The Ore Knob Mine Murders

Contributions to Southern Appalachian Studies

Book 33
McFarland
1
Free sample

How could the peace and quiet of Ashe County, North Carolina (in the mountains, at the Virginia-Tennessee corner), turn into a nightmare of crime and drugs, and the old copper mine itself become a dumping ground for the dead? In 1982, two bodies had been chipped from an icy grave and brought up from the 250-foot mine shaft where they had been thrown while still alive. Now, there were rumors of 21 bodies still down there. If the mine was ever re-opened, what would they find—copper or bodies? Murder, drugs, prostitution and gangs come together in the history of the Ore Knob Mine. A small Appalachian community became the heart of a vicious drug ring ruled by the Outlaws motorcycle gang from Chicago. Ashe County made national headlines when a police informant came forward confessing that he had pushed a man alive into the Ore Knob Mine shaft. This book is the full story.
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About the author

Rose M. Haynes has written for the Wilkes Journal-Patriot, Jefferson Times, Winston-Salem Journal and State Magazine. She lives in Hays, North Carolina.
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Additional Information

Publisher
McFarland
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Published on
Sep 21, 2013
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Pages
248
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ISBN
9781476604435
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Language
English
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Genres
History / General
History / United States / General
Social Science / Criminology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Academy Award-winning filmmaker and former private detective Errol Morris examines the nature of evidence and proof in the infamous Jeffrey MacDonald murder case

Early on the morning of February 17, 1970, in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, Jeffrey MacDonald, a Green Beret doctor, called the police for help.  When the officers arrived at his home they found the bloody and battered bodies of MacDonald’s pregnant wife and two young daughters. The word “pig” was written in blood on the headboard in the master bedroom. As MacDonald was being loaded into the ambulance, he accused a band of drug-crazed hippies of the crime.

So began one of the most notorious and mysterious murder cases of the twentieth century. Jeffrey MacDonald was finally convicted in 1979 and remains in prison today. Since then a number of bestselling books—including Joe McGinniss’s Fatal Vision and Janet Malcolm’s The Journalist and the Murderer—and a blockbuster television miniseries have told their versions of the MacDonald case and what it all means.

Errol Morris has been investigating the MacDonald case for over twenty years. A Wilderness of Error is the culmination of his efforts. It is a shocking book, because it shows us that almost everything we have been told about the case is deeply unreliable, and crucial elements of the case against MacDonald simply are not true. It is a masterful reinvention of the true-crime thriller, a book that pierces the haze of myth surrounding these murders with the sort of brilliant light that can only be produced by years of dogged and careful investigation and hard, lucid thinking.

By this book’s end, we know several things: that there are two very different narratives we can create about what happened at 544 Castle Drive, and that the one that led to the conviction and imprisonment for life of this man for butchering his wife and two young daughters is almost certainly wrong.  Along the way Morris poses bracing questions about the nature of proof, criminal justice, and the media, showing us how MacDonald has been condemned, not only to prison, but to the stories that have been created around him.

In this profoundly original meditation on truth and justice, Errol Morris reopens one of America’s most famous cases and forces us to confront the unimaginable. Morris has spent his career unsettling our complacent assumptions that we know what we’re looking at, that the stories we tell ourselves are true. This book is his finest and most important achievement to date.
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