The things you learn in a dentist office.
Just this past week I was getting my teeth cleaned and the hygienist asked where I lived. When I replied Henry County, she says, have you heard of the book Sins of Henry County by Charles Sargent.
When she began to explain it to me I was all in and could not find it fast enough which became more difficult than I thought. (Dawgeared Books in McDonough, had three copies, now two.)
It’s all over Facebook though I am no longer on Facebook.
I blazed through the book.
Without retelling the story, as a teenager there was a double murder that occurred in Henry County in 1974. A man, a black man, was convicted not once, but twice of the murders and sentenced to death row. It was a big deal at the time but I had not heard about it in years.
If you grew up in Henry County or on the south side of Atlanta, Georgia, this is a must read. Not because of the style it is written in, but rather because of the subject matter and the details brought forth.
A band director and a former student is found shot to death in a remote part of a neighboring county of which they live. Unsuspecting black male goes hunting, finds the bodies, reports it to the police and guess who gets to be tried and convicted for a double homicide? You got it, the poor unsuspecting black man.
The book is filled with names I remember as a youth growing up, the sheriff, the chief of police, the D.A., judges, lawyers, people ending up dead, people ending up run over and left to die, drugs being smuggled into the county airport by the sheriff, drugs being planted in the trunk of the initial defense attorney.
Oh wait, I am telling the book,
If you grew up in Henry County, Georgia, and, if this book is true, then wow, what a story, and wow, how far and how deep does the corruption still continue to grow after all of these years?
I personally am going to begin looking into this story further and who knows, may become a crusader for the case to be reopened as to who actually killed Marvin King and Melanie Hartsfield, why they were killed in Henry County and an avalanche of interesting thoughts brought out in the book.
The corruption went so very deep into the pillars and bedrock of what we thought was small town America. And the corruption continues to this day.
I would hope someone in the D.A.’s office and the Sheriff’s office as well as the Attorney General of Georgia’s office would re-examine the case.
Men and women of historical significance…that’s what we need now.
This case would be an opportunity to be just that.