It was just a "playful night of gunfire," a top investigator for the Texas Rangers said.
The nine bullets fired by two white men into a rural East Texas cafe - leaving a black teenager dead - had nothing to do with race, officers insisted.
History no longer agrees
On that tragic night in 1955, three of those bullets struck and killed John Earl Reese, a 16-year-old high school student, as he danced in the Gregg County cafe. Two local white men (whose names won't be glorified here) went on a terroristic style shooting spree with intentions to "scare the Negroes". They admitted to speeding through the rural African American community firing rifles into at least two houses and a school bus used by the kids of the Mayflower school.
Their hateful night of aggression concluded with the senseless death of an innocent young man, at least two more people wounded, and an entire community outraged. In 1957, these two men were convicted of "murder without malice" and each were handed five year prison sentences that were immediately suspended. Since neither of the killers had previous criminal records, the court deemed the lightest possible sentence was in order. They were never charged for the other hate crimes they committed that same night.
Decades later, the Dallas office of the FBI placed Reese's death on a list of 108 "unsolved or inadequately solved racially motivated homicides from the civil rights era." During their re-investigation, Reese's cousin and victim of the same shooting, Joyce Nelson Crockett, left a haunting quote with the FBI and media;
"THEY GOT AWAY WITH IT!"
To claim a find on this virtual cache, email the answers to the questions listed below or post a picture of yourself and/or group with the nearby church sign in the background.
1- What was the date of this tragedy?
2- In the lawsuit cited in 1954, who was the other party in the suit - Brown vs. ___________________?
3- Where is John Earl Reese's name forever enshrined?
4- This the original site of ______________________________?
5- Standing with your back to the marker, what is the tallest structure you see above the large old building across the street?
6- What sentence were the killers given in this case?
Please DO NOT include your answers in your log and please DO NOT include pictures of the monument in your logs.
"Found It" logs without proper proof of visiting this site WILL BE DELETED!!!!!
This Virtual Cache is part of a limited release of Virtuals created between August 24, 2017 and August 24, 2018. Only 4,000 cache owners were given the opportunity to hide a Virtual Cache. Learn more about Virtual Rewards on the Geocaching Blog.