Sylvester Maxwell

Overview: 

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) initiated an investigation into this matter based on a referral from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in the form of two newspaper clippings.  According to an Atlanta Daily World article and another unidentified clipping, the castrated and badly mutilated body of Sylvester Maxwell, the African-American victim, was found by XXXXXXXXX in a wooded area near Highway 51 in Canton, Mississippi, on January 17, 1963.  According to the article, Thomas William Campbell, an African-American close friend of Maxwell’s with whom Maxwell had last been seen alive, was arrested by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) on suspicion of the murder.  Mississippi NAACP director Medgar Evers was quoted in the Atlanta Daily World article as opining that the murder was a “probable lynching” because African-Americans “don’t mutilate the body [...] That’s done by bigots who normally take [African-Americans] out and mob them.”

Incident Date: 
Thursday, January 17, 1963
Case Name: 
Sylvester Maxwell
Topic: 
FOIA
Industry Code: 
None
Component: 
Civil Rights Division
Updated October 6, 2016