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When evil lived in Laurel : the "White Knights" and the murder of Vernon Dahmer / Curtis Wilkie.

Wilkie, Curtis, (author.).

Available copies

  • 0 of 1 copy available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 0 of 1 copy available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
LARL Cataloging LARL85134 (Text) LARL85134 New On order -

Record details

  • ISBN: 9781324005759
  • ISBN: 1324005750
  • Physical Description: pages cm
  • Edition: First edition.
  • Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Company, [2021]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Summary, etc.:
"The inside story of how a courageous FBI informant helped to bring down the KKK chapter responsible for a brutal civil rights-era killing. By early 1966, the civil rights work of Vernon Dahmer, head of the Forrest County chapter of the NAACP and a dedicated advocate for voter registration, was well-known in Mississippi. This put him in the crosshairs of the White Knights, one of the most violent sects of the KKK in the South-which carried out his murder in a raid that burned down his home and store. A riveting account of the incident and its aftermath, When Evil Lived in Laurel is a tale of obsession, in which the infamous Imperial Wizard Sam Bowers became so fixated on killing Dahmer that the bungled attack ultimately led to Bowers's downfall and the destruction of his virulently racist organization. Drawing on the diary of a former Klan infiltrator who risked his life to help break the White Knights, veteran journalist Curtis Wilkie brings fresh light to this chapter in the history of civil rights in the South"-- Provided by publisher.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2021 April #1
    *Starred Review* The name Vernon Dahmer likely doesn't ring a bell with most readers the way Malcolm X does, yet journalist Wilkie (The Road to Camelot, 2017, with Thomas Oliphant) illustrates why that must change. Dahmer, a light-skinned Black man who passed for white, fought for Black voters' rights during the Civil Rights Movement in Jim Crow Mississippi. For his efforts, he drew the ire of one of the most violent sects of the Ku Klux Klan, the White Knights, who murdered him. In addition to Dahmer's life, the book explores the role of Tom Landrum, an FBI informant who infiltrated the White Knights. It chronicles how he unraveled the psychology behind their actions and worked from within to dismantle their activities. This thorough, well-researched book represents a landmark in the history of the Klan, how they operated in the Deep South, and the complex, often frustrating role of law enforcement. Most of all, When Evil Lived in Laurel demonstrates the continued impact of racial violence on the current political climate in America. Readers will find a wealth of historical detail in this engaging narrative, a natural follow-up for fans of the 2018 Spike Lee film BlacKkKlansman who want to learn more about this subject. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

Subject: Dahmer, Vernon Ferdinand, 1908-1966.
Landrum, Tom, 1932-
Bowers, Samuel Holloway, 1924-2006.
Ku Klux Klan (1915- ). White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan > History.
United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation > Officials and employees.
African Americans > Crimes against > Mississippi > History.
African American civil rights workers > Mississippi > History.
Laurel (Miss.) > Race relations.
Bowers, Samuel Holloway, 1924-2006.
Dahmer, Vernon Ferdinand, 1908-1966.
United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
African American civil rights workers.
African Americans > Crimes against.
Race relations.
Mississippi > Laurel.
Genre: History.

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