The remainder of my answers to this morning’s email (see immediately below):
I took the picture 21 days after the attempted lynching of Robert Henderson and one day before the artist‘s sketches were finally printed in the paper. I was living in Philadelphia, working full time and could only come up on weekends. I took the photograph the third weekend. They were so easy to find. They didn’t even bother to move the van they used to pick up Henderson. It was parked right at the crime scene.
I learned about the lynching attempt while walking past a newsstand in Philadelphia. I freelanced for the Philadelphia Tribune and their front page headline, “Man critical after Lancaster lynching try,” jumped out at me. I asked Jim Davis, the city editor, why they hadn’t called me – they knew I was from Lancaster. He hesitated – “These things can get really ugly, Becky.” I had no idea then the depth of ugliness he was referring to.
Daniel Rhoads was white. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. The police could not arrest these three men – they had hired them previously to kill – so they could never “solve” his attempted murder. I went to Rhoads’ home after he was released from the hospital. I showed him my photograph. His hands began to shake and he said we should call the police immediately and he reached for the phone. How do you tell an 81-year-old man who has led a privileged life that the detectives working his case know the three men who tried to kill him? And, no, they won’t be making an arrest in your case.
THE DEPTH OF UGLINESS