Nov. 13, 1999

Credit: Source: Find a Grave

A jury in Belzoni, Mississippi, convicted three men of manslaughter in the April 12, 1970, killing of Rainey Pool, a 54-year-old sharecropper. 

When the one-armed man, who had been drinking, happened to enter a “whites-only” bar in Midnight, Mississippi, a mob beat him unconscious and threw him into the Sunflower River, where he died. 

The killers each received the maximum of 20 years behind bars.

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The stories of investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell have helped put four Klansmen and a serial killer behind bars. His stories have also helped free two people from death row, exposed injustices and corruption, prompting investigations and reforms as well as the firings of boards and officials. He is a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a longtime member of Investigative Reporters & Editors, and a winner of more than 30 other national awards, including a $500,000 MacArthur “genius” grant. After working for three decades for the statewide Clarion-Ledger, Mitchell left in 2019 and founded the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting.