From Marine to Murderer: Byron De La Beckwith

Born in California in 1920, Byron De La Beckwith grew up in Mississippi. A segregationist and member of the Ku Klux Klan, he shot and killed NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers on June 12, 1963. Though he was arrested for the crime, two all-white juries could not reach a verdict in 1964. Beckwith was finally convicted of the murder in 1994. He remained in prison until his death in 2001 at age 80.

Early Life
Byron De La Beckwith was born on November 9, 1920, in Colusa, California. After the death of his alcoholic father in 1926, Beckwith's mother moved back to her hometown of Greenwood, Mississippi. When his mother passed away a few years later, Beckwith remained in the care of relatives in Greenwood.

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