The Murder of Carol Jenkins

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Carol Jenkin was born in 1947 in Rushville, Indiana. At the age 21 Jenkin worked part-time selling Collier’s Encyclopedias door-to-door. On September 16, 1968 in Martinsville, Indiana, Jenkin’s was on her route selling Encyclopedias when she notice a car with two white men began following her. Jenkin’s in fear approached the home of Norma and Donald Neal and reported the car. The Neal’s called the police out to their residents, but the police reported they where unable to spot the vehicle. The Neal’s offered Jenkins to stay at their house until things calm down, but Jenkins turned down the offer saying she put the Neal’s through enough as it was. After leaving the Neal’s about and half of hour later the vehicle and the two white men were back and following Jenkin’s again. Jenkin tried to flee but the passenger caught up with her and held her down while other man stabbed Jenkin’s with a screwdriver and killing her.

The Jenkin’s case was unsolved for many years and just sitting in the cold case files, until the state detectives got an anonymous letter 34 years later that led them to Shirley Richmond McQueen. The detectives questioned McQueen about the letter when she admitted that the letter was true and McQueen implicated that her father Kenneth C. Richmond was involved and the killing of Jenkins.

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The letter said that McQueen at the time was 7 years old was sitting in the backseat of her father vehicle and witness her father and another man, still unidentified man killing Jenkin’s. Detectives were convinced that McQueen was telling the truth because she remembered a key detail which had never been made public, That Jenkin’s was wearing a yellow scarf. McQueen also mentioned in her interview that her father and the unidentified man was drunk and filled with racial hatred.

McQueen told detectives that she could still remember what her father said after returning to the car “She got what she deserved.” When they returned home Kenneth gave McQueen $7, one dollar for each year of her life and for her to stay quiet about the crime he just commended.

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On May 8, 2002 Detectives arrested 70 year old Kenneth Richmond. Kenneth was a career criminal with a history of bizarre behavior and had strong ties with the Ku Klux Klan. Kenneth Richmond never went to trial for the Jenkin murder because Kenneth was declared incompetent to stand trial and on August 31, 2002 he died from Cancer.

 

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Margaret Garner

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Margaret “Peggy” Garner was born into slavery on June 4, 1834 on the Maplewood plantation in Boone County, Kentucky. Margaret was described as mulatto and worked as a house slave for much of her life. Margaret often traveled with her masters on shopping trips and even to free territories in Cincinnati, Ohio. Margaret may have been the daughter of plantation owner John Pollard Gaines. In 1849 Margaret Married a slave named Robert Garner. In December of 1849 the plantation was sold along with all the slaves to Archibald K. Gaines. The younger brother of John P. Gaines. Margaret and Robert had they first child in 1850 and they named him Thomas Garner and three more after that (Samuel, Mary, and Priscilla). Margaret’s three last children was described as mulattoes and each was born five to seven months after a child born to Archibald K. Gaines and his wife. The Mulattoes children was likely Mr. Gaines children. Margaret conceived these children when the misses was pregnant and unavailable to Archibald.

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Margaret mulatto children showed infidelity on the plantation and it was likely that Mrs. Gaines wanted to sell off Margaret’s children.

On Sunday January 27, 1856, On the coldest winter in 60 years Margaret pregnant with her fifth child and her husband decided to gather their child and escape enslavement to Cincinnati, Ohio along with several other slave families. The Ohio river was frozen, but that did not stop the Garner’s or the other escapee’s. Margaret and Robert decided to hided out with their children at Margaret’s Uncle Joe Kite cabin along Mill Creek, below Cincinnati, while the other escapee’s made their way to the Underground Railroad to Canada.

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Before the Garner’s could make other move the slaver catchers along with U.S. Marshalls found the Garner’s barricaded inside the Kite’s cabin. They surrounded the property and stormed into the cabin, how they knew the Garner’s were inside is unknown. Margaret grabbed a butchers knife and slit the throat of her two year old daughter killing her and then she stabbed her other children rather than let them return into slavery.

