Orlando Sentinel by Lauren Ritichie
April 13, 2018
56-year-old fashion-photographer-turned-author used his pen in 2012 to exorcise the curtain of silence over the 28-year reign of notoriously racist Lake County Sheriff Willis McCall with a startlingly honest account that won the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction.
Gilbert King searched through never-before-released records to write “Devil in the Grove,” the sickening but true story of the Groveland Four, young black men falsely accused of raping a 17-year-old white woman in a community where they could have no hope of being found innocent — regardless of actual guilt.
While interviewing, King heard the tale of another horrific story of justice perverted, and he was hooked. Five years later, King’s newest book is being released April 24: “Beneath a Ruthless Sun: A True Story of Violence, Race and Justice Lost and Found.”
The second tale ironically came from one of McCall’s deputies, who later went on to become sheriff. Noel “Evvie” Griffin was just starting his law enforcement career when a Leesburg society woman was raped in 1957. Though Blanche Bosanquet Knowles told deputies she was attacked by “a husky Negro” who had “bushy hair,” a developmentally delayed white teen who still slept with his teddy bear was locked away in an asylum for the criminally insane for 14 years without ever being convicted.[READ MORE]