Progress on the Whitehurst Case book
The book on the Whitehurst Case is coming right along. I would say that the first three chapters (out of eight) are ready for an editorial hand to mark them up. Those first chapters consist of the background information about Montgomery, who Bernard Whitehurst, Jr. was, and the circumstances of his death.
The content of middle chapters has been the stumbling block. A more troublesome period to pin down, these chapters get to the heart of “the Whitehurst Case,” from early 1976 through mid-1977. During this tumultuous period, Bernard Whitehurst, Jr.’s death became a much larger issue, and city officials began questioning each others’ actions in sometimes unseemly ways. Telling the story of the Whitehurst Case involves sifting through and evaluating decades-old hearsay, accusations, speculation, contradiction, evasions and denials, all of which make the job very difficult.
The content of the latter chapters is less tangled and more clear-cut to explain. Montgomery came through the Whitehurst Case and got a new mayor, who stayed in office for twenty-three years, but there was no closure. The Whitehurst family continued to live in Montgomery, for the most part, and the Whitehurst children grew up and had families of their own. Four decades have passed, and Montgomery has changed a great deal— most say for the better. However, the Whitehurst Case remains as one of the city’s unresolved historical episodes.
The book has been contracted by NewSouth Books, though no release date has been set.