Killing of Sam Asking McFadden in Florida in 1945


Case summary

Sam Asking McFadden (1905-1945), a sawmill laborer and WWI veteran, was killed by constable Tom A. Crews in Live Oak, Suwanee County, Florida. For reasons unknown, Crews arrested McFadden and beat him with a pistol and cow whip, forcing McFadden to jump into the Suwannee River, where he drowned. Also involved were Crews’s nephew Lloyd Cribbs and another man named James Barber. State grand jury declined to indict. Federal jury trial convicted. The case is a rare example of federal prosecutorial success during this era.


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

Date of incident: 1945-09-21
Location: Suwannee County, Florida
Location type: public space - rural
Allegation against victim: [ ]

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

Criminal process
Arrest: yes
Charge/indictment/information: [ ]
Grand jury: yes
Trial: yes
Conviction: yes
Sentence: one year, $1000 fine

FBI case ID:

Miami 44-55

Bureau 44-1331

DOJ case ID:




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