The Hanging Tree - KKK murder locations.
Montgomery County, AL. 12/7/2015. Truncated Alabama State Route 143 crossed the Alabama River on the Tyler-Goodwin Bridge (which was removed by 1985).
Just before midnight on January 23, 1957, four Klansmen forced Willie Edwards to jump to his death from the Tyler Goodwin Bridge in Montgomery County, Alabama.
Mr. Edwards was returning from his first assignment as a deliveryman for a grocery store when he stopped for a soft drink. Four armed men approached the vehicle and forced Mr. Edward at gunpoint into their car. The men accused Mr. Edwards of “offending a white woman” as they drove to the bridge. After arriving at the bridge, the men ordered Mr. Edwards out the car and to “hit the water” or be shot. Mr. Edwards climbed the railing and fell 125 feet to his death. His decomposed body was found three months later by two fishermen.
Not until 1993, when Henry Alexander confessed to his wife on his deathbed that he and three other Klansmen were responsible for “the truck driver’s” death, did the truth of Mr. Edwards’ last moments come to light. Alexander told his wife, “That man never hurt anybody. I was just running my mouth. I caused it.” In 1997, the Alabama Department of Vital Statistics changed Mr. Edwards’s cause of death from “unknown” to “homicide.” A 1999 Montgomery County grand jury declined to indict any of the surviving suspects for the murder of Willie Edwards Jr.