On June 21, 1964, three young men disappeared near the town of Philadelphia, Mississippi. Mickey Schwerner and James Chaney worked for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in nearby Meridian; Andrew Goodman was one of the hundreds of college students from across the country who volunteered to work on voter registration, education, and Civil Rights as part of the 1964 Mississippi Summer Project.
That afternoon, after investigating the charred remains of a black church, they were arrested by Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff Cecil Price on a trumped up speeding charge and imprisoned in the tiny county jail. When Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney were released late that night, Ku Klux Klan members tipped off by the sheriff’s office followed them. The deputy sheriff joined in the pursuit.
They were forced off the road en route to their office in Meridian, taken to this remote backroad location and shot. Their bodies were later found buried in an earthen dam. An autopsy of Andrew Goodman, showing fragments of red clay in his lungs and grasped in his fists, suggests he was probably buried alive alongside the already dead Chaney and Schwerner.
Mickey Schwerner’s last words, spoken to the Klansman about to kill him, were “Sir, I know just how you feel.”
This haunting scene of the lonely crossroads where James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Mickey Schwerner were murdered, is constructed of 709 individual photographs made over 5 hours on March 29, 2018.