Reward offered after historic marker shot with bullets

Published: Jul. 16, 2013 at 4:25 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 21, 2013 at 10:32 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - The Lowndes County Sheriff's office is investigating vandalism to a historical marker. A monument dedicated to Mary Turner, a woman who was lynched in 1918, was found with five bullet holes in it.

Now, the Mary Turner Project is offering a reward to anyone who knows who did it.

Mary Turner Project Coordinator Mark George says the vandalism doesn't come as a shock. "I'm not surprised I think race is still a big issue in this community."

George, a VSU professor and his students spent three years petitioning the Georgia Historical Society to put the marker near the Little River on Highway 122 where Turner was killed almost a century ago. It's now been up since 2010. George says they didn't want her story to be forgotten.

"It's probably one of the most brutal lynchings know in the country. Women were lynched occasionally, even white women were lynched. But I think the thing for me having grown up here, and fished in this river, having spent time in the woods here, I had no idea this had happened on this ground," said George.

In May 1918 a lynch mob went on a killing spree after an abusive white farmer was killed by his black farmhand. Turner's husband was killed and she threatened the mob she'd seek out warrants for their arrests. They killed her and her unborn baby.

"They set her on fire, she was 8 or 9 months pregnant we're not sure. They cut her baby out of her stomach and stepped on the baby from what we understand. Then filled her full of bullets," said George.

And he says he won't let a few bullet holes stop him from telling the story. The Mary Turner Project is offering a $200 reward to anyone with information on the vandalism.

For more information on the Mary Turner Project CLICK HERE.

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.

Bullet holes have defaced the Mary Turner Historic Marker on Hwy. 122 in Lowndes County.

Five bullets were shot into the sign, which stands near the Little River.

The monument memorializes Mary Turner, a lynching victim, who was killed along with her unborn baby in 1918 by a lynch mob.

Officials say they do not know who is responsible for the vandalism, but a reward is being offered.

The Mary Turner Project is offering a $200 reward to anyone who knows those responsible.

If you have any information about the vandalism, you are urged to call police. The Mary Turner Project can also be reached by email at

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.