Mississippi Mud

( 1 )

Overview

Biloxi, Mississippi, is a city of contradictions. A lush green jewel on the Gulf of Mexico, a Southern Riviera steeped in Confederate history, where antebellum mansions command staggering ocean views. Yet it has also been home to The Strip, a beachside center of neon decadence, prostitution, drugs, and corrupt public servants - all in thrall to a shadowy band of criminals called the Dixie Mafia. Here in Biloxi, Old South virtue clashes with a long-standing tolerance for evil. When one of the city's most prominent...
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Mississippi Mud

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Overview

Biloxi, Mississippi, is a city of contradictions. A lush green jewel on the Gulf of Mexico, a Southern Riviera steeped in Confederate history, where antebellum mansions command staggering ocean views. Yet it has also been home to The Strip, a beachside center of neon decadence, prostitution, drugs, and corrupt public servants - all in thrall to a shadowy band of criminals called the Dixie Mafia. Here in Biloxi, Old South virtue clashes with a long-standing tolerance for evil. When one of the city's most prominent couples - a judge and his mayoral-candidate wife - were shot in their home, their daughter embarked on a dangerous crusade for justice that would forever change the complexion of Biloxi. She wanted to accomplish what the police could not or would not do: find the assassins and shake the city of Biloxi from its jaded complacency. In Mississippi Mud, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Edward Humes tells the inspiring and harrowing story of Lynne Sposito, whose obsession with solving her parents' murder "irresistibly draws us into a ripe, teeming, darkness," into a sin-belt world of conscienceless killers, illegal casinos, and venal politicians. At the same time, Mississippi Mud provides a fascinating and vivid portrait of a little-known corner of the Deep South where corruption and betrayal arise not only from the criminal element but also from the good people of Biloxi's long-standing tradition of turning a blind eye to the malignancy in their midst. Though a work of nonfiction, scrupulously reported and documented, Mississippi Mud reads like an exquisitely taut and suspenseful novel, building toward a surprising - and chilling - conclusion, as the forces unleashed by Lynne's investigation forever alter her life, and Biloxi's future.

Humes delivers the bizarre tale of the Dixie Mafia and a prominent Biloxi, Mississippi couple, shot to death in their home. It portrays how one woman's steely obsession for the truth shook a city to its foundation--and nearly destroyed everything she loved. Soon to be an NBC-TV four-part mini-series starring Valerie Bertinelli. Photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Vincent Sherry, a circuit court judge in Biloxi, and his wife, Margaret, city council member and a reform mayoral candidate, were fatally shot at their Mississippi home in 1987. The eldest of their four children, Lynne Sposito, hired a private detective. Biloxi had a history as a sin city; some of its cops were corrupt, while others were barely competent, and the police tried to implicate the Sherrys' adopted son in the murder. The individual perceived by Sposito to be most likely to suffer from a reform administration was Mike Gillich, who owned a number of strip joints in Biloxi; he was connected to con man Kirksey Nix, who was subsequently convicted of murder in Louisiana and given a life sentence. Nix's longtime lawyer was Vincent Sherry's law partner, Pete Halat, who may or may not have profited from Nix's many scams. Four years after the slayings, Gillich, Nix and two others were found guilty of conspiracy to commit the Sherrys' murder and given long prison terms. But questions remain, notes the author: ``No one has been charged with the actual killings.'' Humes ( Buried Secrets ) has written an exceptionally fine depiction of a multifaceted case. Photos. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Mississippi Mud tells the story of the shocking 1987 double murder of Biloxi mayoral candidate Margaret Sherry and her husband, Judge Vincent Sherry. Lynn Sposito, their daughter, quickly found out that the Biloxi police seemed more intent on covering up the murder rather than solving it. With supreme courage and the aid of a highly recommended private investigator, she uncovered connections between her father's law firm and partner and the Dixie Mafia-a tight-knit circle of criminals who kept Biloxi's gambling casinos and strip joints running-and particularly to an immensely profitable telephone scam being run directly from the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Sposito discovered a plot to kill her parents because somehow a large portion of the immense profits from the scam was missing and her father had been implicated. Bringing this information to the authorities finally led to the conviction of a number of people for conspiracy to commit murder. This book has been carefully constructed to read like a fast-paced, engrossing suspense novel. The reader is quickly caught up in the richly described world of teeming corruption that is Biloxi, and the characters seem more like the fictional Elmore Leonard types than "real people." Highly recommended.-Sandra K. Lindheimer, Middlesex Law Lib., Cambridge, Mass.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416587545
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 11/20/2007
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 1.02 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 8.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Edward Humes

EDWARD HUMES, winner of the Pulitzer Prize for specialized reporting, is the author of many critically acclaimed nonfiction books including, most recently, Eco Barons, Monkey Girl, Over Here, and School Of Dreams. He is currently writer-at-large for Los Angeles magazine and lives in California. Visit www.edwardhumes.com.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2003

    There are Angels walking amoungst us on the Mississippi Gulf Coast

    With tears in my eyes, I read this well written true murder mystery. My heart goes out to all the Sherrys' children. This book revealed many heroes that walk softly amongst us on our Mississippi Gulf Coast. After the 1997 Sherry Conspiracy Murder Trial Convictions, I pray that maybe their children will find some type of closure. I am relieved that the Nix character does not have access to a telephone. And I am happy that the Halat character, Judge Sherry¿s best friend and law partner, was convicted for his part in the murders. My prayers are with the Sherrys¿ children and their families.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2003

    Wow!

    Have you ever read a book, and upon nearing the end you just couldn't read the words fast enough? This is one of those books. Don't forget to search online for the updated ending!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2000

    The Dixie Mafia Hit One of Their Own and his Wife

    Edward Humes has written a masterful account of but two of the many slaughters committed by the Dixie Mafia. Mr. Humes commands my respect for having written such an easy to follow guide into the workings of the most vicious, but little known gang of killers known as the Dixie Mafia. The D.M.'s home base is Biloxi, Mississippi, but their largest area of operation is Atlanta, Georgia. In 1974 the Dixie Mafia was suspected to have butchered more than thirty people in nearby Braselton, GA and burried them in shallow graves along the banks of the Mulberry River. I personally know a man who claimed many years ago to have been a member of the gang.. I have researched this story and there are articles about this case in the NEW YORK TIMES and the ATLANTA JOURNAL and CONSTITUTION... Mr. Humes, my hat is definitely off to you and my heart out for Ms. Sposito.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2000

    Dive into the Mud

    I suggest this story to anyone and everyone. I live in Biloxi, right down the street from where these 2 nice people were shot. Everything in the story is very true down the detail. I enjoyed the reading and could not put it down. If you love believable mysteries, here is one for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2000

    True crime at it's best

    I couldn't put it down. The facts superbly documented. I just wish justice could have been swifter for that poor daughter. They should put those awful men under the jail. Especially that Nix character. I do think Mr. Humes assagerated his intelligence a bit though. If he was so smart he wouldn't be in jail now would he.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 12, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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