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Margaret’s other children survived. Margaret was arrested and tried in what became one of the longest fugitive slaves trials in history. A trial like this would normally take one day but Margaret trial took about two weeks. The judge sent Margaret, her husband and children back to slavery until they came up with an decision on the case. Ohio authorities got a extradition warrant for Margaret Garner to try her for the murder of her youngest child, but when the authorities showed at the Gaines plantation Margaret was already gone. Archibald sold Margaret and her family to his brother in Arkansas. They was later sold in 1857 to Judge Dewitt Clinton, where Margaret died July 22 1858 from a Typhoid Epidemic.

Margaret was 24 years old at the time of her death.

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Lena Baker

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Lena Baker was born on June 18, 1900 in Cotton Hill, Georgia. Lena came from an poor black family of sharecroppers. In her youth her family included Lena parents, a brother and two sisters moved to Cuthbert, Georgia in hope for better Opportunity.

By the 1940s Lena had three children, Lena clean houses and did laundry to support herself and three children. In 1944 Ernest B. Knight, a white local gristmill owner hired Lena to care for him while he recovered from a broken leg. The two apparently came romantically involved, and soon Knight became over bearing even locking Lena in the gristmill days at a time.

On the evening of April 29, 1944 Knight force Lena from her home and taken her to his gristmill and locked her in, while he went to church and singing. When Knight returned home he unlocked the door and give her something to eat, but when Lena tried to leave her fused to let her leave. Lena tried pushing through Knight, but Knight began threating her with a iron bar, the same iron bar that was used to keep Lena locked inside the gristmill. Knight then pulled a gun on Lena. The two began tussling, Lena ended up with the gun and without thought she shot Knight in the head killing him instantly. Lena immediately ran to the nearest house and reported the incident to a man named J. A. Cox.

Lena was charged with capital murder and was given a court-appointed counsel W. L. Ferguson and was to stand trial on August 14, 1944. The trial was presided over by Judge William “Two Gun” Worrill, who kept two pistols on his judicial bench in plain View.

Lena testified in her own behave and told how Knight would lock her in his gristmill days at a time and how she was in fear the night of the incident that Knight was going to kill her. The trial lasted less then a day. The all-white male jury convicted Lena by the end of the afternoon. Judge Worrill then sentence Lena to be executed. Lena was not going to go down without a fight, so she appealed her case, after Lena appealed her attorney dropped her as a client.

Governor Ellis Arnall granted Lena Baker a 60-day reprieve so that the Board of Pardons and Parole can review the case, but the board denied Lena Baker clemency in January of 1945. Lena was transferred to Reidsville State Prison to await electrocution.

On February 13, 1945 Lena went to her death calmly and she proclaimed of innocence one last time. As she was strap down to the electric chair, Lena said her final peace, her words were:

“What I done, I did in self-defense, or I would have been killed myself. Where I was I could not overcome it. God has forgiven me. I have nothing against anyone. I picked cotton for Mr. Pritchett, and he has been good to me. I am ready to go. I am one in the number. I am ready to meet my God. I have a very strong conscience.”

Lena was pronounced dead at 11:26 a.m., after six minutes and several shocks. Lena was the only woman executed by electrocution in the State of Georgia.

Lena Baker was buried in an unmarked grave behind Mount Vernon Baptist Church. In 1998 members of the congregation arranged a head stone.

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In August of 2005 Lena baker was pardoned posthumously by the State Board for Pardons and Paroles. The board knowledge that the 1945 decision to deny Lena Baker clemency was “a grievous error” and that Lena Baker should have been charged with the lesser crime of Voluntary Manslaughter, which would have carried a maximum 15-year sentence. This Pardon came 70 years too late.

