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Herbert Orsby


On September 9, 1964, the body of Herbert Orsby, the 14-year-old African-American victim, was found floating in the Big Black River in Canton, Mississippi.  The victim was clad only in his shorts and the remainder of his clothing was found on a nearby riverbank.  The victim, who resided in New Orleans, Louisiana, had been visiting relatives in Pickens, Mississippi.  Relatives reported that they had last seen him walking toward the Big Black River on Labor Day, September 7, 1964.  Holmes County Coroner Dr. Justin Kazar examined the victim’s body and found no bruises or other evidence of foul play.  A Coroner’s inquest was held immediately and the verdict was that the victim had died as a result of accidental drowning. Rumors, set forth below, that the victim was found wearing a CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) t-shirt and was last seen alive in a pick-up truck with white men remain unsubstantiated.

Incident Date
Case Name
Herbert Orsby
Industry Code(s)
  • None
Case Document
Updated October 6, 2016