Willie Joe Sanford


According to a number of articles in the Baltimore, Maryland Afro-American newspaper, on March 1, 1957, the water-logged, naked body of Willie Joe Sanford, the victim, was raised from Limestone Creek, a few miles from Hawkinsville, Georgia. The victim was a 24-year-old sawmill worker. His hands had been tied over his head and his body had been wired to undergrowth in the creek. The victim’s skull had been fractured by a blunt instrument and he had been stabbed numerous times in the chest, stomach and back. An autopsy determined that the victim, who had been missing since February 2, 1957, had likely been in the creek for about 30 days.

Incident Date: 
Friday, March 1, 1957
Case Name: 
Willie Joe Sanford
Industry Code: 
Civil Rights Division
Updated October 6, 2016