W.C. Williams

Background

On October 13, 1938 in Ruston, Louisiana, nineteen-year-old W.C. Williams was lynched. The teenager, who was not of sound mind, was walking down a rural road when he was abducted by three white teenagers, one of whom had a gun. A white man, R.M. Blair, had been killed and a female friend beaten. The kidnappers turned Williams over to a mob that grew to about 3,000. The parish sheriff, A.J. Thigpen, sought, unsuccessfully, to negotiate with the mob. Williams was tortured before being hung, shot and then burned to death.

Legal status

No action was taken against members of the lynch mob.