Mississippi journalist, professor Curtis Wilkie to speak on ‘When Evil Lived in Laurel’

Published 3:23 pm Thursday, October 14, 2021

JOHNSON CITY — “When Evil Lived in Laurel: The ‘White Knights’ and the Murder of Vernon Dahmer” is the focus of a virtual talk to be given by Curtis Wilkie on Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m.
This lecture and reading from Wilkie’s book by the same title will be held via Zoom and is part of the Black American Studies Lecture Series at East Tennessee State University.
Wilkie is a journalist and retired journalism professor from the University of Mississippi.
Wilkie graduated from Ole Miss in 1963 and began his journalism career with the Clarksdale Press Register. He received a Congressional Fellowship from the American Political Science Association to work in Washington, D.C., as an aide to Sen. Walter F. Mondale and Rep. John Brademas from 1969-71.
After a stint as a reporter at The News Journal, Wilmington, Delaware, Wilkie joined the Boston Globe, where he spent 26 years as a national and foreign correspondent. He began teaching as a visiting professor of journalism at Mississippi in 2002, and was appointed the first Overby Fellow with the Overby Center for Southern Journalism and Politics at the university in 2007.
Known as a historian of the South, Wilkie’s major works include “The Fall of the House of Zeus: The Rise and Ruin of America’s Most Powerful Trial Lawyer,” “Dixie: A Personal Odyssey Through Events that Shaped the Modern South” and “Arkansas Mischief: The Birth of a National Scandal,” which he co-authored with Jim McDougal.
His latest book, “When Evil Lived in Laurel: The ‘White Knights’ and the Murder of Vernon Dahmer,” tells the inside story of how a courageous FBI informant helped to bring down the KKK organization responsible for a brutal Civil Rights-era killing.
Wilkie’s virtual talk and audience Q&A on Oct. 19 is free and available to the public.
For more information and to receive the Zoom link, contact Dr. Daryl A. Carter, director of Black American Studies at ETSU, at carterda@etsu.edu.