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This collection contains photographs, a clipping file, notes, and newspaper articles pertaining to the murder investigation of a double homicide (known as the “Torso Murders”) that occurred in Calhoun County, Alabama, in 1959. In June 1959, a torso was discovered near Attalla, Alabama, and a day later, a second torso was found near Ashville, Alabama. The two unidentified bodies were designated Mr. X and Mr. Y; they were later identified as Lee and Emmett Harper, who had been living in a trailer on a farm in White Plains, Alabama. Viola Hyatt, daughter of the farmer on whose land the brothers lived, was eventually charged with, confess to, and convicted of the murders.

Donald Brown (b. July 15, 1936), a reporter with The Birmingham News when the murders occurred in 1959, covered the story and wrote several articles for the newspaper concerning the investigation and subsequent events. In 2016, he published a book based on his earlier pieces and later research entitled Mr. X and Mr. Y. Brown graduated from Birmingham-Southern College, worked as an investigative reporter, and later as executive editor of the Florence Times-Daily and Tuscaloosa News. He went on to teach journalism at the University of Alabama.



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