Homeless Man Slain in Edmond, Oklahoma

One More Time: One city in America, and another man gone, Dwite A. Morgan.

His name was “Bicycle Bob” to those who saw, retreated or greeted him on the streets of town. He was tall and slender, quiet and no trouble-maker. Ever.

Funeral plans are currently being finalized for the long-term homeless gentleman known to this community as Bicycle Bob. His real name was Dwight Morgan, though most of the townspeople did not know that even though he lived on city streets for over twenty-five years.

Donations for his funeral and burial were quickly gathered, and the collection for monetary charity was quickly ended as the community members and businesses garnered a sufficient sum in less than three days.

Mr. Bob did own his personal burial plot in a local cemetery. A city mortuary and a church have offered their services for these last respectful responsibilities to be properly accomplished for Mr. Bob.

Mr. Bicycle Bob was known in Edmond because he was the first homeless man to take up permanent residence here when the city was several thousand residents fewer. Others had come for a while and then went their solitary unknown way. But through the many years, Mr. Bob was seen often times riding his bicycle pulling an old lawnmower which he used for small jobs to earn his meals. Then that was stolen. His bicycle was replaced by helpful friends more than once, for someone either stole it for use or as a repeated prank. For the last few years Mr. Bob mainly walked.

He would be seen in south Edmond for several days, then would be found in northeast areas. For a short time he slept in a small old abandoned house out east of town, but someone complained and he was told to leave that situation. Which he always did – leave the area if someone complained about his presence.

In recent years he seemed to spend a lot of time in northwestern Edmond where new businesses had been built. One was a McDonald’s where he often bought coffee – and sometimes enjoyed a meal from a compassionate onlooker. He could many times be seen counting and re-counting his pennies spread out on the table; maybe forty or fifty cents at a time. He gathered cans to sell for the pennies it brought. In winter cold, he could be warm inside and gain bodily warmth before entering the cold again.

Summertime is quite different than the cold of winter.
Summertime is quite different than the cold of winter.

Community tried to help, tried to change Bicycle Bob.

One wintertime, a long time ago, I went to a local Grandy’s restaurant for late breakfast, and there was Bicycle Bob sitting at a small table with his pennies outspread and sipping on a cup of coffee. It was difficult for me to be hungry, to eat, as I felt such sorrow for him. When I left I asked the cashier if he had eaten and she replied that he had. I then paid for a full meal for future use for him with her reassurance that it would be used and appreciated. She also said that the restaurant would many times give him food for no cost. That seemed to be a repeated response to Mr. Bob’s need by several businesses in the area. Though he was not a communicative person, he was never rude or loud nor ever made any trouble.

Charlotte Worsham, owner of Around the Corner restaurant, a long established business here, said she fed him sausage, biscuits and gravy for several recent years. Mr. Bob also took advantage of a free breakfast offered locally by the First Christian Church, and I have known of others who would anonymously buy him a meal ‘in advance’.

The local police department officers were familiar with Bicycle Bob and friendly to him, buying him a hamburger or offering him water, for he never ever caused a problem. Craig Cossey, manager of Al’s Bicycle Shop befriended Bicycle Bob and helped him with any bicycle problems that occurred. He allowed Mr. Bob to visit a lot – in the winter – in his shop, for warmth. Mr. Bob did not prefer to live in a house or apartment though community members would try to assist him in this.

According to news reports, on Sunday, October 18, 2009, Dwight Morgan’s body was found near his bedding in central Edmond. There was blunt force trauma and stab wounds to the body, according to police reports.

His murder has resulted in the arrest of another homeless man.

Mr. Bicycle Bob, Dwite Morgan was 54.

Homelessness is a tragic problem for all of us.

An Addendum.

There are many known mentally unhealthy persons living on the streets of our cities and towns. How could we have helped them 54 years ago? Or 25? Or 3? Yes, some are dangerous to provoke to violence, or may have other significant cautionary health and social issues. But not all. Our ‘system’ has failed its purpose, failed the Bicycle Bobs of our world.

But within that tragic failure, there must be a few ‘points of light’ that shine, and that is something to be continued and appreciated. And in REMEMBERING, ACT!

Over five-hundred-thousand people are considered homeless in American statistics provided by Granruth and Smith, 1996. Of these about sixty percent are single men. About seventy percent of the homeless peoples live in urban areas with unknown accurate figures for rural homeless persons. Beyond Shelter and National Alliance to End Homelessness are two organizations that battle the poverty, danger and deprivation of the homeless. The National Coalition for the Homeless engages in advocacy and education projects also.