 

 

Wilma Glodean Rudolph(The first American woman to win three gold medals in a single game)

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Wilma Rudolph was born on June 23, 1940 in St. Bethlehem, Tennessee, to parents Ed and Blanche Rudolph. Wilma was born the 20th of 22 children, born premature only weighing 4.5 pounds (2.0 kg). At the age 4 Wilma contracted Infantile Paralysis in her left leg caused by the polio virus leaving her with only use of her right leg. Wilma had to wear a leg brace until she was nine, which caused her leg to become twisted. Wilma parents had to take of work and traveled regularly to Nashville, Tennessee to Meharry Hospital, now called Nashville General Hospital for treatments for Wilma twisted leg. Doctors told Wilma and her parents she would never walk again, but Wilma mother told her she would and Wilma said “she believed her mother”. By the age twelve Wilma had survived polio and scarlet fever.

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In 1947 Wilma attended Cobb Elementary School in Clarksville Tennessee, it was there that she discovered her passion for sports. In the eighth grade she joined the track team.

In 1953 Wilma attended Burt High School, where she decided to follow one of her sisters footsteps and began playing basketball. One day while playing basketball for her High School team Wilma was spotted by Tennessee State track and field coach Ed Temple. The day Ed saw the tenth grader for the first time he knew Wilma was a natural gifted runner.

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Wilma joined Ed Temple’s summer program at Tennessee State and trained regularly.

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Career

While still in High School, Wilma was nicknamed “Skeeter” for her famous speed and by the age 16 Wilma qualified for the 1956 Summer Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia. The youngest member of the United States team. Wilma won a bronze medal in the sprint relay.

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Wilma graduated from High School and enrolled at Tennessee State University, where she studied education. While at the University she trained had for the next Olympics.

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In 1957 Wilma won a gold medal in the 4 × 100 m relay at Pan American Games with her running mates Isabelle Daniels, Barbara Jones, and Lucinda Williams and she won an individual silver in the 100 m. The same year she won

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Association of American Universities (AAU) 100 m title and defended it for four consecutive years. During her career, she also won three AAU indoor titles.

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The 1960 Olympics Games held in Rome, Italy, were a golden time for Rudolph. After setting a world record of 11.3 seconds in the 100-meter dash in the semifinals, she won the 100 in the final round with a time of 11.0. Similarly, she broke the Olympic record in the 200-meter dash (23.2 seconds) in the semifinals before winning the 200 (24 seconds) in the final. She was also part of the U.S. team that beat the world record in the 4-by-100-meter relay (44.4 seconds) in the Olympic semifinals before winning the relay in the final in 44.5 seconds. Most notably, Rudolph became the first American woman to win three gold medals at a single Olympic Games.

Wilma Rudolph Sprinting from Starting Blocks

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The first-class sprinter instantly became one of the most popular athletes of the Rome Games as well as an international superstar, lauded around the world for her groundbreaking achievements. After these wins, Wilma was being hailed throughout the world as “the fastest woman in history”. The powerful sprinter emerged from the 1960 Olympics as “The Tornado, the fastest woman on earth”. The Italians nicknamed Wilma La Gazzella Nera (“The Black Gazelle”), to the French she was La Perle Noire (“The Black Pearl”).

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In 1962 at the age 22 Wilma retired from track competition after winning two races at a United States Soviet meet at Stanford University. In 1963, Wilma was granted a full scholarship to Tennessee State University where she received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary. After her athletic career, Wilma worked at her childhood Elementary school as a teacher and she was the coach of the girl’s track team.

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Awards and Honors

  • Wilma Rudolph was United Press Athlete of the Year 1960 and Associated Press Woman Athlete of the Year for 1960 and 1961. Also in 1961, the year of her father’s death, Wilma won the James E. Sullivan Award, an award for the top amateur athlete in the United States, and visited President John F. Kennedy.
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  • She was voted into the National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame in 1973 and the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1974.
  • She was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983, honored with the National Sports Award in 1993, and inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1994.
  • In 1994, the portion of U.S. Route 79 in Clarksville, Tennessee between the Interstate 24 exit 4 in Clarksville to the Red River (Lynnwood-Tarpley) bridge near the Kraft Street intersection was renamed to honor Wilma Rudolph.

