Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Book: "The Claude Neal Lynching" now available!

"The Claude Neal Lynching," my latest book, is now available at

The book examines the 1934 murders of Lola Cannady, Claude Neal and Deputy Dave Ham in Jackson County, Florida.

Nineteen-year-old Lola Cannady was a young woman who lived and worked on a farm just north of the town of Greenwood. On October 18, 1934, she went to water her family's hogs and was never seen alive again by her family. The next morning her badly beaten and battered body was found covered with logs and brush in a nearby wooded area.

Evidence found at the scene led investigators to the nearby home of Claude Neal, a 23-year-old farm worker who eventually confessed to the crime. Neal was arrested in nearby Malone and then moved from jail to jail across the Florida Panhandle and into South Alabama in a desperate effort by law enforcement officers to save him from a mob that was determined to lynch him for the crime.

As the effort to protect Neal was underway, one of Jackson County's handful of deputies was shot and wounded by a convicted bank robber. Deputy Dave Ham would die from his wounds.

The nine days of chaos in Jackson County culminated when Neal was taken from the jail in Brewton, Alabama, by a group of men carrying guns and dynamite. Taken to a remote spot deep in the Chattahoochee River swamps, he was tortured and lynched. On the morning of October 27, 1934, his body was found hanging from a tree at the Jackson County Courthouse in Marianna.

Riots followed and Governor Dave Sholtz was forced to send in the Florida National Guard to occupy Marianna as the only way to calm the outbreak. It was one of the most violent civil disturbances in the history of the South.

The new book reveals never before seen detail on the incidents of October 1934, including information from interviews with two men (now deceased) who were involved in the actual lynching. A chronological history, "The Claude Neal Lynching" explores not just the lynching of Neal, but the murders of Lola Cannady and Dave Ham in great depth, while also detailing the events of the Marianna Riot.

Attention is also devoted to clearing up many of the misconceptions and even outright falsehoods that have surrounded the story of these events, thanks to thousands of writings that have not been based on reliable information.

The book can be purchased for $19.95 for instant delivery through by clicking here:  The Claude Neal Lynching: The 1934 Murders of Claude Neal and Lola Cannady

It is also available as an instant download for Amazon Kindle devices and software for $6.95:  The Claude Neal Lynching

If you live and shop in Marianna, the book will be available at Chipola River Book and Tea in Downtown Marianna by the middle of next week. If you would like to reserve a copy in advance, you can drop in and do that at anytime.


Anonymous said...

Lola Cannady is my great Aunt. I have been told this story many times throughout my life by my family. Ig was horrible that it happened and let to the tragic chain of events that transpired afterwards. I am sorry for the violence and death and everything that Claude Neal went through. It should've been left up to the law to punish him. I am going to purchase this book.

Dale said...

Thank you very much for the note. I think you will find that the book is more of a history of the incidents of 1934 from start to finish than it is a focus on just the lynching. The murder of Lola Cannady was an equally horrific act and I've tried to cover both murders, as well as the murder of Deputy Dave Ham and the Marianna Riot accurately and in detail. Lola's status as a victim, sadly, seems to have been largely forgotten by many of those who have written about the outbreak. I've tried to correct that as well as I can.