The Community Responds

A funeral service was held at First Christian Church in Edmond, Oklahoma with about 350 community members attending and many sharing their stories of Dwite (spelling corrected) Morgan. The local donations for final expenses exceeded costs and monies above that needed will be donated to local charities.

The Rev. Kyle Maxwell, Executive Director of Oklahoma Disciples Foundation, spoke of Dwite. . He stated publicly that "Dwite was an integral part of the community." Described as a humble person, Bicycle Bob reminded us all to live in a humble manner. Rev. Chris Shorow, senior pastor at First Christian Church officiated the honoring service for Mr. Morgan. Associate pastor, Rev. Jerry Black, said, "Dwite Morgan reminded us that we are a community. He gave us a reason to reach out as a community. For that, we are in his debit.: (Quoted from The Edmond Sun newspaper, October 21,2009 issue.)

Edmond Police officers were pallbearers for Mr. Morgan's final journey. A headstone is currently being created for Dwite and will exhibit a bicycle along with his nickname. The Warren Monument Company of Guthrie is donating the headstone. Dwite is buried beside his grandmother in Gracelawn Cemetery.

In spite of his mental illness, Dwite left his gentle mark on many people, and will remain a reminder that all peoples are important, different, and to be respected.

Memorial news respecting Dwite Morgan - Bicycle Bob - may be found on Facebook, www.facebook.com/ DwiteAMorgan.

Bicycle Bob would often walk along pushing his bike.  He always wore a jacket even in hot weather, and would carry discarded cans or other small items in a bag on his bike. I know stories of those who discreetly dropped coins near where he parked so
Bicycle Bob would often walk along pushing his bike. He always wore a jacket even in hot weather, and would carry discarded cans or other small items in a bag on his bike. I know stories of those who discreetly dropped coins near where he parked so

Update: December 16, 2009

Three homeless persons, two males and one female, all age nineteen were arrested and charged in the murder of Dwite Morgan. One male, Mason, has admitted the murder of Mr. Morgan. He had previously told of the murder to friends. The initial person arrested was released when his taped confession was reviewed by police officials and revealed he was not the actual murderer.

Update: October 18, 2011.

I noted the date of Bob's death was October 18 when I reviewed the hub for this update. In the Daily Oklahoman of October 18, 2011, there is an article: Trial is postponed in Bicycle Bob case."

A knife believed to be the murder weapon has been recovered by the Edmond police. Trial had been set to begin next week, but has been postponed to February 27, 2012 so testing can be accomplished on this new evidence.

Addendum: The accused also homeless man has previously admitted and bragged about performing this murder 'for the thrill of killing'. Two friends told police that Mason had showed them a finger of Bob's that he had cut off after murdering him, bragging of his thrill killing.

Update: 1-14-2012

Photo by David McDaniel, the Daily Oklahoman
Photo by David McDaniel, the Daily Oklahoman | Source
Picture of the article in newspaper.
Picture of the article in newspaper. | Source
Picture of the article continued, in newspaper.
Picture of the article continued, in newspaper. | Source

Update 12-22-12; admitted killer receives life sentence with possibility of parole. Expected to serve at least 38 years.

Source

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Comments 42 comments

"Quill" 7 years ago

Thanks for sharing this story of Bicycle Bob...sounds as though the community has really stepped up for him. Wonderful story, maybe one that will open our own eyes as to the need in all of our communities.

Several years ago in the Yukon in Northern Canada I did a series for a local publication called "The Colorful 5%", it turned into something wonderful as we learned more of the homeless, The community certainly come together to help where they could.

God Bless you Frogyfish for doing this Hub.

Blessings


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Quill, thank you for your kind attitude and comment on the truth of this hub.

There is such ongoing need, sometimes overwhelming, but each of us can be that 'point of light' to someone, sometime. Blessings upon you also, Quill.


coffeesnob 7 years ago

Frogyfish thanks for your wonderful heart for the homeless. I am sure Bicylce Bob will be missed as it seems he had acquired a family of sorts.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

This is a very touching story! I'm happy that your community has sort of "adopted" Bicycle Bob. I'm sure he is looking down at all of you with a smile in his face.

God bless!


anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 7 years ago

You've put a face on homeless people. Many times, they are perceived as useless and lazy but if their personal stories were told, maybe, they will be viewed differently. Bicycle Bob must have a reason to live the way he did.

Thanks for sharing.


GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 7 years ago from California

Like you I care about these people who are homeless. Like in my hub "Margie is Homeless" about a child. The homeless children will be very cold soon. Thank you for this hub and spreading the word. I hope people will reach out even more then they do now. This is a really sad story and there are so many others. I included another VERY good homeless hub by hubber "Useful Knowledge" on my hub "Hubs That Keep On Giving." All the best, GPAGE


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America Author

coffeeshob, jillofalltrades, anglnwu, GPAGE, your response is caring, realistic and understanding of the plight of so very many hopeless people. Thank you for commenting and for caring too!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America Author

GPage I just read your Margie hub and wanted to say thanks again for caring and ACTING! Bless you!


ethel smith profile image

ethel smith 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

Its good to hear that the community cared. I did a charity walk for Shelter in the UK back in 1968. Its so sad that all these years later some people struggle so much.


stars439 profile image

stars439 6 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Very nice account of Mr. Bob. Excellent hub. God Bless


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

stars439, thank you for commenting on hub. It holds memory that will never be erased - and a reminder to never stop putting our caring words into action! Best wishes to you!


SwiftlyClean profile image

SwiftlyClean 6 years ago from Texas

Mr Bob was a very important residence in your city,Because it show thur life who was the good samartians in giving to him,Today he is giving God his report.God Bless!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

SwiftlyClean, I like your name - bet it portrays who you really are! :-)

There are many Mr. Bobs left in our world, and we need to reach out whenever we are able, in whatever way possible.

Thank you for your comment!


festersporling1 profile image

festersporling1 6 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Anyone who would slay a homeless man, much less cause trouble to people already suffering this unimaginable horror is truly a sick, sick soul.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

I agree festersporling1. In fact as an update, there are now two homeless males charged with Bob's murder - and it was done as a 'thrill to kill', per their statement. Sad, yes. And utterly SICK- beyond mental illness in my opinion.


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 6 years ago from Michigan

frogy, what a touching tribute to bicycle Bob. It breaks my heart to think of anyone being homeless. We do not have homeless people in our area. A hub friend wrote an awesome article in an effort to help a very worthy Servant of God who is trying to get Vet's off the streets and into some type of shelter. Here is her hub .. http://hubpages.com/hub/Dear-world-I-cried-out-for... I took up the challenge ... so hoping others will as well.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

I agree Mekenzie, with your thoughts. I will have to check out that hub you've given. Thank you very much.


Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

Ghost Whisper 77 6 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

Awwwwwwwwwwwww! This is just terrible!!!! Awwwwwwwww!

How nice that the community loved him so very much--taking care of his meals. I will truly never in my heart understand why people kill each other--NEVER! And to kill someone who is weak-innocent-harmless-homeless just makes me that much more confused down here! Why do people kill each other?????? It truly frustrates and upsets me greatly!!!! To take another's life-their breath-their living body--for what??? Evil at it's best here.

Thank goodness for God--who is there for them when this happens...thank goodness for God...so terrible.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Ghost Whisper 77, I agree with all your words! Even more so when it has been reported now that 'it was a thrill killing'.

Pitiful and horrendous!


Cathi Sutton profile image

Cathi Sutton 6 years ago

A gentle soul is sometimes an easy target for the evil that dwells among us. Thank you for a very sincere and thoughtful Hub. R.I.P. Bicycle Bob.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Cathi Sutton, thank you for a perceptive comment.


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Thank you! Very beautiful story! A hard story but done well. Thank you for this tribute to a very important person - because everyone is! Thank you!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

You expressed a pertinent fact Micky Dee - everyone IS important! Thanks for your comment!


Willis Family 6 years ago

My family & I cared for Dwight very much and think of him often, It's interesting how someone you hardly know can make such an impact in your life. My children & I still wish we could see him. He was such a big part of our community & my families life, little may he had known. I was in San Fransisco when I heard of his murder. I was in disbelief. He is still missed by the Willis Family of Edmond, OK.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 6 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Willis Family, I agree with your sense of loss here. I have not heard more about the bicycle memorial for him, have you? Respectful blessings to you and your family!


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 5 years ago from West Virginia

Frogy, voted up and everything but funny. I love your big heart and bringing this to attention. I was homeless a few years back. I had never felt so alone except then. You already have to ail the environment and the persona, then deep depression sets in. I had nobody. A bunch of fake friends. I hated life. I was laid off, left AZ to come home with family/friends that lied. 16 degrees ouside sleeping in an abandoned building beside a friends house. I never will forgive them all. I can't at this moment. There are plenty of homeless everywhere. They are people, not all are strung out. I shall share this. Thank you.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

thelyricwriter, I am so deeply sorry for your helpless and lonely pain. But I am proud of you for now expressing yourself...for 'becoming' again. And it is undeniably true that MANY are only one paycheck away from that horrible situation! We each should 'lend a hand' whatever assistance that may mean personally, to someone who is in dire need.

