. A lot of what we did when we created the Senior Justice Center, was to literally go out and talk to senior groups, talking about –
[0:41:13] KM: Educate.
[0:41:14] DM: Yeah. Like, Life Quest of Arkansas is a great one out in West Little Rock, at Second Presbyterian Church. I used to serve on their board out there. They have these classes. We would go out and talk and bring students, too, and talk about what are some things you could do at home. Don't open the door to say hello. You talk through the door. Here's the other part that I think is important, we would also go out and train people who were medical professionals and other types of professionals that worked with seniors, to make sure they understood the signs. We would talk to people who had – and I dealt with this when my mother was in assisted living. I lived through it, making sure that little tips, like making sure you show up at all times of the night at the facility, so that – Don’t ever have a set pattern.
[0:42:05] KM: So, you can see what they’re doing, and all than not.
[0:42:05] DM: See what they're doing. Yeah, yeah.
[0:42:08] KM: If you had a daughter that was out there running around, she's social, she's collegeized, what would you tell her?
[0:42:12] DM: Well, obviously, the being careful on social media and define – helping to try to define what that means. That changes, too. Understanding the importance of where data online go, and that in many ways, they never disappear. That depending on what you're doing online, that that can show up in your job search and what you're posting out there. Putting information about, like tagging yourself if you're going to go on a trip somewhere, don't put all these photos out there while you're on the trip and telling you’re not at home.
[0:42:47] KM: Right. Hey, I’m leaving town. Come rob my house.
[0:42:49] DM: Yeah. Again, I think that's a great question. Because when you're talking to younger people, or any group that's different from your own particular demographic, it's important often to try to get other people that understand, that do have experienced, more experience with them to be able to help share, or say that same message to them. If I go to a school, like I speak in a lot of high schools, if you're giving a message, if you're providing materials, if other people are still conveying the same message, because somebody might look at someone just comes in, bunch of degrees and think that I just think I'm some kind of know it all, but if they're also hearing other people share their stories. After I'm gone, they're given material and say, “Here's what Dr. Montague was talking about, or here's an assignment.”
I see that happening even at the grade school level, because we've done a lot of virtual talks with students about all types of things. I just say, I cannot say enough about the – especially with the pandemic, the ingenuity of the teachers, K through 12 and higher ed –
[0:43:54] KM: Online learning.
[0:43:55] DM: To try to learn how to reach their students, not only about the academic part, but about the socialization part as well. I just think that's something that's really not mentioned enough, but I think it's very – As an educator, I think that's something very real.
[0:44:09] KM: Oh, thank you for giving a shout out to teachers. God loves all of them. What are your thoughts of the Idaho four? That guy was a criminal science major. Now that you're a teacher that teaches criminal science, so do you look at some of your kids and go, “You're a criminal. Or, you're crazy and you need to get out of here and don't graduate.”
[0:44:26] GM: Start profiling.
[0:44:27] KM: Are you profiling your students? I would be.
[0:44:30] DM: Well, I think that examples of that – Unfortunately, for everyone that's watching this, or listening, knows that the number of violent incidents in general, but especially shootings, mass shootings, is just ridiculous.
[0:44:47] KM: Ridiculous.
[0:44:47] DM: It's just ridiculous. It's on the rise. I think what it means is this –
[0:44:52] KM: This is stabbing, though. They were stabbed. What does that mean, Mr. Criminologist?
[0:44:57] DM: What I thought was important about that, is that I think what it means is we all need to try to understand to be aware, situationally aware. That goes back to your other question before, but what would I tell my child? Being situationally aware is something that most people don't want to think about. If you think about, I'm in the safety of the mall, or I'm in the safety of this church group, or I'm in the safety of my school, or some people don't want to feel like they need to even think about their surroundings and things of that nature. Doesn't mean you have to be paranoid.
[0:45:33] KM: They were safety in their house.
[0:45:35] DM: Yeah, yeah. I mean, there needs to be – I think, for instance, if I were a student living somewhere with others, we have to have some discussion about what are we doing as a group in terms of locking the doors? Making sure we're doing – and I'm not faulting anybody for anything. But I'm saying, those discussions and how to deal with those scenarios, just like in K through 12, they're doing these drills on how to deal with these scenarios. Whether it's a gun, whether it's a knife, whether – A knife is a very up close and personal thing, too.
[0:46:12] KM: That’s what I’m asking you, Dr. Criminology. What was the deal with the knife and only four out of the six people were killed? What's your thoughts on that? I know you thought something.
[0:46:21] DM: Well, I don't want to put my personal thoughts about that.
[0:46:23] KM: Yeah, we do. Yeah, we want you to.
[0:46:26] DM: I want to see what the evidence brings.
[0:46:29] KM: They’re being so closed mouth about the evidence, too. You think he did it?
[0:46:33] DM: I think that in whenever there's an ongoing investigation and looking through records and material, it's very important to really give those involved the agency they need to be able to do a thorough job of that. I certainly would not want to potentially taint what they're doing.
[0:46:52] KM: All right, last question, then we're going. I know, I dragged this out a long time. All right. Humans are so fascinated with crime shows. I mean, how many crime shows are on TV? If my husband watches one more crime show where they stab people and kill people, I'm just going to kill myself, and I just can't watch it.
[0:47:09] DM: I mean, speaking of – if I can say, speaking to TV shows, I remember when I was with the assassination board that the hot show at the time was The X Files. People ask me and I would always say, my life is like The X Files every day.
