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21 years has passed since James Byrd's gruesome death shocked the nation and devastated his family. Byrd was viciously killed by John William King and two accomplices in Jasper, Texas in 1998.

On Wednesday, King, 44, is scheduled to be put to death by lethal injection in a Texas state prison.

King and his accomplices, Shawn Berry and Lawrence Brewer, encountered Byrd walking home after leaving a friend's house in the early morning hours on June 7, 1998. Berry, who was driving, was familiar with Byrd from around town. He offered to drive Byrd home.

But instead of taking him home, the men took him to a secluded area on the outskirts of town. There they brutally beat him, and urinated and defecated on him before chaining him by the ankles to the back of their pickup truck.

They then dragged Byrd for nearly 3 miles along a paved road. Newspapers would later publish grisly photos of Byrd's body parts scattered along the asphalt road. The police placed yellow evidence markers at 81 places where Byrd's remains were found.

During King's murder trial, the prosecutor said Byrd was alive for at least two miles before his body was ripped apart. There is evidence that he tried to hold his up off the asphalt while he was being dragged.

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King and his accomplices are white. Byrd was Black. His death dominated the nation's headlines for weeks and led to changes in the way local and federal governments prosecute hate crimes.

According to FBI files, in 1999 there were 3,679 victims of anti-Black crimes. The statistics have dropped in the years since Byrd was killed.

Berry was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. He spends 23 hours a day in an 8-by-6 cell in protective custody at a Texas prison. He will be eligible for parole when he is 63 years old in June 2038.

Brewer, an unrepentant racist, was executed on Sept. 21, 2011. He expressed no remorse for his crime.

In a letter from King to Brewer before his execution, King wrote, "Regardless of the outcome of this, we have made history. Death before dishonor. Sieg Heil!"

Byrd's family, who still live in Jasper, fondly remembered him to a reporter. They recalled how he loved to play trumpet in his high school band and sing exuberantly in the church choir.

Byrd once told his family he would "put Jasper, Texas, on the map" one day.

"He thought it would be because of his music," said Louvon Harris, one of his sisters. "Never did we think it would be because of his death," she said.

"Now when you mention Jasper, you associate Jasper with James, Harris said. "It's sad to know it was for a different reason than he anticipated."

Photos by PAUL BUCK/AFP/Getty Images

  • ShelbyMoore

    I remember this case and reading about it again is just as terrible as when it first happened. My heart goes out to Mr. Bryd's family.

    People who are this evil should be wiped out, including their bloodlines. They shouldn't be allowed to leave anything on this earth just in case it turns out like them...PURE EVIL.

  • Kanyade

    Monsters, the lot of them whta they did to that man.

  • Kanyade

    Monsters, the lot of them whta they did to that man.

  • MsSapphire9800

    Well it's been a long time coming...he lived 21 yrs too long. We need a post on the the "Black College Student Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Kissing a White Girl"....plus probation for life.

  • MsSapphire9800

    Well it's been a long time coming...he lived 21 yrs too long. We need a post on the the "Black College Student Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison for Kissing a White Girl"....plus probation for life.

  • Bleu Lantern

    The fact that he has breathed, been fed, clothed and kept warm for 21 years is a true testament that black lives DO NOT and NEVER DID matter in this country. We are expendable.

    When it's one of their own, suddenly JUSTICE MUST BE SWIFT. But when they do the crime, "let's not jump to conclusions and wait for the facts". EFF THAT.

    The very headlines they use for us and them are atrocious. Two white girls stole a car and they had the audacity to say they "borrowed it and were found safe". Imagine if Keisha and LaTayna stole a car. There'd be a manhunt with helicopters and S.W.A.T and they'd probably be dead.

  • Bleu Lantern

    The fact that he has breathed, been fed, clothed and kept warm for 21 years is a true testament that black lives DO NOT and NEVER DID matter in this country. We are expendable.

