Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Strom Thurmond did what now?

Because he was in the Senate for 48 years, it is easy to think that Strom Thurmond was always a senator.  However, Senator Thurmond was 54 when he became a senator.  Prior to that he had been Governor of South Carolina, a World War II combat veteran, a judge, a county attorney, farmer, coach, teacher, and the superintendent of education for Edgefield County, South Carolina. It is the last job that prompts this post.

According to the Palmetto Public Record blog, on today's date in 1943, the State of South Carolina executed a woman named Sue Logue.  According to the state, Ms. Logue is one of two women executed by South Carolina since 1912.

The Public Record's summary of the crime that got Ms. Logue executed is sparse.  Ms. Logue and her brother-in-law hired a man to kill their neighbor.  The neighbor apparently had killed Ms. Logue's husband in a dispute over a dead calf.

As the Public Record puts it:
What makes this story interesting is that before Sue Logue’s arrest, she had been having an affair with an Edgefield County school superintendent named Strom Thurmond. Yes, that Strom Thurmond. Logue was a teacher in Thurmond’s district, and rumor has it that the two had once been “caught in the act” in the future senator’s own office. When police surrounded Logue’s house to arrest her, Thurmond — by now a local judge — even intervened in the standoff to ensure that she came quietly (no pun intended).
The Public Record also says that there are some who claim that Senator Thurmond rode with Ms. Logue from the women's penitentiary to the prison that housed death row and that during the ride things got amorous.  The source of this information was apparently Senator Thurmond's driver. 

I tend to doubt that an coupling happened in the car ride over to death row.  But I was curious to see if there was more about this murder.  It turns out there is.  The website Executed Today has this description of the case.

It turns out that eight people died in the case.   It started when a mule owned by the Timmerman family kicked a calf owned by the Logues and the calf died.  The head of the Timmerman family killed Ms. Logue's husband but was acquitted on grounds of self-defense.  As noted above, this led to Ms. Logue and her brother-in-law hiring Clarence Bagwell to kill Mr. Timmerman for $500. 

The police suspected the Logues and when they came to the Logue residence a gun fight took place.  During the melee, a sharecropper, the sheriff, and a deputy sheriff were all killed.  The sheriff was a cousin of Ms. Logue.  A standoff at the Logue house ensued and then-Judge Thurmond convinced the Logues and Mr. Bagwell to surrender.  All three were eventually put to death. 

I cannot recall seeing anything about this story when Senator Thurmond died even though the murders were covered by the New York Times.  Perhaps that is proof that if one lives long enough, people will forget a lot about the things you have done.

Apropos of nothing, here is a picture of Senator Thurmond wearing a blue tuxedo and shaking Margaret Thatcher's hand.

Thanks to Mr. Torvik for sending me the link to the Palmetto Public Record.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting research! maybe Clint Eastwood should make a movie about this.


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