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I AM BEST KNOWN FOR CHRONICLING THE TRUE STORY OF THE
CHRISTMAS DAY MURDERS OF THE LAWSON FAMILY
There are two books about this story: My 1990 Book WHITE CHRISTMAS-BLOODY CHRISTMAS and the 2006 enlarged and revised version of the story: THE MEANING OF OUR TEARS.
The first trade paperback version of WCBC is long out of print. I was approximately 148 pages in length. It was written, designed, and published by me locally with my father developing the research and interviews between 1987 and 1990. I expected it to be only a book of regional interest. Over the years it continues to garner national and even worldwide attention. In 2015 I published the 25th anniversary edition being sold on this website. Only 1,000 copies were produced. Some are still available.
The second book, THE MEANING OF OUR TEARS, is much more detailed and even answers many questions not answered in the first book. It is 376 pages and has approximately 100 photos.
*** When deciding which to purchase, think of your goal. If investing in the books to have them increase in value and not get the most detailed information; a book destined to increase dramatically in value due to rarity, you would want to choose WHITE CHRISTMAS-BLOODY CHRISTMAS. While also rare and collectible at only 5,000 copies produced, THE MEANING OF OUR TEARS tells the more complete history of the murders and also of life in the area in that era.
I hope this helps to decide which (or both) is best for you. With that said, below is an overview of this tragic story.
On a bitter cold Christmas Day in 1929, Charles Davis Lawson murdered his entire family except for his oldest son. This along with Lawson's motives became an enduring mystery.
The story became even more famous as the murderer's brother made the decision to open the bloody murder scene as a tourist attraction during the years of the Great Depression.
Everything was left as it was the day of the mass murder: the bloody pillows where Lawson had laid his children's heads, the blood-stained walls and floors, and the bloodied crib where he had taken the life of his three month old daughter.
What caused this simple, respected country tobacco farmer to take the lives of his wife and children and then turn his gun on himself? Why was one son spared?
For decades the mystery was discussed and wondered about; writers were threatened if they attempted to research the murder, but the generations continued to follow the story.
Sixty years after the crime, my father, M. Bruce Jones, and I decided to research and write the first book about what happened that sad Christmas Day. As we worked, we came to realize there was a scandal in the story that had never been made public. So many years after the crime, the elderly niece of the murderer came forward and told us the story behind the story. The result was the original paperback book, WHITE CHRISTMAS-BLOODY CHRISTMAS.
Fifteen years later, I produced the enlarged and revised version of the story, THE MEANING OF OUR TEARS, which further described the events and controversy surrounding this famous murder.
A CHILD IN THR MIDST
The book, A Child in the Midst, is the memoir of her own life, written by Stella Lawson Boles in 1992.
It touches on the famous Lawson murders, but it is also a treasured look back at life growing up in the rural foothills of North Carolina in the first quarter of the twentieth century. She also chronicles personal tragedies from her life and the lives of members of her family. It is a great insight into one of the most controversial figures behind the story of the murders of the Lawson Family.
HOUSE OF PETTICOATS
Funny, sad, heart warming, and true, HOUSE OF PETTICOATS chronicles the life and times of Greensboro native, Jessie Huffman. If you like tales like The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie, you will love this wonderful story of growing up in Greensboro, North Carolina in the 1920s and 1930s.