Do write your hub for us all to share...to be re-awakened and challenged too. Blessings to you now, as you continue your writing, and healing also.


qlcoach profile image

qlcoach 5 years ago from Cave Junction, Oregon

I can relate to the pathos of this article. For many years I worked at the VA to help our homeless veterans. There are many good qualities about America. But there is much that is wrong and needs fixing. Peace and Light...Gary.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

qlcoach, may I express a sincere thanks to YOU for your homeless vets assistance! You are regretfully correct in the statement that too much needs fixing in America...and many homeless attest to that fact in only one singular facet. Thank you for your comment!


docbruin profile image

docbruin 5 years ago from USA

Very touching hub frogyfish. The situation that so many live and die in is so sad. I pray that we can all be more responsive to those who are less fortunate than we are.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

docbruin, thank you for your understanding comment on the reality of this hub.

It does make me angry to see the non-progression of justice even though a person admits to the murder in this particular situation.


femmeflashpoint 5 years ago

frogyfish -

My goodness! Where do I start??

One - you did a beautiful job in describing someone obviously special and cared for in the Edmond community.

Two - It's wonderful that your community DID care about him! He was different, had some challenges, and in their own way, worked out a space for him to be who he wanted to be, or at least who he was able to be. Perhaps a bit of both?

Three - I loved that you bolded the establishments who aided in providing help for Bob. You see, if I travelled through there, I'd stop at them simply because I read of them here, and heard of the role they took in Bob (Dwite's) care. Those are the sort of businesses I always prefer to spend my money in!

Four - I thought it to be more than commendable that the citizens of Edmond ensured Bob to have a celebration of his life. Repeatedly, you informed us that he never caused trouble, and that he was kind and quiet. He may have been homeless, but he was certainly not without friends who cared for him.

Five - thank you for the updates on catching and keeping the killer(s) behind bars!

Six - thanks as well for providing further information and links on how to assist and understand the magnitude of the numbers of homelessness here in the US, as well as ways of helping them!

This is a beautiful piece. I bet Bob would be very proud of you for it. :)


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 5 years ago from Central United States of America Author

femmeflashpoint, thank you for your beautiful list of caring approval. You are the kind of person that would also assist the "Bobs" in life. Thank you for your gracious visit and comment.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 4 years ago from southern USA

forgyfish - I too share your heart when it comes to the homeless, and that was exactly what the very first hub ("Unseen By Choice) I published was about, when I saw a homesless man right outside my place of work on a downtown corner, and everyone kept driving by, as if they did not see him. I am so thrilled to know that your community actually knew and helped Dwite. The Holy Spirit convicted me to start a personal homeless ministry, after my eyes were open to those downtrodden and/or homeless in the few block radius of my workplace. Awesome hub! In His Love, Faith Reaper


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Faith Reaper, I am going to read your mentioned hub right now. You were sensitive to Spirit leadings, and it surely is a help to the homeless, and fulfilment for you. Thank you.


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 4 years ago from Stillwater, OK

A beautiful piece, frogyfish. Many of our homeless our mentally ill and slip through the cracks, as their illness is not serious enough to warrant attention. Feel free to add my "Native New Yorkers" on your links if you think it fits.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America Author

aviannovice, exactly correct about many homeless...and those cracks seem cavernous! I'm going to your hub now, thanks!


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Oh frogyfish, where do I begin? Thank you for calling Mr. Dwite Morgan Mister and a gentleman. That affords him the dignity due all life. Then my heart breaks because the killer(s) were all so young. I cannot comprehend that kind of hatred at such a tender age. The tragedy of homelessness can be prevented and our government should be blasted daily for allowing this to continue. My heart bleeds and I pray we all see this horror for what it is and get involved. Bless you for this wonderful tribute to Mr. Morgan.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America Author

Hyphenbird, thank you for your understanding words and tender heart about the homelessness problems - the People who seem so faceless...

We can only do what we must do, even if in only what seems to be small ways.


quicksand profile image

quicksand 3 years ago

It's really sad to read about homeless people. I have read dozens of articles online about unfortunate cases in which people have lost their homes due to no fault of theirs.

Five hundred thousand of them? Good lord! I wonder what the hell these billionaires do with their money.


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 3 years ago from Central United States of America Author

quicksand, I do agree with your attitude. It seems the comparison of richer and poorer is getting to be a chasm with few bridges. So we each do what bit we can where we are. Thank you for your visit here.


ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 12 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

What a wonderful community this homeless man had. I wish every community was like this as we all have Bicycle Bob living in all our community's. It is very sad to think about how bad this is for the homeless people. We have so many billionaires it is sickening.

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