Van Rippey became David in 1950. He owned a service station and a women’s shoe store in Arkansas. In 1953 he was ordained a minister in the conservative Church of Christ, and married for the first time. He and his wife adopted two young boys.
|prison mug shot, Thompson p47|
He was then designated a woman, removed from the brutal farm work that male prisoners were expected to do, and assigned to work in the laundry and prison. He was assigned a cot outside the Superintendent’s office.
The story appeared on the front page of the Arkansas Gazette, and then in other papers across the southern States. A man who had been at school with Dorothy wrote to the Superintendent to identify her. Van Rippey confessed his past.
Both his marriages were deemed to be void. The Arkansas parole board granted parole, and van Rippey was released to the custody of relatives and returned to Tennessee. He stayed out of the press after that: Thompson was unable to find out what he did later.
- Brock Thompson. The Un-Natural State: Arkansas and the Queer South. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2010: 45-50.