In the News – 52 Ancestors – Week 13 (2019)

Preparing for a presentation about using newspapers to enhance genealogy research, I searched for my husband’s great grandfather, Martin Luther Jones who lived in Decatur County, Georgia.  One of the first hits I found for him was a classified ad offering a $500 reward for the capture of a Walter Williams.

$500 Reward

“$500.00 Reward,” The Bainbridge [Georgia] Democrat, 21 December 1882, image 4, col. 2; digital images, Georgia Historic Newspapers ( : accessed 30 March 2019), South Georgia Collection.

To say the least, that tidbit piqued my curiosity and the hunt was on. Who was Walter Williams? Who were the other four people listed with Jones in offering the reward? What were their relationships to Jones and Williams?

Fortunately, there is an excellent (and free!) website with digital newspapers for Georgia at  Scouring the digital images and records, I found a story that has led me to begin writing a book. Because I am in the process of writing, I don’t want to give details, but I will tease you with some of the events. See if you agree with me that this is a story for the big screen.

  • Stealing from a family member
  • Bribery
  • Blackmail
  • Perjury
  • Murder for hire
  • Confession and turning state’s evidence
  • $6000 bond posted for murder suspect
  • Jailbreak
  • Accused skipped bail and fled from town before trial
  • Two fugitives on the run
  • $500 reward offered for the capture of one of the fugitives
  • Pursued by sheriff for ten years
  • Alias used for at least five years
  • Mole in sheriff’s department
  • Suspects finally located and captured in Arkansas
  • Extradition back to Georgia
  • Prison break attempt resulting in death
  • Finally tried in Georgia

But I can’t tell the end of the story because I want to save that for my book!

This entry was posted in 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks, Family History and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s