    When it's one of their own, suddenly JUSTICE MUST BE SWIFT. But when they do the crime, "let's not jump to conclusions and wait for the facts". EFF THAT.

    The very headlines they use for us and them are atrocious. Two white girls stole a car and they had the audacity to say they "borrowed it and were found safe". Imagine if Keisha and LaTayna stole a car. There'd be a manhunt with helicopters and S.W.A.T and they'd probably be dead.

  • IyanlaVanzantoftheInterWebs

    He lived a good life.. 20 years if life before being executed ?.
    Wouldn't it be cheaper to kill the monsters immediately?

  • IyanlaVanzantoftheInterWebs

    He lived a good life.. 20 years if life before being executed ?.
    Wouldn't it be cheaper to kill the monsters immediately?

  • Gamer?? Chick

    21 years wasting taxpayers money should have been https://media1.giphy.com/media/MevIObkRI1kti/giphy.gif
    a long time ago!

  • Gamer?? Chick

    21 years wasting taxpayers money should have been https://media1.giphy.com/media/MevIObkRI1kti/giphy.gif
    a long time ago!

  • Allergic2dumbstuff

    I remember this evil event and still remember how Dennis Rodman paid for Mr. Byrd's funeral. (Only sane thing he's done in a minute.) - Why waste 21 yrs of taxpayers money? King should've been executed the same way he killed Mr Byrd. Eye for an eye. I said it then and I still feel the same way, Drag his azz.

  • WinterIsComing

    Cave Demons ?

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Rot in hell demon !

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    I still don't understand why the driver got a life sentence and not death.

  • Allergic2dumbstuff

    Oh HAAAAIL No! Lemme go to Google. I'll be back right!

  • luVn_liFe…

    disgusting, Off Topic; I watched "BlackKklansman" last night. disgusting

  • luVn_liFe…

    maybe he testified against King

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    haven't seen and want be watching thanks for the warning

  • luVn_liFe…

    what?? my goodness this is awful

  • Skin Deep Beauty

    In protective custody.. FOH!

  • luVn_liFe…

    jenie it's actually good it's not like this story.. just the ending which is footage from 2017 in charlotte :-( which is what is sad that same place dif times but it's all still the same. nothing is changing. I told my hub they'll be back to lynching soon.

  • Mr.LeBrickJames

    Every time somebody tells me the death penalty is immoral I think of the James Byrd case. In this case, the death penalty is 100% deserved and absolutely the moral thing to do.
    #justice

  • WhoKnew

    Lethal injection my foot. Fry his ass. Whyte peeple commit crimes way different than us. He looks like the sick bastard that he is. I hope they change their mind and fry his ass and forget to use Crisco.

  • Coy little wink

    Look at this smug faced demon...won't be smirking in hell tho...

    FINISH HIM

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    word on da curb ..... fawka burning ret now .... and will meet his ain't shyt Maker and fry some more ....... eternal death!!!!!! https://media0.giphy.com/media/3o7TKv7xq9Be7y2wq4/giphy.gif

  • Coy little wink

    Its good Jenie...plus it's true...exposed the Klan as straight dummies

  • luVn_liFe…

    lol.. aRRRRRha

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    well if they start that lyching expect a fight ..... folks not backing down to that foolishness .... shyt will backfire and the person trying to lynch just may be hung themselves ..... folks ain't taking da shyt no mo!!!!

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Ima watch it ... eventually ... Thanks bew .... I know they have been playing it on HBO

  • luVn_liFe…

    agreed.. if you bring it get ready to get it! folks aint going out like that.unless they get accosted by a group of these demons and hopefully the person the try will have that HEAT for em!

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    Chile the 1949 shyt is not about to happen with some folks in 2019 going forward ..... folks is sick of this shyt ..... whew !!!!

  • Brown & Proud

    Death by torture. Lethal injection is the easy way out. I say take him out the same way he murdered by beating, defecation and dragging. Slow, painful death. What those men did to Byrd was PURE evil.