Death

In 1994 Wilma Rudolph was diagnosed with a brain tumor and Cancer. On November 12, 1994, at age 54, she died of cancer in her home in Nashville. Wilma also had throat cancer. She was interred at Edgefield Missionary Baptist Church in Clarksville, Tennessee. At the time of her death, she had four children, eight grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Thousands of mourners filled Tennessee State University’s Kean Hall on November 17, 1994, for the memorial service in her honor. Others attended the funeral at Clarksville’s First Baptist Church. Across Tennessee, the state flag flew at half-mast.

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Nine months after Rudolph’s death, Tennessee State University, on August 11, 1995, dedicated its new six-story dormitory the “Wilma G. Rudolph Residence Center”. A black marble marker was placed on her grave in Clarksville’s Foster Memorial Garden Cemetery by the Wilma Rudolph Memorial Commission on November 21, 1995. In 1997, Governor Donald Kenneth Sundquist proclaimed that June 23 be known as “Wilma Rudolph Day” in Tennessee.

Legacy

  • In 1994, Wilma Rudolph Boulevard was the name given to the portion of U.S. Route 76 in Clarksville, Tennessee.
  • The Woman’s Sports Foundation Wilma Rudolph Courage Award is presented to a female athlete who exhibits extraordinary courage in her athletic performance, demonstrates the ability to overcome adversity, makes significant contributions to sports and serves as an inspiration and role model to those who face challenges, overcomes them and strives for success at all levels. This award was first given in 1996 to Jacqueline “Jackie” Joyner-Kersee.
  • A life-size bronze statue of Rudolph stands at the southern end of the Cumberland River Walk at the base of the Pedestrian Overpass, College Street and Riverside Drive, in Clarksville.
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  • In 2000 Sport Illustrated magazine ranked Rudolph as number one on its listing of the top fifty greatest sports figures in twentieth-century Tennessee. A year before, she was ranked as 41st greatest athletes of the 20th century by ESPN.
  • Following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Berlin in 1994, Berlin American High School (BAHS) was turned over to the people of Berlin and became the “Gesamtschule Am Hegewinkel”. The school was renamed the “Wilma Rudolph Oberschule” in her honor in the summer 2000.
  • On July 14, 2004, the United States Postal Service issued a 23-cent Distinguished American series postage stamp in recognition of her accomplishments.th8ND84DJB
  • In 1977 a made-for-TV docudrama titled Wilma (also known as The Story of Wilma Rudolph) was produced by Bud Greenspan; it starred Shirley Jo Finney, Cicely Tyson, Jason Bernard and Denzel Washington in one of his first roles.
  • In 2015, UK film Production Company Pixel Revolution Films was commissioned by Positive Edge Education Ltd to produce three short inspiration dramas to be screened in schools, Wilma Rudolph’s story was chosen to be one of the films. Written and directed by Ian and Dominic Higgins, the film was titled Unlimited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virginiany Christian

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Virginiany Christian was born August 15, 1895 in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Virginiany was uneducated and unable to attend school, she had to get a job at a very young age and help out her mother with bills and food. Virginiany mother became paralyzed, unable to work anymore. This put all the work load on Virginiany. At the age 16 Virginiany went to work for a 71 year old white woman named Ida Belote (1861 – March 18, 1912),

in Hampton, Virginia, as a maid. Belote hated Virginiany because she was black and Belote hated that she had to pay blacks to work for her instead of free labor.

Everyday Virginiany was called “Nigger” by Belote, but Virginiany remain calm and did her work and went home to take care of her sick mother.

In March of 1912, Belote began mistreating Virginiany again, but this time Virginiany had something to say back. A argument ensued between the two, in which Belote accused Virginiany of stealing a locket and a skirt.

