Murder in Mississippi
The Trust Story of How I Met a White Supremacist, Befriended His Black Killer and Wrote this Book
Penguin Books Australia
When filming his TV series Race Relations, John Safran spent an uneasy couple of days with one of Mississippi’s most notorious white supremacists. A year later, he heard that the man had been murdered – and what was more, the killer was black.
At first the murder seemed a twist on the old Deep South race crimes. But then more news rolled in. Maybe it was a dispute over money, or most intriguingly, over sex. Could the infamous racist actually have been secretly gay, with a thing for black men? Did Safran have the last footage of him alive? Could this be the story of a lifetime? Seizing his Truman Capote moment, he jumped on a plane to cover the trial.
Over six months, Safran got deeper and deeper into the South, becoming entwined in the lives of those connected with the murder – white separatists, black campaigners, lawyers, investigators, neighbours, even the killer himself. And the more he talked with them, the less simple the crime, and the world, seemed.
Murder in Mississippi is a brilliantly innovative true-crime story. Taking us places only he can, Safran paints an engrossing, revealing portrait of a dead man, his murderer, the place they lived and the process of trying to find out the truth about anything.
For a true crime novel Safran writes a great documentary. I love the humour in this read (intentional or otherwise)… Safrans’ style is rambling, conversational, personal and intimate – he is talking to you in this novel, sharing his thoughts, sharing his fears, sharing his concerns and his investigative techniques and his revelations. He is honest. This reads as part diary, part interview, part commentary, part investigation and I did really love his warped sense of humour. It was interesting, it was entertaining, it was visual and it was thought provoking. When is the doco coming out?