Otis Byrd (Mississippi Department of Corrections)
Otis Byrd (Mississippi Department of Corrections)

Molly Hennessey-Fiske, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

PORT GIBSON, Miss. (The L.A. Times)—They found the black man’s body hanging by a bedsheet from a locust tree.

Claiborne County Sheriff Marvin Lucas called in everybody he could think of. The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. The FBI. By late Friday, a day after the disturbing discovery, they had identified the man as Otis Byrd, a 54-year-old riverboat worker who had been missing for more than two weeks.

What they didn’t have was the answer to the question on almost everyone’s mind: Was it a lynching?



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