Black, White, Blue: The Assassination of Patrolman Sackett

Minnesota Historical Society
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On May 22, 1970, responding to a bogus emergency call to help a pregnant woman, St. Paul patrolman James Sackett was killed by a sniper's bullet fired from a high-powered rifle.The white officer's assassination was the most shocking event in an era of shocking, racially charged events, punctuated by bombings at Dayton's Department Store and elsewhere, police harassment and shootings of young black men, an alleged hijacking plot, and random acts of urban violence. a once peaceful, close-knit community, St. Paul's summit-university neighborhood had reached a boiling point, heated by racism and rage.Award-winning journalist William Swanson masterfully walks the razor-edge between the grief and anger of a police force that lost one of its own and the deep-seated resentment and subsequent silence of a community that had many reasons not to trust the cops. Based on extensive interviews and archival research, Black White Blue recounts the details of one of the most extraordinary cold-case sagas in U.S. annals—a story featuring dozens of memorable characters, including a relentless "super cop," an aggregation of conflicted informants, and a haunted woman who grew old with a terrible secret. The case culminates with the controversial trials, decades later, of Ronald Reed and Larry Clark. Black White Blue, is a powerful, true account of crime and punishment, time and memory, race, community, and personal relationships.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Minnesota Historical Society
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Published on
Dec 31, 2012
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Pages
251
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ISBN
9780873518710
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Social Science / Violence in Society
True Crime / Murder / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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At 9:00 on the morning of March 6, 1963, in the quiet St. Paul neighborhood of Highland Park, Mrs. Fritz Pearson glanced out her window and saw something almost unimaginable: slumped on the front steps of the home across the street was a woman, partially clothed in a blue bathrobe and bloodied beyond recognition. The woman, Mrs. Pearson would come to learn, was her beloved neighbor Carol Thompson, wife and mother of four. Earlier that morning, T. Eugene Thompson, known to friends as "Cotton," dropped his son off at school and headed to the office, where he worked as a criminal attorney. At 8:25 am, he phoned home, later telling police that he did so to confirm evening plans with Carol. Mr. Thompson lied. Through police records, court transcripts, family papers, and extensive interviews, William Swanson has re-created Middle America's "crime of the century," the deadly plot by a husband that made headlines around the world. But "Dial M: The Murder of Carol Thompson "also tracks the lives of the Thompsons' children. Their journey from disbelief to acceptance culminates in a private family trial where they decide whether their father truly was responsible for the violent act that crushed their childhood and forever altered their views of the world.
"Engrossing, emotionally compelling. . . . An unlikely tale of resilience and redemption, told in a sensitive, straightforward fashion."--"Entertainment Weekly" (graded "A") "I have never read a book that dealt so expertly and dramatically with the private lives of those who survive incomprehensible tragedy. I highly recommend it."--Ann Rule, author of "Green River, Running Red
"William Swanson, a senior editor at "Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, " has written and edited for various publications in the Twin Cities and elsewhere for more than 30 years.
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