I put a whole big long section in the book about the Atlanta Child Murders and then, last night, I took it out. It’s not that I don’t think there might be meat on that bone, so to speak. It’s that I can’t bear to look.

There is a conspiracy at the heart of my book. But then there is conspiratorial thinking, where there’s a boogeyman in the basement of a pizza joint, which we know because someone ordered broccoli on their slice.

I’m trying very hard to make sure that the story of my conspiracy stays as grounded in as much solid evidence as I can find. I’ve now spent years on these Nashville bombings. I learned about the Sanders family and their potential ties to the Atlanta Child Murders last week.

But if I put them in my book, I’m granting them as much weight as the stuff I’ve been mulling over for years, and that’s just not true. I haven’t vetted that information carefully. I read an article and spent some time on Reddit.

So, I think, if I include it without doing a buttload of research, I risk undermining the information I have that is backed up by research. I also risk giving it the weight of researched speculation, when really, it’s not. And, if I’m wrong about the likelihood of Klan involvement (which could come out as they’re relooking into these murders), then I risk undermining the rest of the claims in my book.

And, frankly, I don’t want to do the research. It’s too heartbreaking and fucked up.

But it is also really fucked up that there are so many families and family networks all connected by their involvement in the National States Rights Party and their friendships with Stoner who keep popping up whenever bad shit happens to black people.

One thought on “Conspiracies

  1. I wonder if you could mention it in an afterword, exactly as you do here; that it popped up at the end of your research, that you don’t know how much it could be true, that the story needs real investigation and you hope someone can do that work. I think you could hedge it enough to avoid giving it too much weight but still drawing attention to it.

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