The Moore's Ford Lynching InfoCenter

2. The Lynching: July 25, 1946

 

Roger Malcolm Released from Walton County Jail

 

On July 25, 1946, sitting in the Walton County Jail since Sunday, July 14, Roger Malcolm was notified that his bond had been reduced from
$ 600 to $ 500, making it possible for him to get out of jail while he awaited trial for the stabbing. Local farmer Loy Harrison agreed to post Malcolm's bond and bring him back to work on his farm.

Loy Harrison went to the Walton County Jail that afternoon with Malcolm’s wife Dorothy and another African-American couple, George and Mae Murray Dorsey. The Dorseys accepted the ride to Monroe to do some shopping in town. While Malcolm was able to walk out of jail, Barnett Hester remained in the hospital.

Harrison posted the bond and told the Malcolms and the Dorseys he would bring them back to his farm where the two couples would work as sharecroppers.

 

Ambush at Moore's Ford Bridge

 

Curiously, Harrison did not take the most direct route back to his farm, but instead took the two couples toward the Moore’s Ford Bridge linking Walton and Oconee counties. He later told investigators how, as he approached the Oconee County side of the bridge over the Apalachee River, between 10 and 12 cars and 20 to 25 people blocked his way in either direction.

A “tall, dignified looking man of about 65, wearing a broad-brimmed hat” led the mob to his car, Harrison told investigators in 1946.

“The leader looked like a regular businessman,” said Harrison, an early suspect in the killings who maintained his innocence for years. First, the mob pulled Roger Malcolm from the car and said, “We want that n*****.”

Both Roger Malcolm and George Dorsey were then marched off to some nearby woods when one of the women started calling out mob members by name. The leader of the mob, according to Harrison, turned and said “Git them women. Bring ‘em over here. They know too much.”

 

Murder at Moore's Ford Bridge

 



© A scene from “Murder in Black and White,” which re-enacts the killings of two black couples; Credit: Federico Negri. The Moore’s Ford Bridge lynching reenactment, photograph by Ben Rollins for the Guardian.

The two men were tied at the hands while ropes were put around the women’s necks. They were marched down the embankment toward the river where all four were then shot with what investigators determined to be at least two different shotguns and multiple handguns - enough times to make the bodies difficult to identify. Police later pried numerous bullets from nearby tree trunks.

Before leaving, the mob dropped the bodies of the Malcolms and the Dorseys alongside the shallow riverbed where they would soon be discovered.

Within 24 hours of the murders, the crime scene had been trampled by curiosity-seekers, gawkers and, most despicably, souvenir-hunters.

 

Sources & Resources

 

  

The primary sources used for developing content on these pages include the following:



Pitch, Anthony S., The Last Lynching: How a Gruesome Mass Murder Rocked a Small Georgia Town
Skyhorse Publishing, 307 W. 36th St., 11th Floor, New York City, N.Y. 10018 © 2016 by Anthony S. Pitch


Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI)
Region 11 Investigative Case Summary (565 pages, PDF)


Additional sources used for developing content on these pages include the following:



The 1946 Moore’s Ford Lynching Case: Another Push for Justice on 10/3/2018
By TAPINTO STAFF (Laura Ali)
2018 - September 16
https://www.tapinto.net/articles/the-1946-moore-s-ford-lynching-case-another-push-for-justice-on-10-3-2018

 

Lynching
Original entry by E. M. Beck, University of Georgia, Stewart E. Tolnay, University of Washington, Seattle, 01/26/2007
2018 - August 26
http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/history-archaeology/lynching

 

Activists look to keep history alive through reenactment of Moore's Ford lynching
By Hope Ford, Adrianne Haney
2018 - July 27
https://www.11alive.com/article/news/local/activists-look-to-keep-history-alive-through-reenactment-of-moores-ford-lynching/85-578116714

 

Investigations into 1946 Georgia lynching ends, hope for answers lingers
Chattanooga Times Free Press
2018 - March 7
by Associated Press
https://www.timesfreepress.com/news/local/story/2018/mar/07/investigations-1946-lynching-ends-hope-answer/465363/

 

1946 Lynching: Investigations End, Hope for Answers Lingers
By: KATE BRUMBACK, Associated Press
2018 - February 27
https://www.wsbtv.com/news/georgia/1946-lynching-investigations-end-hope-for-answers-lingers/708032984

 

1946 lynching: Investigations end, hope for answers lingers
AP Images Blog
2018 - February 27
https://apimagesblog.com/blog/2018/2/27/1946-lynching-investigations-end-hope-for-answers-lingers

 

