July 9, 1902
A negro named John Gandy was brought to Farmerville Thursday by a Mr. Martin and turned over to Sheriff Murphy, under the grave charge of attempt to rape. His dastardly crime was committed Wednesday night, when he entered the house of one of the most respectable white families of Conway vicinity, and approached the bed of a young lady of the family, with the view of committing one of the most heinous crimes known to our statute books.
The young lady was awakened by his approach and her screams immediately brought her father, who was sleeping in an adjoining room, to her rescue. Gandy forthwith took to flight. As soon as the news of his crime spread through the vicinity, numbers of citizens started out in search of the fiend. He was first apprehended by Mr. Martin, who at once brought him to town and turned him over to the custody of the officers. Had he been captured by some of the searching party, he would have been made to stretch at hemp at once.
Thursday evening there were rumors of a mob being organized to take Gandy from the jail and lynch him; so, out of precaution, Sheriff Murphy left early Friday morning with the prisoner and carried him to a jail elsewhere.
The negro’s offense is a most serious one, and we feel safe in saying that he will be given the full extent of the law. He is now in the hands of the officers, and the friends of the family he attempted to wrong should let the law take its course. When Gandy is given his deserts, after a fair trial, his punishment administered according to law will have more effect in the deterring all such fiends from a repetition of crimes of this character than it would had summary punishment been dealt out to him at the hands of an enraged community.
It is startling strange that negroes will attempt to perpetrate such offenses when they well know that it means death. This is the written as well as the unwritten law.