Morbidology the Podcast – 44: James Byrd Jr.

Podcast released on: 20th April 2020

Jasper is a small timber town around 100 miles northeast of Houston, Texas. It’s a quaint area that holds an annual Butterfly Festival the first October every year. However, in June of 1998, Jasper was rocked by a brutal hate crime that still reverberates across the nation today.


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Jasper is a small timber town around 100 miles northeast of Houston, Texas. It’s a quaint area that holds an annual Butterfly Festival the first October every year. However, in June of 1998, Jasper was rocked by a brutal hate crime that still reverberates across the nation today. As a motorist was arriving at the African American church on Huff Creek Road on the 8th of June, 1998, they were met by a grisly scene. Dumped in front of the church beside the African American cemetery was the mutilated torso of an African American man and a three-mile bloody trail revealed one of the world’s most disturbing murders.


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SOURCES

The Associated Press, 9 June, 1998 – “Three White Men Charged in Dragging Death of Black Man”

The Associated Press, 9 June, 1998 – “Sisters Say Man Dragged to Death Loved Music, Family”

The Associated Press, 9 June, 1998 – “3 Charged in Black Man’s Murder”

Anti-Defamation League, 10 June, 1998 – “Aryan Brotherhood”

The Associated Press, 10 June, 1998 – “Clinton Denounces Killing as Shocking and Outrageous”

The Associated Press, 10 June, 1998 – “East Texas Town Says Race Problems Were in the Past”

The Associated Press, 10 June, 1998 – “Trail of Evidence Paints Gruesome Picture of Dragging Victim’s Death”

Austin American-Statesman, 10 June, 1998 – “Mayor of Jasper Contends Killing was not Representative of his City”

Houston Chronicle, 10 June, 1998 – “Trio Charged in Jasper Slaying”

Houston Chronicle, 10 June, 1998 – “Racial Hate Crimes Sordid Past of State History”

The Dallas Morning News, 10 June, 1998 – “Stunned East Texans Fear Crime Will Brand Town”

The Washington Times, 10 June, 1998 – “3 Texans Arrested in Dragging Death of Disabled Black”

The Associated Press, 11 June, 1998 – “Apology from Father of Suspect in Dragging Death”

Houston Chronicle, 11 June, 1998 – “Jasper Suspect Wrote of Links to Racist Group”

Austin American-Statesman, 12 June, 1998 – “Victim’s Family Recalls his Talents and Troubles”

The Philadelphia Inquirer, 12 June, 1998 – “The Town of Jasper”

The Houston Chronicle, 13 June, 1998 – “Jasper Slaying Victim’s Rites Today”

Austin American-Statesman, 14 June, 1998 – “Jasper Mourns Victims of Vicious Hate Attack”

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 14 June, 1998 – “Despite His Problems, Jasper Man Remembered as Reliable”

The Times, 15 June, 1998 – “Race Murder Suspect Had Troubled Past”

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 17 June, 1998 – “Klan Plans White Pride Rally in Jasper”

USA Today, 18 June, 1998 – “Prisons Can Cultivate Hatred”

The Charlotte Observer, 28 June, 1998 – “Police Keep Klansmen, Blacks Apart”

USA Today, 8 July, 1998 – “Slain Man’s Daughter Urges Expansion of Hate-Crime Law”

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 9 July 1998 – “Daughter Calls Jasper Tragedy a Wake Up Call”

The Associated Press, 22 July, 1998 – “Evidence Suggests Berry Participated in Attack”

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 4 October, 1998 – “Racial Friendship Urged at Convention”

The Associated Press, 11 November, 1998 – “Suspect denies Dragging Death Was Hate Crime”

The Dallas Morning News, 7 January, 1999 – “Jasper Man Faces Loss of Counsel”

Akron Beacon Journal, 17 February, 1999 – “Sheriff Cites Clues from Dragging”

Austin American-Statesman, 17 February, 1999 – “Dragging Death was a Gang Rite”

The Associated Press, 18 Februray, 1999 – “Tattoos on Murder Defendant Show Man of Hate”

The Associated Press, 19 February, 1999 – “Byrd’s DNA Found in Suspect’s Home”

The Associated Press, 22 February, 1999 – “Dragging Victim Made Vain Attempt to Save Himself”

The Seattle Times, 23 February, 1999 – “Guilty Verdict in Death by Dragging”

Columbia Daily Tribune, 25 February, 1999 – “Jury Deliberates White Supremacist’s Fate”

The Deseret News, 25 February, 1999 – “Jasper Jury Sends a Message”

The Associated Press, 5 March, 1999 – “Prosecutor Wants Condemned Man to Testify Against Co-Defendant”

The Associated Press, 13 September, 1999 – “Dragging Suspect Proud of Actions”

The Associated Press, 17 September, 1999 – “Dragging Defendant Takes Stand”

Houston Chronicle, 17 September, 1999 – “Doctor Details Devastating Pain of Dragging”

The Associated Press, 20 September, 1999 – “Second Man Convicted in Dragging Death of Black Man”

The Associated Press, 21 September, 1999 – “Killer’s Parents Plead with Jurors in Dragging Death Case”

The Associated Press, 11 November, 1999 – “Berry Likely Drove Truck Dragging Byrd”

The Augusta Chronicle, 11 November, 1999 – “Third Trial Begins”

The Dallas Morning News, 11 November, 1999 – “Defendant Feared for his Life”

The Associated Press, 17 November, 1999 – “Fear Kept Third Dragging Death Defendant From Stopping Attack”

The Associated Press, 19 November, 1999 – “Third Dragging Death Defendant Convicted, Sentenced to Life in Prison”

Houston Chronicle, 21 November, 1999 – “Grieving for Son”

The Beaumont Enterprise, 22 September, 2011 – “Different Deaths”

The Beaumont Enterprise, 1 May, 2019 – “King Executed for Byrd Murder”

AUDIO SOURCES –

“Jasper: Ku Klux Klan Rally Ends in Scuffle”

“Byrd: “The Life & Tragic Death of James Byrd Jr ” ft.Dick Gregory”

“The Murder of James Byrd Jr.”

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