• In October of 1934 a particularly gruesome lynching took place in Marianna Florida as is recounted here:

    Not long after midnight on October 26, 'an armed mob of approximately 100 men stormed the county jail at Brewton, Alabama,' and seized Claude Neal, a black man accused of the murder of a white women. According to an NAACP investigator, the mob took Neal back to Florida, where the murder had been committed, and subjected him to 'the most brutal and savage torture imaginable, the greatest possible humiliation and agony.' They sliced him with knives, severed parts of his body, and made him eat his penis and testicles. Then they branded him with red hot irons, choked him several times with a rope, tied him to the back of a car, and dragged him to the home of the dead woman, where a member of her family drove a butcher knife into his heart. A crowd of thousands assembled; the body was repeatedly trampled, and 'little children waiting with sharp sticks drove their weapons deep into the flesh of the dead man.' The mutilated body was hung on a tree in the courthouse square; hawkers sold photographs for fifty cents apiece.

    On October 26, 1934 Claude Neal was lynched in Marianna, Florida. This lynching had a traumatic effect on the nation’s approval of lynching. The young black man was lynched after confessing to the murder of Lola Cannidy. The methods used to extract the confession cast doubt on its validity. Ms. Cannidy, a young white neighbor, was supposedly having an affair with Neal. To ensure Claude’s safety he was kept in an Alabama jail. The lynch mob took him from the authorities and subjected him to ten hours of excruciating torture before he was put to death.
    THIS IS THE LINK TO THE GRAPHIC PHOTO Photo courtesy African American Holocaust

    A member of the lynching party described the lynching in great detail:

    “After taking the nigger to the woods about four miles from Greenwood, they cut off his penis. He was made to eat it. Then they cut off his testicles and made him eat them and say he liked it. Then they sliced his sides and stomach with knives and every now and then somebody would cut off a finger or toe. Red hot irons were used on the nigger to burn him from top to bottom.” From time to time during the torture a rope would be tied around Neal’s neck and he was pulled up over a limb and held there until he almost choked to death when he would be let down and the torture begin all over again. After several hours of this unspeakable torture, “they decided just to kill him.”

    Neal’s body was then tied to a rope at the rear of an automobile and dragged over the highway to the Cannidy home. Here a mob estimated to number somewhere between 3000 and 7000 from eleven southern states were excitedly waiting his arrival. when the corpse was rolled into the dust, it was horribly mutilated by the onlookers. It5 was then taken back to Marianna, where it was hung to a tree on the northeast corner of the courthouse square. Pictures were taken of the mutilated form and hundreds of photographs were sold for fifty cents each. Neal’s fingers were sold as souvenirs to the bloodthirsty crowd who arrived too late to witness the gory festivities.

    What made this situation even more deplorable is the fact that the Florida press had advance notice of the lynching and reported it in their newspapers. However, not one official at the local, state, or federal level tried to prevent the lynching. Neal’s lynching was followed by a race riot in the town of Marianna in which white rioters attempted to drive all blacks out of the city.
    While the Neal lynching may have been the last "spectacle" lynching in the nation, many other lynchings of a less publicized nature would follow. In fact, Marianna would be the site of another lynching less than 10 years later.

    Source: Farwell to the Party of Lincoln: Black Politics in the Age of FDR by Nancy J. Weiss