The Moore's Ford Lynching InfoCenter

America's Last Unsolved Mass Murder: July 25, 1946

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On the evening of July 25, 1946, a mob of 20 - 30 white men ambushed four African-Americans near the Moore's Ford Bridge linking Walton and Oconee Counties, about 50 miles east of Atlanta. The victims were slaughtered in a barrage of gunfire, their bodies riddled with over 60 bullets then dumped near the banks of the Apalachee River. Their names were George W. Dorsey (a decorated World War II veteran), his wife Mae Murray, Roger Malcolm and his wife Dorothy.



Anthony S. Pitch: 3/14/1938 - 6/29/2019
It is with great sadness that the law firm of Bell & Shivas announces the death of our good friend and client Anthony S. Pitch. We've represented Anthony since late 2013 as he sought access to the 1946 Moore's Ford Lynching grand jury records.  Photograph by Johnathon Kelso

Despite federal grand jury testimony in December, 1946 and despite numerous FBI and GBI investigations spanning the next seven decades, no one was ever prosecuted for these murders.

In late 2013, Author/Historian Anthony S. Pitch retained Attorney Joseph J. Bell (Bell & Shivas, P. C., Rockaway, NJ) to petition the courts for release of the 1946 grand jury transcripts in order to shine the light of truth on a dark corner of American history.

   


1: RACIAL & POLITICAL TENSIONS

In 1946, Eugene Talmadge runs a racially charged campaign for Governor. On July 14, black farm-hand Roger Malcolm stabs his boss.


2: THE LYNCHING: July 25, 1946

In the early evening of July 25, 1946, two African-American couples are shot near the Moore's Ford Bridge by a mob of white men.


3: THE VICTIMS

The victims are George W. Dorsey and his wife Mae Murry; and Roger Malcolm and his wife Dorothy. They have been shot over 60 times.


4: NATIONAL OUTRAGE

The crime generates national outrage. President Truman sends the FBI to Walton County, Georgia amid nationwide protests.

 


5: AFTERSHOCKS

Many view the lynchings as a voting rights massacre with a message to black people in the community to stay away from the polls.


6: FBI & GBI INVESTIGATIONS

U. S. Attorney Gen. Tom Clark announces that President Truman has directed the Justice Department to conduct a full investigation.


7: GRAND JURY, ATHENS, GA, 1946

U.S. District Judge T. Hoyt Davis convenes a grand jury in Athens, GA, to hear testimony on the Moore's Ford murders on December 2, 1946.


8: MEET ANTHONY S. PITCH

In 2016, author/historian Anthony S. Pitch publishes "The Last Lynching: How a Gruesome Mass Murder Rocked a Small Georgia Town."

 


9: PITCH'S LEGAL CHALLENGE

In order to complete gaps in the historical record, Anthony Pitch seeks access to actual witness testimony from the 1946 grand jury.


10: THE LEGAL BATTLE BEGINS: 2013

Pitch seeks guidance from Attorney Joe Bell (Rockaway, NJ). In late 2013, they join forces and file a petition to obtain the grand jury transcripts.


11: DISTRICT COURT VICTORY: 2017

After 4 years of legal effort, Joe Bell wins a victory in the U. S. District Court on 8/18/2017 (Judge Marc T. Treadwell, Macon, GA).


12: 11th CIRCUIT HEARING: 10/3/2018

On Oct. 3, 2018, oral arguments are heard by the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta; Government attorney first, then Joe Bell.

 


13: 11th CIRCUIT DECISION: 2/11/2019

On Feb. 11, 2019, a 3-judge panel of the Eleventh Circuit hands down its decision in favor of Anthony Pitch, giving Bell back-to-back victories.


14: NEVER FORGET MOORE'S FORD

Moore's Ford Memorial Committee members, led by Director Cassandra Green, attend the Circuit Court hearing on 10/3/2018.


15: THE FULL LEGAL CHRONOLOGY

To understand the complexity of the Moore's Ford case, review this timeline of legal events starting in 1946 right up to the present day.


16: RESOURCES & MEDIA COVERAGE

The Moore's Ford Lynching has been covered extensively in the media over 7 decades. Here is a collection of historical and legal resources.