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Useless Information Podcast.
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Mar 3, 2008

Will Purvis hanged for the murder of another man, yet was able to walk away after the hanging was over.  Possibly a case of divine intervention, but we will never know for sure.  Find out the details of this fascinating twist-of-fate in this completely true story.

Louis Morgan
almost ten years ago

Thanks for the podcast on Will Purvis. I am a native of Marion County, Mississippi, and the community (today known as Morgantown-- 10 miles from Columbia) in which most of the White Caps lived who were involved in the murder of Will Buckley. Morgantown is across the Pearl River from the community in which the Buckley family lived. (The Widow Hammond\'s first name was Effie. She also lived across the Pearl River from the Buckley family.) Also, my great-great grandfather was Nelson Beard, a brother of Joe Beard. This family is also related to the named Louis Thornhill. One thing that I will correct concerns the revival meeting. Joe Beard did not confess in the revival meeting, but on his deathbed. Joe Beard\'s son-in-law was named Warren Evans, who returned to Morgantown in 1915 after living for a few years in Florida, where became a Pentecostal preacher with the Church of God (Cleveland, TN). Evans was the first to introduce the Pentecostal message into Marion County, Mississippi. His father-in-law, Joe Beard, became a convert of the Pentecostal movement. In 1917, Joe Beard was on his deathbed and desired to receive the Pentecostal experience of being \"baptized with the Holy Spirit.\" Warren Evans told Joe Beard that in order to receive this experience, Beard would need to make sure he had a clean heart. Beard then revealed that for years he had been tormented because of the death of Will Buckley, and that every time he closed his eyes he saw Buckley falling from his horse after being shot. Joe Beard then told the family that he had drawn the shortest straw in the White Cap meeting and that he was to pull the trigger to kill Will Buckley. He and a relative named Louis Thornhill were hiding in a thicket (bushes) when the Buckley brothers approached. Beard said he was supposed to pull the trigger but that his heart failed him and he could not do it. It was then that Louis Thornhill took the gun and shot Buckley. And, you are correct that Beard died before the Grand Jury could get a sworn statement from him. However