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Blood in the Soil is the first book about the investigation into the shooting of Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt and his country attorney in Gwinnett County, Georgia, in 1978. But this book is not primarily about Larry Flynt, or even his shooter (the serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin), though both men are of course important characters in the story.
This true account is told alternately from the perspective of Detective J. Michael Cowart and by following Franklin’s life from childhood through his execution. The monster that was Joseph Paul Franklin was the result of a perfect storm of circumstances, which included poverty, cruel abuse as a child, the detestation and mistrust between blacks and whites, integration, and the hate groups that operated and recruited openly. Detective Cowart tells the story of his first introduction to Franklin, and the cat-and-mouse game that ensued. A self-proclaimed truth-seeker, the detective had to appear to befriend Franklin to get him to provide enough information to prosecute him in the Flynt shooting. In the course of developing this rapport, Cowart gains astonishing insight into many of Franklin’s other cold-blooded killings and crimes, and his twisted justification for them.
This book tells of a very real struggle between right and wrong. It details with stark honesty the terrible truths that characterized the South during the volatility of the sixties and seventies, and of the ugly reality that lies just beneath the veneer of a beautiful region known for its warm hospitality. Along the way, it examines some hard lessons about life, trust, and compromise.
|Product dimensions:||5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Carole Townsend is a correspondent and columnist for the Gwinnett Citizen newspaper and the author of Magnolias, Sweet Tea, and Exhaust. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia.
Table of Contents
Author's Note ix
Chapter 1 Jesus Christ Takes Care of Business (1978) 1
Chapter 2 Opening the Box (2014) 5
Chapter 3 Preparing for Judgment Day (1978) 9
Chapter 4 The Letter (1983) 18
Chapter 5 The Alabama Soil (1950s and 1960s) 24
Chapter 6 Inside the Belly of the Beast (1983) 35
Chapter 7 The Disappearing Boy, the Emerging Man (mid 1960s-1970s) 45
Chapter 8 A Friend in Need (early 1980s) 62
Chapter 9 Peaches, Vengeance and the Head of the Snake (1978) 67
Chapter 10 The Trial 76
Chapter 11 Fertile Soil 86
Chapter 12 Blood and Justice 91
Chapter 13 Dancing with the Devil (1983) 101
Chapter 14 Smoke, Mirrors, and Conspiracies 110
Chapter 15 Up is Down, and Down is Up (1984) 123
Chapter 16 The Stumble (1980) 129
Chapter 17 Making Good on a Promise (1983-1984) 146
Chapter 18 A Second Visit (1984) 160
Chapter 19 The Fall (1980) 165
Chapter 20 A Tangled Web (1983) 174
Chapter 21 Our Sins Come Home to Roost 180
Chapter 22 Put to Rest (2013) 185
Chapter 23 Back to the Basement (2014) 198
Research Sources 208