Monroe, GA. 12/10/2015. The Moore’s Ford Bridge incident, widely described as the US’s last mass lynching, stands out as a particularly brutal case even in Georgia, where more lynching’s were recorded between 1877 and 1950 than in any other state, according to an EIJ (Equal Justice Initiative) report.
The victims of the lynching, who were African-American sharecroppers, were killed after Roger Malcom was bailed from Walton County Jail on charges of stabbing Barnette Hester, a 29-year-old white farmer. Hester was rumored locally to be having an affair with Roger’s wife, Dorothy.
The couples were seized by a crowd at Moore’s Ford Bridge while being driven home in a truck by Loy Harrison, a white farmer who had paid to bail Malcom out of jail on July 25, 1946. The women were tied to an oak tree beside their husbands and the mob fired three times at point blank range hitting their victims 60 times. The crowd then cut open the stomach of Dorothy Malcom, who was 7-months pregnant and removed the fetus.
Harrison, who escaped unharmed and said he was ambushed, has been accused by civil rights activists of being a Klan member and helping to set up the lynching. According to one witness, “a Confederate flag was flown at the crime scene next to a Walton County Sheriff’s car. This was to show people that this was a Ku Klux Klan killing and law enforcement was involved.” For years, no one in Walton County would talk with authorities about the case. When a 1946 grand jury failed to identify any suspects, the FBI pulled out of the active investigation.
In 2013, during an interview with the NAACP, Wayne Watson named seven men who he claimed to have heard speaking about their involvement in the murders. Watson alleged that all seven men, including his uncle were members of the Ku Klux Klan. The 69-year old case was reopened and is pending investigation by the FBI.