Killing of James Ellis Scales in Tennessee in 1944


Case summary

James Ellis Scales, 16, was killed in 1944 by a group of men in Bledsoe County, Tennessee. Scales was accused of murdering the wife and daughter of the superintendent of the reformatory school where he was incarcerated. The group kidnapped him from jail and shot him. 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: 1944-11-23
Location: Pikeville, Bledsoe County, Tennessee
Location type: carceral location
Allegation against victim: murdering two white women

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

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

FBI case ID:

Knoxville 44-27

DOJ case ID:


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