Attala – Events

Harris Family Murder

(1950) An ex-convict and moon-shiner named Leon Turner with the aid of two brothers, Malcolm and Wendell Whitt, stormed into the house of Thomas Harris one night in 1950. On that night, three young black children were killed– Frankie Thurman, 12, Mary C. Burnside, 8, and Ruby Nell Harris, 4. Their father, Thomas Harris, also died a month later from wounds he received that night. All three white men were convicted and sentenced to time in jail. In addition, white families in the area joined together to raise money for the prosecution efforts.


Pettus, Gary. (Dec. 3, 2006) “Fascinating story still lives in memories of many”The Clarion-Ledger.

Pettus, Gary. (Dec. 3, 2006) “Slaying of 3 children still haunts mother”The Clarion-Ledger.

Linked Articles: Shooter’s Chance, retrieved from,9171,858555-2,00.html