Benson Lamar

Background

On July 1, 1945, Benson Lamar, a successful 70-year-old farmer in Autauga County, Alabama, was found dead near a still on his farm located near Statesville. Lamar had been the victim of foul play and his death certificate indicated that he had been “mobed [sic] by [an] unknown person.”

When Lamar’s body was found, it was clear that he had been tortured: he had been beaten, his skull was fractured in two places, and his scalded body was covered with hot mash.  Newspapers reported that Lamar’s body was found “badly decomposed” by someone passing near the spot. There were a large number of flies about the body and an offensive odor. Upon recognizing the body to be that of Lamar, the person notified his wife who summoned the undertaker and sheriff.

According to a relative interviewed by CRRJ in Autauga County, Lamar was killed by members of the Klu Klux Klan because he made a loan to a white woman.  No suspects were ever identified in the murder.

Legal Status

At the time of the murder, the Autauga County Sheriff’s Office promised a full investigation, but no record of a local or federal investigation has been found.

The Lamar relative told CRRJ in 2012 that the community in the surrounding area was afraid that something similar could befall them if they called attention to Lamar’s killing, so they remained silent.