1964: '…can we talk our way out of it this time?'

Ed King: The men would have left at 11:30, really late at night, would not have been able to make any telephone calls. Some people have wondered why the men didn't telephone as soon as they got out of jail… the Coles didn't have a phone. Very few people in the community did. The men had not been walking a mile away across railroads in the black section of town. They had not. They surely would have asked a few contacts and J.E. Cheney may have been I there but they wouldn't have dared go in there at midnight. They wouldn't have wanted to risk police following them. They could not have used any of the few downtown payphones. And some very naïve northern reporters wondered why didn't they go across the street from the jail half a block and use the payphones? Well blacks couldn't use the lobby of the hotel. So their not telephoning would have made sense. So they would have had to get on the road so they got on this road and they… got about 10 miles down the road before they were caught. They may have been caught in an adjacent county. And they were being chased and eventually the deputy sheriff used his police lights. It's still odd that they would have stopped after all they had been through and tried to out run them. We'd assume they tried to outrun them. We tried--there were five of us who were caught in Madison county--we tried to outrun them but we weren't able to. Our driver had not been attacked; he'd heard the stories. The rest of us had been… Anyway, they got about 10 miles south of town, were caught and then brought back towards town to Rock Cut Road…. There was no miracle that night…

Back to the road. The men would be on this road pushing midnight somebody apparently tried to outrun them but for some reason stopped. No report that their car was actually rammed. But I know it's possible… Anyway Cheney would have been a good driver, but some way they were caught. And then apparently they were put in another car or somebody drove their car and they were brought back.

[discussion of the road]

EK: The idea of Mickey talking to them though I have always thought that was true and that all three of them were hoping 'can we talk… can we talk our way out of it this time?'

Charles Marsh: Was Rock Cut Road on one of the Klansmen's land?

EK: No.

CM: The car was stashed on somebody's land?

EK: The burial was on somebody's land. And then the car was taken to be disposed of. The guy didn't take it out of the country, but he took it 20 miles away from here. There was a white family living near the road. And there is a family, a house back in here. A lady said they'd heard a noise and they asked somebody who lived way off.

They had turned down that road to the right and they must have pulled off that way being chased. And were stopped down that way and then brought back.

» Go to excerpt page