A Case for Solomon: Bobby Dunbar and the Kidnapping That by Tal McThenia, Margaret Dunbar Cutright

By Tal McThenia, Margaret Dunbar Cutright

A CASE FOR SOLOMON: BOBBY DUNBAR AND the abduction THAT HAUNTED A state chronicles some of the most celebrated—and such a lot misunderstood—kidnapping circumstances in American historical past. In 1912, four-year-old Bobby Dunbar, the son of an upper-middle-class Louisiana relations, went lacking within the swamps. After an eight-month seek that electrified the rustic and destroyed Bobby’s mom and dad, the boy was once chanced on, filthy and infrequently recognizable, within the pinewoods of southern Mississippi. A wandering piano tuner who were shuttling the kid in the course of the zone via wagon for months was once arrested and charged with kidnapping—a crime that was once punishable by means of demise on the time. but if a destitute unmarried mom got here ahead from North Carolina to say the boy as her son, no longer Bobby Dunbar, the case grew to become a high-pitched conflict over custody—and identity—that divided the South.
Amid an ever-thickening tangle of suspicion and doubt, moms and a father struggled to claim their rightful parenthood over the kid, either to the general public and to themselves. for 2 years, attorneys dissected and newspapers sensationalized each point of the tale. Psychiatrists, physicians, criminologists, and personal detectives debated the piano tuner’s guilt and the boy’s id. And all of the whereas the boy himself remained primarily guarded at the query of who he was once. It took approximately a century, a interest that have been handed down via generations, and the technology of DNA to find the reality.
A Case for Solomon is a gripping ancient secret, distilled from a trove of private and archival examine. the tale of Bobby Dunbar, fought over by way of competing New Orleans tabloids, the courts, and the citizenry of 2 states, bargains a case research in yellow journalism, emergent forensic technology, and felony justice within the turn-of-the-century American South. it's a drama of uncooked poverty and gear and an exposÉ of ways that period outlined and defended motherhood, formative years, and group. First informed in a gorgeous episode of nationwide Public Radio’s This American lifestyles, A Case for Solomon chronicles the epic fight to figure out one child’s id, alongside the best way probing unsettling questions on the formation of reminiscence, relations, and self.

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By virtue of a theory of necessity set forth by Pakistani jurists in the 1950s, the Rangers also benefited from special arrangements regarding the occupation of public property and fishing rights. These special arrangements enabled them to take control of legal markets for which they themselves first supplied “protection” until the civil government of Sindh stepped in to take its cut on the racket. The “violent entrepreneurship” in which the Rangers gradually became involved is thus not the result of mere “excesses” on the part of these paramilitary troops perpetrated in the context of their home security mission.

The Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum was founded in 1998 by representatives of Pakistani fishermen backed by NGO activists. This organization set itself the aim of informing, uniting, and mobilizing the country’s 15 million fishermen to work toward the “sustainable management of this community’s resources. pk. 41. Hasan Mansoor, “Rangers Control of Fishing Grounds Sparks Controversy in Coastal Sindh,” The Friday Times, Lahore (November 5–11, 2004). 42. The PPP had already sought to cancel the Rangers’ fishing rights in 1996, under Abdullah Shah’s provincial government, but the chief minister was ousted before managing to implement this plan.

7. Vadim Volkov, “Les entreprises de violence dans la Russie postcommuniste,” Politix 13(49) (2002): 69. 8. This notion originally referred to the financing of organizations specialized in the use of violence in the context of Sicily, cf. Anton Blok. The Mafia of a Sicilian Village. A Study of Violent Peasant Entrepreneurs (Oxford: Blackwell, 1974); Diego Gambetta. The Sicilian Mafia. The Business of Private Protection (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1993). The semantic field of the notion is worth extending to include the business activities of state security officers, as Volkov has recently suggested in Violent Entrepreneurs, 27.

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