Killing of Gus Davidson and Henry Gilbert in Georgia in 1947


Case summary

Henry “Peg” Gilbert, 42, a prosperous farmer and church deacon, was killed in 1947 by Police Chief W. H. Buchanan in the Harris County jail in Harris County, Georgia. Gilbert was being held for allegedly aiding and hiding Gus Davidson, a man accused of killing a white farmer after an argument over a cow that Davidson had accidentally run over. Buchanan claimed Gilbert attacked him in jail, and that he fired shots in self-defense. An essay on this case, researched and authored by a CRRJ student, is available on request. Gus Davidson, born in 1919, fled the scene of the shooting death of a white man, Olin Sands, whose calf Davidson accidentally drove over in Troup County, Georgia. Davidson was eventually arrested in Camden, New Jersey in 1951 and extradited to Troup County jail to stand trial for murder. 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

Date of incident: 1947-05-22
Location: LaGrange, Troup County, Georgia
Location type: carceral location
Allegation against victim: aiding in the escape of Gus Davidson; accused of killing a mill owner

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

Criminal process
Arrest: yes
Charge/indictment/information: yes
Grand jury: yes
Trial: yes
Conviction: yes
Sentence: death by electric chair, commuted to life imprisonment

FBI case ID:

Atlanta 44-211

DOJ case ID:


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