[0:47:21] KM: That was going to be my question. Are any of them like that? Is the X Files right?
[0:47:28] DM: I mean, I would just say, I dealt with some very – Me and my colleagues and I dealt with some very strange circumstances during the time. At least my time during the assassination board. I can definitely say that that was one of the most interesting positions of experiences I've ever had in my life.
[0:47:44] KM: What do you watch now?
[0:47:47] DM: I watch some reality shows. I watch game shows.
[0:47:49] KM: No, no. Crime shows. No crime shows?
[0:47:53] DM: Oh, I've watched Law and Order. I watch Law and Order.
[0:47:54] KM: Everybody watches Law and Order.
[0:47:55] GM: Really? It's funny.
[0:47:57] DM: I watch Law and Order.
[0:47:58] GM: Just like everybody else.
[0:48:01] DM: I’m not that special.
[0:48:03] KM: Yeah, you are. Is it kind of true, Law and Order? Is it true a little bit?
[0:48:09] DM: The complexity of the – Oh, my gosh. Yes. There's so much complexity out there. I mean, one thing that's not true is the belief that – I forgot what show it used to be. Maybe CSI, one of those, where it just seemed to the viewer that they automatically get DNA evidence immediately in this fancy computer. Nobody's rolling around in the fancy Hummer. Maybe there are a few out there, but they're very few in terms of doing that work.
There have actually been some news articles. I think one was called the CSI effect. That's talking about the problem, because some juries, people sitting on juries, not knowing the realities of a real civil, or criminal investigation just assume that what they see on TV is actually real. That it's so easy. If you don't have all these meticulous records with so much information, and why did it take so long.
[0:49:05] KM: Is DNA not dependable?
[0:49:07] DM: I think DNA is dependable. I think some of the question that some people – what I'm getting at is that, some people might believe, unfortunately, that it's just a very straightforward process to be able to just –
[0:49:20] GM: You get one piece of evidence and everything ties up in a nice little bow at the end.
[0:49:23] DM: There's enough resources to just automatically test every single thing right away.
[0:49:27] KM: Oh, resources.
[0:49:31] DM: If that doesn't happen right away, if it took an extra few days, or weeks, do they somehow question the validity of what was done. I think that's unfortunate. When you're talking about doing any type of work, even right out pandemic, you can't find people to work. Jobs, it’s hard. Just the same thing for every type of organization, including law.
[0:49:52] KM: If you’re on a jury, just give him a break and give them some time to collect all the information. That's what we need to do with the Idaho four, is just give them some time to collect information. Well, I am curious. I'm very curious. Anyway, I had –
[0:50:07] GM: More unanswered questions.
[0:50:08] DM: And flags.
[0:50:10] KM: These are for you. This is your – Thank you, Dr. Montague, for coming on. These are your flags. I tried to figure out every place you've ever lived and you've lived a lot. There's Arkansas. There's Maryland.
[0:50:21] DM: Yeah.
[0:50:21] KM: There's DC.
[0:50:23] DM: Yeah.
[0:50:23] KM: This is New Jersey.
[0:50:25] DM: Yes. Oh.
[0:50:26] KM: Did I get them all?
[0:50:27] DM: Yes, you did. Oh, my God. Thank you so much. Wow. Okay, this means a lot. Oh, my goodness.
[0:50:34] KM: It’s going to look great on your desk at the college.
[0:50:36] DM: Oh, you know what? It's so funny, that I'm in the office of the provost. The Executive Vice Chancellor in Provost for the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. I have so much memorabilia of law enforcement stuff. People come in office and say, “Well, it’s like a museum in here.” I would proudly display this, because it has – I came to visit Flag and Banner as a child.
[0:50:57] KM: Oh, yeah. Tell everybody our story.
[0:50:59] DM: I remember being so impressed. I believe, I was with my great uncle Jones. I don't have any actual aunts or uncles, because my mother was an only and my father was an only so. I would come to Arkansas and I remember, we used to go to hog man's hog pen. We used to go to Flag and Banner. I forgot exactly what we were looking for specifically, but I remember being with my mother that day. When I saw the invite for this, I was just blown away. I said, “Oh, my God. That's where I went as a child.” To give this as a as a memento, you have no idea how much this means to me. Thank you very much.
[0:51:37] KM: Thank you for telling me that story.
[0:51:39] GM: It’s awesome. You need to come back now.
[0:51:40] DM: I love it. New Jersey.
[0:51:42] GM: We've done a lot of good work renovating a lot of that building and restoring a lot of that historic ballroom on top. You need to come see it. We'll give you a tour.
[0:51:49] DM: I would love that.
[0:51:50] KM: Yes. You got my email, my cellphone. Call me. Thank you, David.
[0:51:54] DM: Thank you.
[0:51:55] KM: I've loved it. In closing to our listeners, thank you for spending time with us. We hope you've heard, or learned something that's very inspiring, or enlightening and that it, whatever it is will help you up your life, your independence, or your business. I'm Kerry McCoy and I'll see you next time on Up in Your Business. Until then, be brave and keep it up.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
[0:52:14] GM: You've been listening to Up in Your Business with Kerry McCoy. For links to resources you heard discussed on today's show, go to flagandbanner.com, select radio show and choose today's guest. If you'd like to sponsor this show, or any show, email me, Gray. That's email@example.com. All interviews are recorded and posted the following week. Stay informed of exciting upcoming guests by subscribing to our YouTube channel, or podcast wherever you like to listen. Kerry's goal is simple, to help you live the American dream.