A Death in Texas: A Story of Race, Murder and a Small Town's Struggle for Redemption

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Macmillan, Jan 2, 2003 - Social Science - 316 pages
On June 7, 1998, a trio of young white men chained a black man named James Byrd, Jr., to the bumper of a truck and dragged him three miles down a country road. From the initial investigation and through the trials and their aftermath, A Death in Texas follows the turns of events through the eyes of Sheriff Billy Rowles and other townspeople trying to come to grips with the killing. Drawing on extensive interviews with key players, Dina Temple-Raston brings to life a cast of remarkable characters: the unrepentant baby-faced killer, Bill King; Jasper's white patriarch and former Jack Ruby defense attorney, Joe Tonahill; the hard-drinking victim, James Byrd Jr.; the determined district attorney, Guy James Gray; and Sheriff Rowles, who held them together.
 

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A death in Texas: a story of race, murder, and a small town's struggle for redemption

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In 1998, the world was shocked by the grisly dragging death of James Byrd, an African American man in Jasper, TX, which brought hate crimes and the cliches of Southern prejudice to the forefront of ... Read full review

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Contents

Prologue
1
Dantes Inferno
11
Jasper Texas
29
Aint Nothing We Can Do
55
Young Men Go Home
69
Joe Tonahills Texas
97
Small Conspiracies
113
Outsiders Come to Jasper
135
Blood In Blood Out
189
My Little Town Stood Up
211
Death Town USA
231
The More Things Change
249
Epilogue
267
Notes on Sources
277
Acknowledgments
301
Index
305

Beneath the Surface
153
Hook Line and Sinker
177

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About the author (2003)

Currently a producer for CNN-FN, Dina Temple-Raston has worked as a foreign correspondent in China and Hong Kong, a White House reporter for Bloomburg Business News, and a correspondent for USA Today. She lives in New York City.

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