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Historical markers note SC's last known lynching

Feb 24, 2011 5:03:00 PM - thestate.com
Community leaders in Greenville have put up two historical markers to remind people of South Carolina's last known lynching.

The markers unveiled Thursday tell the story of Willie Earle, a black man who was accused of killing a white cab driver in Pickens.

The day after he was taken into custody, a mob stormed the jail and took Earle. His body was found two hours later in neighboring Greenville County - he had been stabbed, beaten and shot in the face.

Then-Gov. Strom Thurmond ordered an investigation, and 31 men were quickly rounded up and charged. Despite confessions from 26 of the defendants, all were acquitted.

The historical markers were placed outside the Greenville County courthouse and along the lonely road where Earle's body was found.

USA, South Carolina: (Latest Stories)