At 4:30 AM, workers at the circus grounds had just finished packing up the rigging and equipment and loaded it all on a train. That train was stopped by police. One hundred and forty black laborers were awakened and lined up alongside the train tracks. When Sullivan and Tusken arrived, they hesitated and expressed difficulty in identifying the men who attacked them. They randomly chose six men who, in their assessment, fit the approximate description and body size. Police questioned other workers and, eventually arrested the six.
|"Smile everyone. Everyone that can, that is"|
Subsequent questioning and further investigation suggests that no rape or attack had taken place. No one was ever charged with the murders of McGhie, Jackson and Clayton. Max Mason, a fourth black circus worker, served four years in prison for his involvement in a crime that never happened.
We should never forget incidents like this. We should talk about them and not sweep them under the rug, pretending they didn't happen. And we, as a society, should be ashamed of ourselves.