Edgar Award winner: Based on true events, a chilling tale of murder and injustice in the Jim Crow South
As a fourteen-year-old black boy living in 1940s South Carolina, Linus Bragg should know better than to follow the two bicycling white girls. But something about Sue Ellen and Cindy Lou compels him. Maybe it’s the way Cindy Lou speaks to him, or how Sue Ellen sits on her bike. Whatever the reason, he follows the girls into the woods. It’s the worst mistake he ever makes. When he comes into the clearing, both girls are dead and young Linus is the natural suspect. Forty years later, a nephew of Linus’s returns to South Carolina, curious about this dark moment in his family’s past. To find the fourth person who visited the clearing that day means reopening a sinister chapter of the small town’s history, which certain evil men had thought closed forever.
Carolina Skeletons is based on the 1944 case of George Stinney Jr., who, at the age of fourteen, became the youngest person executed in the United States during the twentieth century. After a hastily scheduled hearing only a few hours long, the jury quickly charged him with a double murder. He was put to death three months later.
A haunting journey into America’s shameful past, Carolina Skeletons deftly explores how history’s skeletons rarely stay hidden forever.