Belote picked up a cuspidor, Commonly called a “spittoon” and hit Virginiany with it. The altercation escalated when Belote ran for one of the two broom handles that she use to prop up her bedroom windows. Virginiany took notice and also ran for one of the broom handles. Virginiany grabbed one of the handles and struck Belote, before Belote can hit her again.

Belote fell to the floor and let out a loud scream, Virginiany stuffed a towel down Belote’s throat, and Belote died from suffocation.

Virginiany then went into Belote purse and took her day worth of pay. Virginiany did not know she killed Belote until after her arrest. During questioning the police said Virginiany admitted to hitting Belote, but was shocked that Belote was dead. Virginiany told the police she had no intention of killing Belote, but was defending herself from Belote.

One newspaper report that ” police found Belote’s body, laying face down in a pool of blood, and her head was horribly mutilated and a towel was stuffed into her mouth and throat.”

With an lynch mob looming in the background, Elizabeth City Court tried and convicted Virginiany of murder and the trial judge sentence her to death in the state’s electric chair.

46th Governor of Virginia William Hodges Mann (July 30, 1843 – December 12, 1927),declined to commute Virginiany death sentence, despite a plea from Virginiany’s   mother, Charlotte Christian who wrote him:

My dear mr governor

Please for give me for Bowing low to write you a few lines: I am the mother of Virginiany Christian. I have been pairalized for mor then three years and I could not and Look after Gennie as I wants too. I know she dun an awful weaked thing when she kill Miss Belote and I hear that the people at the penetintry wants to kill her but I is praying night and day on my knees to God that he will soften your heart so that She may spend the rest of her days in prison. they say that the whole thing is in yours Hands and I know Governer if you will onely save my child who is little over sixteen years old God will Bless you for ever … If I was able to come to see you I could splain things to you better but I cant do nothing but pray to God and ask him to help you to simpithise with me and my truble

I am your most umble subgeck,

Charlotte Christian.

One day after her 17th birthday On August 16, 1912 five months after the crime, Richmond, Virginia authorities executed Virginiany at the state penitentiary in Richmond, VA.

Virginiany was the first female alleged criminal executed in the 20th century in the state of Virginia, and a juvenile offender executed in the United States. She was also the only female juvenile executed by electric chair and, to date, the last alleged female criminal executed in the electric chair by the Commonwealth of Virginia. She was the last female alleged criminal executed by the Commonwealth until Thursday, September 23, 2010 when Teresa Lewis became the first female criminal in nearly a century to be executed in the U.S state of Virginia.

Virginiany was electrocuted in the state prison in Richmond. She was 17 years old. The paper reported that her body was to be turned over to the state medical school, because her parents did not have the money to transport the body from Richmond.

 

 

 

 

George Junius Stinney Jr. (A Tragic Case of an Young Black Boy)

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George Stinney Jr. was a young 14 year old black boy that was born and raise in the racist Jim Crow Era. Born on October 21, 1929 in Alcolu, South Carolina. Alcolu were a segregated lumber mill town where whites and black neighborhoods were separated by railroad tracks. Black wouldn’t dear cross the tracks, but whites on the other hand roamed freely on blacks territories. On March 22, 1944 two young white girls Clarendon Binnicker, age 11, and Mary Emma Thames, age 8 were riding their bikes decide to cross the tracks looking for a “maypop” a local name for passionflowers. The two girls passed the Stinney’s property. They stopped and asked Young George and his sister Katherine as they was playing on their porch “did they know where to find “maypop”. Young George and Katherine pointed in the direction where the passionflower should be and the girls rode off on their bikes.

When the girls did not return home after the sun went down their parents and a search party began to searching for the two.

The next morning the girls were found in a ditch filled with muddy water. The Medical Examiner reported that both the girls suffered extensive blunt force trauma to the face and head, these wounds had been “inflicted by a blunt instrument with a round head, about the size of a hammer.” In addition, the genitalia of the older girl had been bruised, this was a sign that she had been raped.

