The first book about the investigation into the attempted murder of Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt—and the serial killer who shot him.
In Gwinnett County, Georgia, in 1978, Larry Flynt and his attorney were shot and injured on their way back to court during an obscenity trial.
This true account of the crime is told alternately from Det. J. Michael Cowart’s perspective and chronologically following the shooter’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. Cowart tells the story of how his attempts to befriend Franklin gave him the information he needed to prosecute the case—and gave him astonishing insight into many of Franklin’s other cold-blooded killings and crimes, and his twisted justification for them.
Blood in the Soil details with stark honesty the terrible truths that characterized the South during the volatility of the sixties and seventies, and the ugly reality that lay just beneath its veneer of warm hospitality.
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About the Author
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