By Robert A. Waters and Zack C. Waters
University of Alabama Press
In a long-forgotten story, Robert A. Waters and Zack C. Waters describe the 1938 abduction and murder of five-year-old James Bailey “Skeegie” Cash. Using 4,000 pages of FBI files and court documents, the authors bring to life the drama of the abduction, the payment of a $10,000 ransom, the hunt for Skeegie and his kidnapper, the arrest and confession of Franklin Pierce McCall, and the killer’s trial and execution.
Hundreds of reporters swarmed into the small farming village of Princeton, Florida, south of Miami and on the edge of the Everglades, and for thirteen days held a nation enthralled as the spectacle played out.
But this is much more than the story of a missing child. J. Edgar Hoover, Congress, and even President Franklin D. Roosevelt became personally involved in this case.
Soon after the execution of McCall, World War II broke out, and the case faded into oblivion. But now the authors have brought to light one of the most important cases in FBI history.
Praise for The Kidnapping and Murder of Little Skeegie Cash.
“In a tale clear and gripping, Robert Waters and Zack Waters have deftly chronicled a crime that was as significant to FBI history as all the public enemies that came before. The crisp narrative exposes J. Edgar Hoover’s bold political machinations and an urgent grassroots effort to save a missing child. This is true crime at its best: unembellished, dramatic, and authoritative.” Ron Franscell, best-selling novelist and true crime author.
“Robert Waters and Zack Waters have crafted a masterpiece of detective work and analysis. The Kidnapping and Murder of Little Skeegie Cash highlights one of the most infamous criminal episodes in Florida history. It is also another in the damning indictments of Hoover and his tenure as head of the FBI. It is an excellent read.” Nick Wynne, Executive Director Emeritus of the Florida Historical Society.