It is 1999. As the August sun bears down on Sharpsville, Mississippi, Ebenezer White rocks on his front porch, watching a car ease down the street and stop in front of his house. Moments later, the former sheriff is introduced to Myra Barnett, a student writing a paper on the sixty-year-old unsolved murder case of Jewel Crawford. As the old sheriff begins recounting his investigation, Myra is propelled into the midst of a fascinating and bizarre mystery. In 1865, carpetbagger Patrick McFadden buys a large Mississippi farm, forcing the owners and their Negro servant, Maisha, off the land only to sell the property a little more than a decade later. Maisha, enraged, puts a curse on the tainted sale money, prophesying that anyone possessing it will die. In 1939, McFadden's elderly, wealthy daughter, Jewel Crawford, who is found bludgeoned to death in her bed. After an innocent Negro is hung for the crime, money is taken from Jewel's safe-deposit box, sending the sheriff on a seven-year investigation that takes him through a suicide, three hangings, and six murders.
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October 01, 2012
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