LYNCHING IN INDIANA
Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith were two African-American men who were lynched on August 7, 1930 in Marion, IndianaThey had been arrested the night before, charged with robbing and murdering a white factory worker, Claude Deeter, and raping his white girlfriend, Mary Ball. A large crowd broke into the jail with sledge hammers, beat the two men, and hanged them. When Abram Smith tried to free himself from the noose as his body was hauled up by the rope, he was lowered and then his arms broken to prevent him from trying to free himself again. Police officers in the crowd cooperated in the lynching. A third person, 16 year old James Cameron, narrowly escaped lynching thanks to an unidentified participant who announced that he had nothing to do with the rape or murder. A studio photographer, Lawrence Beitler, took a photograph of the dead bodies hanging from a tree surrounded by a large crowd; thousands of copies of the photograph were sold.