Beneath A Ruthless Sun
A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and FoundBook - 2018
A small town. A big secret. In December 1957, the wife of a Florida citrus baron is raped in her home while her husband is away. She claims a 'husky Negro' did it, and the sheriff, the infamous racist Willis McCall, does not hesitate to round up a herd of suspects. But within days, McCall turns his sights on Jesse Daniels, a gentle, mentally impaired white nineteen-year-old. Soon Jesse is railroaded up to the state hospital for the insane, and locked away without trial. Crusading journalist Mabel Norris Reese cannot stop fretting over the case and its baffling outcome. Who is protecting whom, or what? She pursues the story for years, chasing down leads, hitting dead ends, winning unlikely allies. Bit by bit, the unspeakable truths behind a conspiracy that shocked a community into silence come to the surface. Beneath a Ruthless Sun tells a powerful page-turning story rooted in the fears that rippled through the South as integration began to take hold, sparking a surge of virulent racism that savaged the vulnerable, debased the powerful, and roils our own times still.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2018.
Copyright Date: ©2018
Characteristics: 416 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
From Library Staff
This is the shocking true story of a mentally challenged white man who was railroaded into confessing to a rape and who was then sent to a state hospital for over 14 years WITH NO TRIAL.
From the critics