Answers to last mass lynching in U.S. die when investigators close case after 72 years
SPLC - Southern Poverty Law Center, By Brett Barrouquere
2018 - February 7
https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2018/02/07/answers-last-mass-lynching-us-die-when-investigators-close-case-after-72-years

 

Notorious Ga. Lynching Case Closes After Years of Anguish, No Justice
Article by Brad Schrade, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
2018 - January 24
https://www.myajc.com/news/notorious-lynching-case-closes-after-years-anguish-justice/Y8sRiwExcU7BjunYneO7PL/

 

Probes of Moore’s Ford Lynching End with No Charges, AJC learns
By Brad Schrade - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
2017 - December 28
https://www.myajc.com/news/breaking-news/probes-moore-ford-lynching-end-with-charges-ajc-learns/ozPo0GfcNVTXcl8X2tM7NJ/

 

Morris County Lawyer Wins Release of Records from 1946 Mass Lynching Case
MorristownGreen.com, by Kevin Coughlin
2017 - August 18
https://morristowngreen.com/2017/08/18/morris-county-lawyer-wins-release-of-records-from-1946-mass-lynching-case/

 

Morris County Attorney Seeks Justice in Gruesome 1946 Lynching
MorristownGreen.com, by Kevin Coughlin
2017 - July 31
https://morristowngreen.com/2017/07/31/morris-county-attorney-seeks-justice-in-gruesome-1946-lynching/

 

Righting an Historic Wrong: The 1946 Moore's Ford Lynching Case May Finally Be Drawing to a Close
By Joe Bell, Esq.
2017 - July 17
https://www.bsblawgroup.com/news/2017/2017-07-17-moores-ford.html

 

The Horror of Lynchings Lives On
The New York Times, by the Editorial Board
2016 - December 3
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/03/opinion/sunday/the-horror-of-lynchings-lives-on.html

 

A Lynching in Georgia: the Living Memorial to America’s History of Racist Violence
2016 - November 2
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/02/a-lynching-in-georgia-the-living-memorial-to-americas-history-of-racist-violence

 

70th observance of Moore’s Ford lynching set in Monroe; reenactment of killings planned
By Wayne Ford
2016 - July 21
http://www.onlineathens.com/mobile/2016-07-21/70th-observance-moores-ford-lynching-set-monroe-reenactment-killings-planned

 

FBI Questions Elderly Georgia Man in Connection with Unsolved 1946 Lynching at Moore’s Ford Bridge
New York Daily News, by Doyle Murphy
2015 - February 17, 2015
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/fbi-questions-senior-1946-moore-ford-lynching-report-article-1.2117599

 

Civil Rights Leaders Claim New Leads in 68-year-old Moore’s Ford Lynching Case
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, by Christian Boone
2014 - March 5
https://www.myajc.com/news/civil-rights-leaders-claim-new-leads-year-old-moore-ford-lynching-case/9es4IKJ8musgWB1HdiKMZO/

 

U.S. Urges Opening Up Old Grand Jury Records
New York Times, by Charlie Savage
2011 - October 19
https://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/20/us/politics/administration-proposes-opening-up-more-historic-grand-jury-transcripts.html

 

Judge Orders Release of Nixon’s Watergate Testimony
By JOHN SCHWARTZ, New York Times
2011 - July 29
https://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/30/us/30brfs-JUDGEORDERSR_BRF.html

 

Holding on to Those Who Can't Be Held: Reenacting a Lynching at Moore's Ford, Georgia
Central Washington University, by Mark Auslander
2010 - November 8
https://southernspaces.org/2010/holding-those-who-cant-be-held-reenacting-lynching-moores-ford-georgia

 

'Murder' Seeks Justice for Victims Of Jim Crow Era
Special to The Washington Post, by Ellen Maguire
2008 - October 6
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/10/05/AR2008100502157_pf.html

 

Seeking Justice for Victims of Terror Long Ago
New York Times, by Felicia R. Lee
2008 - October 3
https://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/04/arts/television/04murd.html

 

New evidence collected in 1946 lynching case
CNN, by Doug Gross
2008 - July 2
http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/07/01/lynching.investigation/index.html

 

Looking Behind Tragedy at Moore's Ford Bridge; Foot soldier of civil rights era works to solve 60-year-old-mystery
NBCNews.com, Associated Press (AP)
2006 - July 24
http://www.nbcnews.com/id/13905047/ns/us_news-life/t/looking-behind-tragedy-moores-ford-bridge/#.W6lCKGhKiUk

 

1946 Killing Of 4 Blacks Is Recalled
New York Times
1999 - June 1
https://www.nytimes.com/1999/06/01/us/1946-killing-of-4-blacks-is-recalled.html