‘Murder Mountain’ Hits Netflix. Yes, It Is True.

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Humboldt, County, CA–What’s going on in Humboldt County?

Anyone who watched Murder Mountain, the six-part series released on Netflix recently about the happenings in the Emerald Triangle, is most likely thinking that same question. 

60% of the marijuana grown in the U.S is said to come from the Emerald Triangle, which is comprised of Mendocino, Humboldt, and Trinity County.

Humboldt County is a dangerous place that people should think twice about sending their kids to for college. I am always surprised that we don’t hear more stories about young women who attend Humboldt State University, disappearing on these hills sites.

I wouldn’t be surprised however, if these stories are suppressed just like the stories about Black students who have gotten killed in the area.

I never understood what the ‘Good ol Boy’ network meant until I started tuning in to Humboldt County’s local politics while attending HSU and linking up with locals from the area.

I was amazed at the fact that White-men were living outlaw type lifestyles in the Emerald Triangle, where they are growing massive amounts of marijuana on large parcels of land.

Black men and people of color in America’s inner cities literally get the trickle down effect of this marijuana, yet are the ones serving hefty sentences.

Yes, the police perform raids and are thirsty to bust illegal grows for asset forfeiture in Humboldt.

There is also a more acceptable culture of marijuana cultivation going on, that makes the Emerald Triangle a very dangerous place.

The geography of Humboldt, Trinity and Mendocino Counties which make up the Emerald Triangle, have vast forest and hill areas, along with so many houses off random dirt roads, which makes it a very tough place to patrol.

It wasn’t until I started reading the local papers as I went through my undergraduate years at Humboldt State University, did I start to realize there was a lot of crime, murder and missing people in Humboldt County.

In addition, there were serious pockets of poverty, high levels of drug abuse and marijuanas Black market fueled a lot of the local economy.

$200 a pound to trim weed, is like music to a struggling college student. During harvest and trim season people come from all over the world like the U.K and Brazil to trim weed in Humboldt County.

Almost all the students that I know who attended HSU have trimmed at some point in their college journey.

Most of the time however, you are out in the wilderness or literally “on the hill” trimming marijuana at some remote and mostly always janky spot, not detectable by police. These hills spots, are mostly always party scenes with hard drugs involved.

It appears that white people on the hill like to get ‘fucked up.’ Coke and acid are usually the drugs of choice. This is the recipe I feel which leads to so much danger for people and especially women on these hill sites. The staggering number of missing people and women in Humboldt County in general, is alarming.

Looking back on it all I was so naive to be at these sites but I also understood the potential money that I made. My blessing has always been the ability to gage people in terms of danger. If I get bad vibes from someone, I will not allow them in my space, let alone do business.

If something goes wrong such as an argument and someone does not want to pay their workers, things can go left, quick ,in the Emerald Triangle. A lot of the time people do not have their own vehicles to leave these hill sites at will.

There is a saying that I’ve heard goes around Humboldt County which is, “it’s easier to dig a ditch than to pay someone.”

Watching Murder Mountain confirmed a lot of the suspicions that I had about how law enforcement police places that are not ‘in town areas.’

Humboldt County’s Sheriff’s Office is currently doing damage control now that ‘Murder Mountain’ has been released.

The fact the police themselves admitted to being intimidated by people who live on murder mountain because they ride around on dirt bikes with guns strapped to their backs, jeering at police, is crazy to me.

You would not have a community of outlaw Black people intimidating the police to the point they don’t police the area out of fear. This would be law enforcements excuse to go in fully loaded, to shut everything down and arrest as many Black people as they could. 

White privilege runs deep in Humboldt and the surrounding counties backed by small-town politics and controlling of the narrative through local news outlets. I’m just glad more light is being shed on the happenings of this unique, but highly-dangerous rural community.

Slauson Girl is a South Central native who has a love for journalism, history and all things Hip-Hop. She holds a B.A in Critical Race & Gender Theory & a Minor in Journalism. Follow Me on IG @Slausongirl

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