Wednesday, April 27, 2016
August 2, 1901: Charley Bentley
Today we learn about a lynching in Alabama through the pages of the Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Michigan) dated August 3, 1901:
ALABAMA NEGRO MURDERER LYNCHED
CONFESSED TO KILLING WHITE MAN WHILE LATTER SLEPT.
Birmingham, Ala., August 2.—With a rope around his neck and death before him, Charley Bentley, a negro, confessed to the murder of Jim Vann, alias Williams, a white man, and was hanged by a mob near Leeds, Ala., in St. Clair county, at noon to-day. The body was riddled with bullets.
At the time of the lynching, the coroner of St. Clair county was at dinner at a house near by, having just finished an investigation of the death of Vann. The jury returned a verdict fixing the responsibility for the murder on Charley Bentley. Members of the mob learned of the verdict and a crowd quickly gathered around the prisoner and unheeding his pleas for mercy hanged him to a tree.
The murder was committed while Vann and his wife and child were asleep in a camp three miles from Leeds. Vann's skull was crushed with a rock.
Thank you for joining me and as always, I hope I leave you with something to ponder.