A Brutal Inheritance
June 9, 2019 10:28 PM   Subscribe

"His DNA solved a century-old jailhouse rape. The victim: his grandmother." (SLBNP)
posted by Kadin2048 (9 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
This is a good article. Thanks for posting it. I found the ending interesting:

But they do wrestle with L.T.’s legacy. One day when Hiram was on the phone in Los Angeles, Bruce and Jane, on the other end in Chicago, apologized to him for L.T.’s actions.

Hiram had never expected an apology, and never wanted one. He just wanted to find hard facts about what had happened. Still, when he heard them so genuinely trying to make amends, he was moved.

“It did my heart good to hear them talk about it,” he said. “They can’t be responsible for what he did. But the fact that they admitted it, were willing to talk about it — it was healing for me.”

posted by salvia at 11:50 PM on June 9, 2019 [7 favorites]

An excellent read... Thanks so much for finding & sharing!
posted by Misciel at 4:06 AM on June 10, 2019

Wow, this was fascinating to read.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:54 AM on June 10, 2019

Who could have foreseen any of this?

DNA testing has certainly forced difficult confrontations and this family is a vivid dramatization.

My husband learned, through such testing, that his uncle fathered an illegitimate child while married; photos turned up that showed a shocking family resemblance. The man lived his whole life looking very different from any of his own kin, and has sadly passed; delicate questions remain even though all concerned are gone. Among my husband’s family there is no agreement on how to handle things with the man’s children, who have inherited his appearance.
posted by kinnakeet at 6:34 AM on June 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks for posting this. I'd read this earlier in the week and wanted to share (but recent events discouraged me from a single link); it's stayed with me. I like the growth of a sense of friendship between the two men. I also think it's an interesting twist on "23& Me can solve a crime!" stuff that's been cropping up, like with the Golden State Killer. This almost makes doing all the ancestry stuff seem worth it.
posted by TwoStride at 6:46 AM on June 10, 2019 [3 favorites]

Wonderful reporting. Thanks for posting this.
posted by Dashy at 8:01 AM on June 10, 2019

This story is like a cleaver through history unmasking some terrible truths about what we are. The relationship that develops between the two men is pretty wonderful. It just takes two people to be open-hearted and as clear-eyed as possible to make this happen. That shouldn’t be so hard. I think the most pernicious historical wrong was our culture of silence around such terrible things. I find it very interesting that L.T. was not a warden for very long. We can infer that he was booted for impropriety but so many other stories tell us that this is unlikely. Was he pushed out for his rapist behavior? If so, why wasn’t it covered up, why didn’t he get a raise, why wasn’t he promoted or moved to another facility like we’ve heard time and again? How did she get out of prison so early? So many questions that can maybe never be answered. So heartening that the descendants want to make different.
posted by amanda at 8:47 AM on June 10, 2019 [5 favorites]

Mose Allison, Parchman Farm.
posted by amanda at 8:50 AM on June 10, 2019

Very interesting. As has been noted, in some ways prisons have carried on the legacy of slavery. In my genealogical research (but so far not DNA research) I have uncovered relatives who enslaved people and people who were descendants of enslaved people and slave-owners. Even an ancestor whom I had thought of as more virtuous since he fought for the Union army has a name that shows up as a slave-owner on the 1850 slave schedule (while other relatives fought for the Confederacy.)
posted by larrybob at 10:35 AM on June 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

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