  • CookieMobster

    This is some sick shit. I can't not understand how any one could do this to anything that his life in it. I could not torture a cricket much less a human. This is just disgusting.

  • jeniefrumdabloc™

    demons have no logic so understanding torture chile for sane folks ....we will never understand that ....all I know these fawkas will rot!!!!

  • Chhzz

    why us tax payers housing these men for decades?
    once they get convicted send them to the chair...asap. no need to wait.

  • MsSapphire9800

    Here is another sad story....Glen Burnie homicide victim Tyrique Hudson was beloved son, driven software engineer....crazy azz white neighbor shot him for no reason

  • Parent

    Sick sick people they are. Why did they put a vest on this animal? I wish there were laws that would make him suffer the same fate as the victim.

    This poor man. He truly suffered and was tortured. This broke my spirit.

  • Queen B

    These evil as crackas' souls will burn forever. I don't fvck with these evil demons and I don't care to ever b associated them. I just wish he wudve never got in the car with them everyone knows not to ever ride with crackas unless u got a pistol to shoot they ass down

  • ShWa

    Rotten to the core, sick individuals not fit to live here on this planet, or anywhere else.

  • Lisa Left Eye

    They shud let the family members put a bullet thru his neanderthal skull and call it a day. I long for the day these white ppl drop off the face of the earth

  • T3

    I almost remember this like yesterday. I can't believe it's been that long. It is so sad how hateful some ppl are just based on the color or one's skin. It's just pathetic! How dare him be proud and say they made history. Sickening!

  • Raquel

    ???.....die h*nkey die.

  • GAPeach

    I saw a white man get the absolute shit slapped out of him last week for telling this black man he would string him up on a tree. Nice open handed one too. I didn't know what was going on until the slapper started yelling at him that he better not ever say that to him again.

  • Allergic2dumbstuff

    Please, I can't take no more. Tyrique tried to get a protective order against his assailant and was denied??

  • Tell the truth

    Why did they wait so long to get rid of this piece of shit !!

  • Raquel

    Omg...I just read this story. Sad!! This is why I'm teaching my son to stay away from white girls! I will gather all evidence such as this and show him this is what could happen if you do. Where is Tommy Sotomeyer at??? I wonder if he did a video on YT about this?? Or is he still praising them over black women??

  • Lady_Elle

    They should be executed the same way they took the victim's life!

  • Raquel

    Exactly!

  • NaeNay

    I remember this. Lord.

    This f***** should die with as much, if not more, pain as this poor man endured.

  • RealATLPeach36

    Why he has to die painless? That’s bull shyt

  • RealATLPeach36

    Doesn’t time fly...

  • NaeNay

    I agree. They need to put that needle in the wrong way or give him too much of the lethal dosage, whatever. Make it hurt.

  • T3

    Man!!!!!!

  • MsSapphire9800

    They were gone for 5 minutes and cried rape..and an all white jury.....as for Sotomeyer...I am blocked from all his shyt...because as a black woman...I disagree with all his shyt.

  • luVn_liFe…

    cthu,i love it!

  • Nunya Business

    I live in Texas (Houston) and I remember this case well. Little county towns like Vidor and Jasper are still like this to this day. There was a saying (sadly) amongst us black people in Texas to never drive through Vidor, especially at night because if your car breaks down you may be heard from again. After this case Jasper was added to it.

  • Brooklyn23

    Really such a painful way to die. They need give them (the ones alive) the same death penalty being dragged miles while cuffed to the back of a truck. They should give this type of punishment for pedos/rapists, and people who commit horrific crimes

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    Don't Google the pictures of his remains strewn along the roadway. ?

  • TRUTHbeabsolute

    ABOUT TIME!

  • dontgetblocked

    All three of them should be executed. Why does one get life in prison?

  • dontgetblocked

    I liked it.

  • Brooklyn23

    What's messed up is that they hate themselves more than this dude. Why would you throw your freedom and life away for something senseless. Dumb or stupid?

