Killing of Joshua C. Collins in Mississippi in 1944


Case summary

Joshua C. Collins, 32, a sharecropper, was killed in 1944 by detective W. A. Bigner Jr. in Hinds County, Mississippi. Collins ran into Bigner when he was fleeing a farm after receiving repeated death threats from white neighbors. Accounts vary as to whether Collins owned the farm or sharecropped on a farm owned by W. F. Farmer. Fearing that Bigner was a member of the group who had threatened him, Collins attempted to escape. Bigner claimed that he was arresting Collins as a suspect in an attempted burglary when he shot Collins, and that Collins was attempting to escape arrest.


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

Date of incident: 1944-07-25
Location: Jackson, Hinds County, Mississippi
Location type: public space - urban
Allegation against victim: dispute with a landlord; committing burglary; attempting assault

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

Criminal process
Arrest: [ ]
Charge/indictment/information: [ ]
Grand jury: yes
Trial: [ ]
Conviction: [ ]
Sentence: [ ]

FBI case ID:

Jackson 44-47

DOJ case ID:



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