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Murder Along the Cape Fear is the story of Fayetteville and Fort Bragg, North Carolina, during the twentieth century. Seen through the eyes of a native son, this is the tale of one - a distinguished historian - who lived through some of it and heard about much of it from friends and relatives. In this hundred-year journey the town was profoundly impacted by the establishment of Fort Bragg 10 miles to its west. Throughout this hundred-year history, murder seems to be the scarlet thread that stitched the town into infamy. The book demonstrates that Fayetteville was by no means innocent prior to the coming of Fort Bragg. Nor did all of the crime and evil emanate from Fort Bragg after 1918. As for murder, there was an abundance of killing that had no connection with Fort Bragg, but the most sensational murder case of the century involved Jeffrey MacDonald, a Green Beret Army captain and physician who received three life terms in federal prison for killing his pregnant wife and two daughters. While many other Fort Bragg soldiers were involved with murders along the Cape Fear, murders were also committed by transient civilians and local citizens like the famous inventor of the M-1 carbine, Marshall "Carbine" Williams, and Velma Barfield, who poisoned her mother and three other people. In all, about two dozen murder cases-some highly publicized and some not-are woven into this story about a North Carolina town in the twentieth century. Engagingly told, this book is a wonderful blend of history, lore, and murder.
Mercer University Press
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