Pearl River - Pearl River - Events
Mack Charles Parker was a native of Poplarville, Mississippi. On February 23, 1959, Parker was jailed for the rape of June Walters, a white woman who was two months pregnant at the time of the attack. Two days after his arrest, Parker was abducted by an angry white mob. He was brutally beaten, taken to Louisiana, and shot to death. Approximately ten days after his abduction, his battered body was found in the Pearl River in Louisiana.
In Howard Smead's book entitled "Blood Justice: The Lynching of Mack Charles Parker," he writes about Jimmy, June, and Debbie Carol Walters. The Walters family was on its way home to Hattiesburg after a family reunion in February, 1959. They experienced vehicle trouble when they came upon a hill near Little Black Creek. Stranded seven miles south of Lumberton and a mile south of the Lamar County line, Jimmy decided to hitchhike into Lumberton to call his stepfather. Although he needed to find a way for them to get home, he was hesitant to leave June and Debbie there alone. He later reflected, "That was the saddest mistake I'll ever live to make."
About fifteen minutes later, Mack Charles Parker and a couple of his drunken friends passed by the Walters' stranded vehicle. Parker spotted June and Debbie in the truck and stated to his friends, jokingly, "Why don't we stop and get some o' that white stuff?"Parker and his friends drove by the scene without incident. Later in the night, Parker dropped each of his friends off and then went back to the Walters' truck, ostensibly to rape June while Debbie was left outside crying.
Following his arrest, Mack Charles Parker was first placed in Hinds County Jail where he was took a polygraph test and was then placed in the Pearl River Jail on April 13. While incarcerated, eight to ten men, some wearing hoods and masks, entered the jail and took Parker from his cell and put him in an automobile. Ten days after Mack Charles Parker was kidnapped his body was found in the Pearl River. Though members of the mob came forward, Judge Sebe Dale, an active member of the White Citizens' Council, encouraged the jury not to convict. A massive FBI investigation and two grand juries were convened to investigate the case. No indictments or arrests were made.
Many felt that Parker was guilty due to the fact that some blacks had witnessed Parker's comments prior to the rape of June Walters.
Smead, Howard. Blood Justice: The Lynching of Mack Charles Parker. Oxford University Press: 1988.