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Local Author Announces New Work


November 27, 2013 by wcobserver

A Crime Unfit To Be Named: The Prosecution of John William Campbell

A True Account; 40,000 words; By Denele Campbell

Folks in this sleepy Arkansas hill town had no idea what awaited them that hot June day in 1949. So charged were the words required to describe it, the news wouldn’t make the front page. Instead, a tiny notice buried on Page 6 announced the beginning of a crime and a mystery: “Charges of sodomy were filed late this morning in Circuit Court against John Campbell and Mrs. Mary Henry.”

Most of us would consider ‘sodomy’ to be a specific act. But before the laws changed in 1976, the term applied to a variety of non-traditional sexual activities including acts that today are considered a normal part of heteosexual foreplay. Even then, as the Kinsey studies revealed, almost half the population engaged in these types of acts, so why single out this man more than any other? Equally puzzling is why Fayetteville police found it necessary to spy on this man in his home in a way that today would be considered a flagrant violation of his right to privacy.

This true account tracks indictments, county and Arkansas Supreme Court records, family history, and newspaper articles to tell an outrageous story of zealous lawmen, personal tragedy and a small Southern town hell bent on moral order.

Available as an ebook or paperback at your favorite book retailer or at

Denele Campbell
13251 Green Road
West Fork AR 72774
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