Westbrook Cotton Gin, Liberty, Mississippi, 2009
On September 25, 1961, Herbert Lee was murdered by Eugene Hurst, a state representative from Amite County, at the Westbrook Cotton Gin in Liberty, Mississippi. Lee, who was forty-nine years old, had escorted visiting civil rights leader Bob Moses into rural Mississippi to register black voters a month earlier. Hurst claimed that Lee’s death was accidental and that he had acted in self-defense. Louis Allen, a black witness to the murder, later came forward and said that Hurst had shot Lee in the head and that it was not accidental or self-defense. On January 31, 1964, Allen was shot three times in the head and killed when he answered the door at his home. No one was ever charged for either murder.