The sheriff found out that George was last person to see the two little girls. They questioned the Stinney’s on George whereabouts on March 22 and his family told the sheriff “George was with them all night.”, but the sheriff did not believe the Stinney’s  they took  George Jr. to the station for questioning. The sheriff offered young George ice cream and promise he’ll return home, but he would have to confess to the crime, the sheriff then claimed that George  Jr. made a full confession and he led officers to the murder weapon, which was a 15 inch railroad spike.

After George Jr. was arrested for the crime George Sr. was fired from his job and fled town because threats on their lives by and angry mob, leaving young George without support and to fight 81-day long trial on his own.

The jury selection took one day and it was an all white male jury due to the fact that blacks were denied entry inside the courtroom and blacks could not vote. George Jr. had an court-appointed defense who was a tax commissioner campaigning for election to local office. George Jr. defense did not challenge any of the prosecutors witness. The trial took less then three hours. The jury was sent to deliberate, which only took ten minutes and they were back with a guilty verdict. George Jr. was sentence to death by electric chair.

While awaiting execution George Jr. was sent to a adult male prison, George told some of the inmates “I did not kill those girls, so why are they trying to kill me.”

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Two months later on June 16, 1944 at 7:30 p.m. George’s 5’1, 95 pound body was stripped to an electric chair. George Jr. body was too small for the chair so they mad adjustments. A priest came in and did a quick prayer, then 2,400 V surge of electricity was shot through George Jr. body. The mask covering his face fell off and that was replaced by a towel that caught on fire. After two more jolts of electricity . George Jr. was declared dead within four minutes of the initial electrocution. George Jr. was the youngest person executed in the United States.

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The next time George Jr. family saw him was at his funeral. The casket was partially opened. His body was burned beyond recognition.

The case was re-opened and on October 25, 2013 a new trial was granted. After 70 years George Junius Stinney Jr. was exonerated, but this came 70 years too late.

Lennon Lacy (young black teen lost)

Lennon_Lee_LacyIt’s been a little over a year since the body of 17 year old Lennon Lacy was found hanging from a swing in a trailer park in Bladenboro, North Carolina.

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Bladenboro is a predominantly white town with 80% white residents and only 18% black residents On August 28, 2014 at night Lennon Lacy headed out for a walk, but never made it back home. The next day the police gets an call that a black man was hanging from an tree. The caller claimed while on the phone with dispatch that he hung himself. When officers arrived at the scene lacy was covered in fire ants and apparently dead. The local Medical Examiner claim suicide, but many things at the scene pointed to murder like:

  • Lennon Lacy left his home on the night of August 28th wear a pair of size twelve grey Jordan, but was found with a size ten white Air Force One’s
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  • Lennon Lacy was hung with a dog leash and a belt. The belt did not belong to him nor anyone in his household. Where did the belts come from? And the dog leash Lennon wasn’t walking a dog and there is no reports that the family even own a dog
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  • Lennon Lacy was 5’9 and the swing set is 7 and the half feet off the ground. Investigators found nothing at the seen that Lennon stepped on to haul himself up, so how did Lennon Lacy get up on the swing to hang himself.
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  • Lennon was playing H.S. Football and looking forward to going to College, so why would he kill himself.
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  • Lennon was dating an ex drug addicted 31 year old white girl. She told “News One” that Lennon was the victim of racial slurs and her neighbors told her this disapproved of interracial dating.
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  • Weeks before Lennon death in Troy County North Carolina the KKK had a rally.
  • After Lennon was buried a white teen was arrested for defacing Lennon gravesite.

NAACP local chapter quick got involved. They hired Forensic Pathologist Christina Roberts to review that case and to take a look at the second Medical Examiner Dr. Deborah Radisch autopsy.

