Frank Stanfield has been a journalist for more than 40 years covering the police beat mostly in Lake County. It has proven to be the perfect career for this self-described “flashing blue light junkie.” As he said to the South Lake County Historical Society on Monday, May 13th, “Who else would get up in the middle of the night and run toward a fire or a crime scene?”
His experiences have given him material for two books. One; Unbroken, the Dorothy Lewis Story; is the tragic tale of a woman who was car jacked with her two little girls, raped, saw her daughters killed, was shot 4 times, and left for dead. And yet she lived and forgave the two young men who did all of these horrible things because of her faith in God.
The other; Vampires, Gators and Wackos; is a collection of stories that he actually covered. Yes, he really covered a story in Lake County about vampires! He said that other journalists shake their heads and cannot believe that he gets to cover such unusual stories. He tells them, “Welcome to Lake County.”
But for him, the most important part about being in journalism is what they can do to expose wrong doing and corruption. Sometimes it is bureaucratic mismanagement that leads to tragic outcomes that gets exposed like in the case of the dad who killed his 3 year old daughter one Thanksgiving and blamed DCF. It turned out that they had not followed up on numerous complaints from the little girl’s school. It was journalists who exposed this problem and lead to changes in protocols at DCF.
Frank Stanfield has a fascinating story to tell but everyone has a story to tell. It is all these stories of everyday people’s lives that creates history. If you are interested in the history of Lake County or history in general, you can tour Clermont’s Historic Village every Friday from 1:00 to 3:00 PM or Saturday or Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 PM. The Village is located at 490 West Ave. in Clermont. You can also contact the South Lake County Historical Society by going to our website, ClermontVillage.org; by calling our manager, Roxanne Brown, at 352-432-3496 or by attending our membership meetings which are held on the second Monday of every month except July and August at 7:00 PM in the Train Depot in the Historic Village. Our next meeting, and the last one until September, is June 10th.