Episode 2: Hate Crime with Joyce King

On June 7, 1998, James Byrd Jr., a forty-nine-year-old black man, was walking home from a party when three white men in a pickup truck offered him a ride. They drove Byrd out to a lonely country road, tied him to a logging chain, and dragged him three miles to his death.

Joyce King, an award-winning journalist and native Texan, was assigned to cover the story, which drew international media headlines. In Hate Crime, she provides a chilling re-creation of the slaying and the subsequent trials. But she also moves beyond the details of the case to provide insight into the minds of the murderers, and to investigate the Texas prison system in which they developed their virulent racism. King also explores how the town of Jasper, Texas, endured a tragedy that threatened to divide its residents.

As the 20th anniversary of the crime nears, Joyce King hopes people will join the 1 Million Readers Campaign to share a journey to justice with world citizens who have the courage to read, buy, gift, or listen to Hate Crime - a book that was judged more for its cover than its content.

Brian H. Williams, MD