Mrs. Roberts did her work and her finding was:

  • “Dr. Radisch noted that she was not provided with photographs or dimensions of the swing set. Without this information, she would be unable to evaluate the ability to create this scenario”
  • According to police reports the caller was an 52 year old white woman. This woman did not only claim that Lennon hung himself but she was able to get Lennon dead body down from the swing alone. Lennon weighed 200 pounds.
  • Dr. Radisch said she thought some portion must be missing because there was no secondary cut in either the belt nor the dog leash.
  • A cut would have need to be made for the 52 year old woman to have taken Lennon body down.
  • “Dr. Radisch also noted that her determination of (manner of death) in this case as suicide was based on the information she was provided with by law enforcement and the local Medical Examiner (the first Examiner). She would likely have called the death pending while awaiting toxicology and investigation, but the local Medical Examiner had already signed the (manner of death) as suicide.”
  • But the local Medical Examiner put on file. “Did he hang himself? Would the autopsy tell us? And pending.”
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The FBI took over the case, but no suspects has yet to be named in the Lennon Lacy case.

 

 

John Casor

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John Casor was a indentured servant in North Hampton County in the Virginia Colony.

Casor date of birth is unknown. In 1655 Casor became the first African American person in Britain’s Thirteen Colonies to be declared as a slaves for life. In on of the earliest freedom suit, Casor argue that he was an indentured servant who has been forced by a free black man Anthony Johnson to serve past his term. Casor said he was only suppose to work for Johnson for seven to eight years and his term was up.

He also claimed he was freed by Johnson and went to work for Robert Parker and his brother George Parker as an indenture servant.

When Johnson attempted to reclaim his indenture servant from Parker he was told he didn’t have one. In fear was going to lost his servant, in 1654 Johnson brought a suit in North Hampton Courts against the Parkers for detaining his “Negro servant, John Casor,” saying “Hee never did see any indenture papers, but the hee had ye Negro for his life”.

In the case of Johnson V. Parker, the court of North Hampton upheld Johnson’s right to hold Casor as a slave, saying in it’s ruling in March 8, of 1655:

“This daye Anthony Johnson negro made his complaint to the court against mr. Robert Parker and declared that hee deteyneth his servant John Casor negro under the pretence that said negro was a free man. The court seriously consideringe and maturely weighing the premisses, doe fynde that the saide Mr. Robert Parker most unjustly keepeth the said Negro from Anthony Johnson his master … It is therefore the Judgement of the Court and ordered That the said John Casor Negro forthwith returne unto the service of the said master Anthony Johnson, And that Mr. Robert Parker make payment of all charges in the suit.”

Casor was returned to Johnson. The end of 1655 Anthony Johnson, his wife Mary Johnson, his son John Johnson, his wife Sasanna, and their slave John Casor moved to Somerset County, Maryland. Casor remained Johnson’s slave for the rest of his life.

Casor death is unknown.

Lynching Of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith

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Thomas Shipp, James Camron and Abram Smith were accused of the robbery and the murder of a white factory worker. In August an factory worker Claude Deeter was hanging out with his girlfriend Mary Bell, both were white, when a group of three men robbed and murder Deeter and allegedly raped Bell. How Shipp, Smith and Camron became the main suspects is unclear but the three suspects had been arrested the same night and charged with robbery, murder, and rape. On August 7, 1930 in Marion, Indiana a large crowd formed outside the jail ordering the deputies to let them in. When they were denied the angry white mob use sledgehammers to break into the jail. Once in the three suspects were pulled form their cells and beating, they were then dragged to a tree on the courthouse square. Camron at the time only 16-years-old the youngest and most boyish of the trio was spared at the last minute due to someone screaming from the crowd saying “the youth had nothing to do with the rape and murder.” Camron was then returned to jail to await trial. The crowd was filled with men, women, and children shouting and jeering. Shipp and Smith has a noose put around their neck and were then pulled up into the tree, but they weren’t hung properly. Smith tried to free himself from the noose as his body were hauled, the mob lowered Abram and broke both his arms to prevent any more efforts of free himself. Police Officers in the crowd cooperated in the lynching.

