The Stocking Stranglings and Southern Justice
Author: David Rose
Publisher: The New Press
Category: True Crime
Over eight bloody months in the mid-1970s, a serial rapist and murderer terrorized Columbus, Georgia, killing seven affluent, elderly white women by strangling them in their beds. In 1986, eight years after the last murder, an African American, Carlton Gary, was convicted for these crimes and sentenced to death. Though to this day many in the city doubt his guilt, he remains on death row. Award-winning reporter David Rose has followed this case for a decade, in an investigation that led him to, among other places, The Big Eddy Club—an all-white, private, members-only club in Columbus, frequented by the town’s most prominent judges and lawyers . . . as well as most of the seven murdered women. In this setting, Rose brings to light the city’s bloodstained history of racism, lynching, and unsolved, politically motivated murder. Framed by the tale of two lynchings—one illegally carried out at the start of the last century, and the other carried out with legal due process at the end of it, The Big Eddy Club is a gripping, revealing drama, full of evocatively drawn characters, insidious institutions, and the extraordinary connections that bind past and present. The book is also a compelling, accessible, and timely exploration of race and criminal justice, not only in the context of the South, but in the whole of the United States, as it addresses the widespread corruption of due process as a tool of racial oppression.