Killing of Estella Montgomery in Mississippi in 1939


Case summary

Estella Montgomery, 53, a businesswoman and a civic and political leader, was killed in 1939 by police officers Fred Connor and Clayton Dempsey in Bolivar County, Mississippi. Connor and Dempsey came to arrest Montgomery at the residence of E. P. Booze, her brother-in-law. The officers fired nine shots at Montgomery, claiming she resisted arrest and attacked them with a knife. Montgomery was the daughter of Isaiah Montgomery, founder of the all-Black town Mound Bayou, and the sister of the Republican national committeewoman. 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: 1939-10-01
Location: Mound Bayou, Bolivar County, Mississippi
Location type: private space - domestic
Allegation against victim: resisting arrest; wielding a knife

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

Criminal process
Arrest: [ ]
Charge/indictment/information: no
Grand jury: [ ]
Trial: [ ]
Conviction: [ ]
Sentence: [ ]

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