The Shelf: Richard Jay Hutto

The Shelf: Richard Jay Hutto

Richard Jay Hutto

The wealthy might be not the same as me and you, but frequently it’s the wealthy wannabes who’re downright twisted. Inside A Peculiar Tribe of individuals: Murder and Madness in the middle of Georgia (Lyons Press, $24.95), Richard Jay Hutto unearths a fifty-year-old crime which has everything: racism, madness, and taboo sex. This wickedly entertaining Southern medieval mystery begins in 1960, when conniving Chester Burge, loathsome black-sheep cousin from the prominent Macon group of Dunlaps, murders his wife. The explosive trial that follows uncovers all Burge’s secrets, from business scams to some proclivity for males.

Author Hutto comes with an intriguing pedigree: An old attorney, he offered as White-colored House appointments secretary for Jimmy Carter’s family, was chairman from the Georgia Council for that Arts, and it has written several books on America’s Gilded Age. Also, he is definitely an elected person in the Macon City Council. Within the prologue, he covers his passion for Burge’s old mansion, known in your area as “the murder house.” “Like a teen who had been told the dark, abandoned house locally is haunted,” he writes, “I was intrigued, attracted toward the mystery from the mansion around the hill.” Despite 10 years of research, Hutto couldn’t find all of the solutions. Made to depend on fading recollections and newspaper accounts instead of court transcripts, he wisely lets a wild-quilt cast of eccentrics propel this real-existence mystery.

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Photograph by Maryann Bates


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