Killed For His Stepfather’s Crime

This is one of the Articles that Wells wrote in Shapiro.

The lede in this article was toward the end: “Yet Butler was apprehended, placed under arrest, and on the night of February 6th, taken out on Hickory Creek, five miles southeast of Paris, and hung for his Stepfather’s crime.” This article kept me on the edge of my seat because as I kept reading the author was building up the climax and I wanted to know what was going to happen to Henry Butler. Wells tells you that this is taken place on Hickory Creek but then references that it so many miles outside of Paris. I am really glad he did that because I honestly had no clue where Hickory Creek was and I was able to have a reference point of where it was taken place.

This situation seems so unreal because I have grown up knowing the law will give everyone a fair trial and everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Because “the mob” wants someone to pay for the crimes of the stepfather they feel like it is right to kill Butler because he has some sort of connection with him. I believe the mob thinks Butler decided to help his stepfather in some way so Butler must now be punished. One part of the article that seemed a little un-nerving was at the very end: “After his body has suspended in the air, the mob fired it with bullets.” the mob decided to shoot the body of Henry Butler when he was already dead. Them shooting the body was out of shear pleasure.

This article for me was really easy to follow and kept me interested the whole time. The author wrote this article in a Narrative and I could picture myself being there as Wells told the account of Henry Butler.

Quote: “He declared from the very beginning that he did not know where his stepfather was, which statement was  well proven to be a fact after the discovery of Smith in Arkansas, whence he had fled through swaps and woods and unfrequented places.” Butler told the people that he was innocent and had no idea where his stepfather was. Instead of holding a trial for him and to find evidence if he was guilty or not guilty they just assumed he was lying and decided to kill him. toward the end of the quote it shows that the people or “the mob” was wrong to kill Henry Butler because he was indeed innocent.


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