Killing of Edward Simms in Mississippi in 1943


Case summary

Edward Simms (1924 - 1943), died in police custody in Lowndes County, Mississippi. Simms was one of several Black people arrested by Sheriff William Jacob Probst on suspicion of having burglarized James McCrary Jr.’s store. Simms was taken to the county prison camp and turned over to McCrary and his associates, who severely beat him in an effort to elicit confessions. Simms was paralyzed from the neck down and died from the injuries. Grand jury indicted. An essay on this case, researched and authored by a CRRJ student, is available on request.


Alleged perpetrators/other named individuals:
Perpetrator group type: police, mob

Date of incident: 1943-06-30
Location: Columbus, Lowndes County, Mississippi
Location type: carceral location
Allegation against victim: committing burglary

Coroner process
Coroner/inquest: [ ]
Finding of no legal responsibility: [ ]

Criminal process
Arrest: yes
Charge/indictment/information: [ ]
Grand jury: yes
Trial: yes
Conviction: yes
Sentence: fines ranging from $100-$500, plus 18 months suspended sentence for each

FBI case ID:

Jackson 44-23

Bureau 44-844

DOJ case ID:


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military documents - closed
news articles - closed
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