Judge Edward Aaron

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Judge Edward Aaron (born 1923) was an African American handyman in Birmingham, Alabama who was abducted by seven members of Asa Earl Carter's independent Ku Klux Klan group on Labor Day, September 2, 1957.[1]

Aaron, who was mildly developmentally disabled, was abducted by Klan members who beat him with an iron bar, carved the letters "KKK" into his chest, castrated him with a razor, and poured turpentine on his wounds. They then put him in the trunk of a car and drove him away from the scene, finally dumping him near a creek.[2] Police found Aaron, near death from blood loss, and took him to Hillman Hospital.[3]

Two of the six Klansmen turned state's evidence and received five-year sentences in exchange for testifying against the other four men. Those four were convicted and received 20-year sentences at Kilby Prison. However, when George Wallace became governor of Alabama, he pardoned the four convicted men, but not the two who had turned state's evidence, with no explanation.[1][4]

The 1988 film Mississippi Burning references the story of Judge Aaron, but gives his name as Homer Wilkes.[5]


  1. ^ a b W. Edward Harris (January 1, 2004). Miracle in Birmingham: A Civil Rights Memoir, 1954–1965. Stonework Press. pp. 41–. ISBN 978-0-9638864-7-7. Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  2. ^ Harris, W. Edward (2004). Miracle in Birmingham: A Civil Rights Memoir, 1954–1965. Stonework Press. p. 45. ISBN 9780963886477.
  3. ^ Eskew, Glenn T. But for Birmingham: The Local and National Movements in the Civil Rights Struggle, Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 1997. (p.115)
  4. ^ "The Birmingham Church Bombing: Bombingham". Retrieved July 8, 2013.
  5. ^ "Mississippi Burning Quote".