July 12, 1964. Vidalia, Louisiana. 25-year old Joseph “Joe-Ed” Edwards is seen leaving his place of employment, the Shamrock Motel. Shortly thereafter, an eyewitness sees Joe-Ed’s vehicle pulled over by the side of the highway and three white males and what appears to be an unmarked police car are also at the scene. Joe-Ed is never heard from again and his abandoned vehicle is discovered one week later. As the years go by, rumours circulate that Joe-Ed was the victim of a hate crime and may have been murdered for attempting to kiss a white woman. Some local police officers and members of the Ku Klux Klan are suspected of being responsible for Joe-Ed’s disappearance, but even after multiple investigations by the FBI and Department of Justice, no one is ever charged and no trace of Joe-Ed is ever found. On this week’s episode of “The Trail Went Cold”, we travel back to the Civil Rights Era and explore the horrific and tragic story of an unsolved racially-motivated disappearance which took place only ten days after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law.
“Unsolved Civil Rights Murder Cases, 1934-1970” by Michael Newton
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The Trail Went Cold is produced and edited by Magill Foote.
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