Caleb Hill, Jr.

Background

Caleb Hill, a 28 year old chalk miner and head of a family of three was abducted from the Wilkinson County jail in the early hours of May 30, 1949. His body was found later that morning lying by the roadside about 3 miles from the jail- he had been shot three times.

Legal Status

The case was the focus of both a state and a federal investigation. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation quickly arrested two suspects, Dennis Lamar Purvis and Malcolm “Mack” Vivian Pierce, on suspicion of Hill’s abduction and murder. However, the grand jury returned a no bill and the pair were released.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation ran a simultaneous investigation seeking to identify what role, if any, local law enforcement officers had played in Hill’s death. After a rigorous investigation the FBI concluded that there was insufficient new evidence to bring the case before a federal grand jury.

No individual was ever held accountable for Hill’s murder and his death certificate still reads that he was killed by “hands unknown.”

In 2012 local activists in Irwington were investigating the lynching of Hill. Since 1950 there have been no statements on the subject of prosecution from either federal or state officials.