Suspect in '46 Lynching: 'Blacks Are Blaming People'

Georgia man says uncle took part in unsolved murders
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 16, 2015 4:50 PM CST
FBI Investigates Suspects in 1946 Lynching
Coroner WT Brown places a sheet over the body of one of four black mob victims in a funeral home at Monroe, Ga., on July 26, 1946. They died in the Moore's Ford Bridge lynching the day before.   (AP Photo, File)

The FBI is investigating whether alleged perpetrators of a mass lynching nearly 70 years ago in the South remain alive and well, the Guardian reports. Using a suspect-list provided by civil rights activists, investigators knocked on the door of 86-year-old Charlie Peppers in Monroe, Georgia. The subject of their chat: the Moore's Ford Bridge lynching of 1946, in which two young, black couples were killed just ten miles away. "Heck no," says Peppers of his possible involvement. "The blacks are blaming people that didn’t even know what happened back then." He's likely referring to a 2013 NAACP video (excerpted here) in which Peppers' nephew, Wayne Watson, 57, accuses Charlie and several others of being involved. "All through my life, I heard them talk about the Moore’s Ford and the lynching," says Wayne.

"I’m tired of it, when you go through life, and you’re living with lies," adds Wayne, who says his family shunned him after he started dating a black woman. History tells us that on July 25, 1946, a white mob assaulted two black couples—Dorothy and Roger Malcom, and George and Mae Murray Dorsey—shooting them 60 times and ripping an unborn baby from Malcom's body. A federal investigation led to no indictments; the state's probe was reopened in 2000 and the FBI's in 2007, without success. "There is a lot of pain, a lot of frustration and a lot of disappointment" over the unsolved murders, says a Georgia state representative. Meanwhile, a new report says 700 more US lynchings occurred than previously believed—including a wave of violence against black sharecroppers in Arkansas that took 237 lives, the Daily Beast reports. (More lynching stories.)

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