Suspected of killing a white plantation owner, black Luther Holbert attempted to escape with his wife before a lynch mob could dispense its own form of 'justice'. Catching up with the Holberts, the mob bound the couple to convenient trees. While the mob's ringleaders forced the Holberts to hold out their hands in order that their fingers could be chopped off one by one – the audience of 600 spectators enjoyed treats like deviled eggs, lemonade, and whiskey in a festive atmosphere. Next, the Holberts' ears were amputated and those severed appendages, along with the disconnected digits, became much-prized souvenirs. Mr. Holbert was beaten severely enough so that his skull was fractured and one eye was left dangling from its socket. When someone in the crowd produced a large corkscrew, that instrument was used to alternately bore into husband and wife, each time gouging out "spirals of raw, quivering flesh" when withdrawn. Finally the tortured man and woman were burned alive like Christian martyrs. (7 February 1904)
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