The corpses hung in the square for hours, attracting throngs of gawkers. A man named Lawrence Beitler took the photograph of Shipp and Smith lynching. Beitler did not know at the time that he just capture one of the famous lynching photograph in American history. The photograph sold thousands of copies, which Beitler stayed up for 10 days and nights printing copies of the photograph.

Mary Bell later testified that she was never rape. The rape charge was dropped.

The third person James Camron was tried in 1931 as an accessory before the fact, convicted and sentenced to state prison for several years. Camron was later release on parole after serving four years. Camron moved to Detroit, worked and put himself though college. In the late 1940s he worked in Indiana as a civil rights and anti-lynching activist. In the 1950 he moved to Wisconsin. There in 1988 he founded America’s Black Holocaust Museum, for African-American history.

No one was charged in the lynch of Smith and Shipp nor the beating of Camron.

James Camron passed away on June 11, 2006, at the age of 92.

Charlotte E. Ray (First African American Woman to study and complete law school)

black-lawyer

Charlotte E. Ray born on January 13, 1850 in New York City to Charlotte Augusta Burroughs and Reverend Charles Bennett Ray (December 25, 1807 – August 15, 1886) . The only thing that is known about Charlotte mother, that she was born and raised in Savannah, Georgia. Charlotte father on the other hand was an important figure that wore many hats. Reverend Charles was a prominent New York abolitionist who help aided the Underground Railroad, he also was owner and editor of the “Colored American” newspaper, and he was the Pastor of the Bethesda Congregational Church.

Education was very important to the Ray’s family. Reverend Charles moved his family to Washington D.C, where Charlotte enrolled in the Institution of the Education of Colored Youth. After graduating from the Institutions in 1869 at the age 19, Howard University hired Charlotte as a teacher for it’s Preparatory and Normal Department, the part of the University that trained school teachers. Charlotte, however had bigger ambitions. Charlotte took notice that their was no African American women in law, so she enrolled into the Howard University Law school while still teaching at the University.

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The university discouraged women to practice Law and Charlotte had to apply under the name “C.E. Ray” to disguise her gender. Charlotte excelled at her studies at Howard University of Law, especially in Corporate Law. After three years of law school Charlotte graduated Phi Beta Kappa and earned her law degree on February 27, 1872, becoming the first black woman to graduate from an American law school and receive a law degree. In Fact she was only the third woman of any race to complete law school.

Charlotte did not want to stop there, Charlotte achieved another first on April 23, 1872 when she was admitted to the bar in District of Columbia. Charlotte continued to break new ground later in life, she became the first woman to be granted permission to argue a case in front of the United States Supreme Court in the Capital. Where she plead the case of Gadley v. Gadley Filed on June 3, 1875.

Charlotte Started her own law office, specializing in commercial law. To attract clients, she advertised in a newspaper run by Frederick Douglass, a leader in the abolitionist movement. Yet despite her Howard connections, advertisements, and her legal knowledge and expertise on corporate law. People were unwilling to trust a black woman with their cases and because of the widespread prejudices of the time, Charlotte was unable to maintain a steady client flow and after just an few years of opening, Charlotte was force to close her door on her law business.

Charlotte became an advocate for women suffrage. She was a delegate to the 1876 conference of the National Woman’s Suffrage Association (NWSA).

In 1879, Charlotte moved back to New York, where she worked as a teacher in the Brooklyn public schools. Little is known about Charlotte’s personal life after she returned to New York. In 1886 at the age 36, Charlotte married a man named Fraim, but it’s not clear how long the marriage last. There was no children. In 1895 Charlotte joined the newly formed National Association of Colored Women (NACW). In 1897 Charlotte moved to a suburban community on Long Island, Woodside, New York, where she died of acute bronchitis on January 4, 1911 at the age 60.