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Answers sought over 60-year-old lynching

Answers sought over 60-year-old lynching
By GREG BLUESTEIN, Associated Press Writer
Fri Jul 21, 12:01 PM ET

MONROE, Ga. - The dirt road that led to Moore's Ford bridge is paved now, and the creaky wooden bridge has been replaced with a sleek concrete span. But the black letters "KKK" sprayed on the new bridge's face offer an eerie reminder of the terrible events that happened here 60 years ago.

Bobby Howard brushes back a leafy tree branch, revealing a half-dozen more racist scribblings. He sniffs his disgust, but he is not surprised. He has long forsaken his personal safety to fight the culture of fear that has suppressed the truth of what took place on the bridge. He still hopes that truth may come out in a courtroom.

The horror unfolded 60 years ago, on July 25, 1946.

Ruby Butler, who was bunching cotton on a dusty road when she saw cars lined up bumper-to-bumper rattling toward the bridge, recalls: "I thought they were having a party down there. They were having a killing party."

Across town, white farmer Loy Harrison was driving home two black couples, Roger and Dorothy Malcom and George and Mae Murray Dorsey, who was seven months pregnant.

There were whisperings around town that George Dorsey, who had fought in the Army during the war, had secretly been dating a white woman, a taboo in the segregated South. And there was no love lost between the townsfolk and Roger Malcom, who had stabbed a white farmer during a knife fight 11 days earlier.

He was still waiting in jail when Harrison paid $600 to bail him out.

When Harrison's truck rolled near the crossing, a white mob grabbed the two couples from the vehicle, dragged them down a nearby trail and tied them to trees. Using rifles, shotguns and pistols, the mob fired three volleys of bullets, leaving their bodies behind slumped in the dirt, according to investigators.

President Harry Truman dispatched the FBI to Monroe, a town about 45 miles east of Atlanta.

The feds, however, were met with a wall of silence.

Harrison, the farmer who claimed he'd been "ambushed" but was unharmed, told investigators he didn't recognize the dozen or so unmasked assailants. Other whites abided by a code of silence. Blacks, too, kept quiet, petrified of reprisal if they spoke out.

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Answers sought over 60-year-old lynching
Re: Answers sought over 60-year-old lynching
Re: Answers sought over 60-year-old lynching

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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