  • Brooklyn23

    Na I'm not interested in seeing evidence of someone's painful moments. If it was warranted (like if they said R Kelly etc) then yes. Sometimes I try to tell myself (when I hear of gruesome sad actions,in order not to be affected by it) maybe they did something/s that people dont know about and it's bad karma that made their way to that person. But unfortunately most of the times it's the wrong people bad things happen to. Life! I really wonder what the meaning is

  • yvette46

    Well, this cause for a celebration!! Breaking out the champagne on Wednesday!!

  • Soda

    I covered my eyes after reading that part so I surely don't want to see pics.

  • mzwhang90210

    I remember protesting this when I lived in Texas.
    I don't condone death, but in this case, I'd pull the switch.
    Don't sleep tho Black folks, chances are you work amongst yt peepo who share the same sentiments as these killers.
    The Klan doesn't always wear white sheets. There are such things as the Corporate Klan.

  • BingBangBoom

    Same way they did him is the same way they should've been dealt with

  • Wile E. Coli

    That took too long.

  • Pamela

    China got it right. Sentenced today, executed the next day by firing squad

  • wigmon68

    agreed. There is always a right to a trial and an appeal, but 2 years max.

  • mzwhang90210

    It sure did. My tax $$$ went to support this POS on Death Row. I want a refund!

  • mzwhang90210

    Wednesday?? LMAO..I wants my Cham-pipple NOW!! LOLOLOLOL!

  • Pamela

    Sick bastard. When this evil took place I was doing consulting work in Plano Texas. When I heard, I got on the phone with HQ and asked them to get me outa Tx pronto. It took a couple of weeks to find me another gig in a more enlightened city. Never went back to Tx, cut ties with the yt colleagues I met there. Shit.

  • Raquel

    It was a wrap from jump with an all white jury. Is that REALLY a jury of his peers, or nah? Lol @ you being blocked. You probably gave him the business and he ain't like that sh*t. ???

  • Raquel

    I HATE THAT SH*T girl!! There's this white dude who always says "what's up son" when he sees me like I speak like that everyday. ? I WISH I could say what I really mean but then I'd have no job. Lol That's some bullsh*t to me. I definitely work with undercover racists for sure. There have been other incidences with other people and I just keep my mouth shut because they are all on each other's side, not mines.

  • Raquel

    I heard that Killeen (Texas) stood for "kill each and every n*gger. True?

  • Fire & Ice

    I remember this like it was yesterday. My Lord they tortured this man. My heart aches just thinking of the agony and pain Mr. Byrd was in. This right here is what evil looks like.

  • bemetoo

    Me too there’s this fat white lady that looks like Lydia from the Steve Harvey show and every time she greets or Interact with a Person of color it’s alwa with slang or hip talk with swag but as soon as she’s with her yt Counterparts she’s all proper and speak with Decorum

  • Raquel

    Don't you just wanna smack the fire outta them?!?! Lol It makes my blood boil because they think that is okay when it's a form of harassment in my opinion. But, I play their game too. I runteldat to HR each and every time. They like to tell and so do I. Lol this white lady at my job supposedly LOVES rap music and I asked her one day..."how can you like the same music that perpetuates the violence and ignorance that you complain only black people exhibit"? F*cking crickets. We don't talk much now. Lol

  • Chhzz

    Hold up though. I need the appeals process and etc to stay. Maybe the person is innocent.
    I take it back. I do not want anyone's death on my conciousness

  • Shelly5525

    Long overdue!!

  • DaughterOfaQueen

    Please don’t let your job hinder you from speaking about something that makes you uncomfortable. Shit jobs come & go??

  • Nunya Business

    I never heard that one but I would not doubt it.

  • Evillene

    If only there were really a Hell...

    These bastards deserve to burn for eternity.

  • A D N

    Hating people for the color of their skin is still the dumbest thing created. Now, disliking people for their actions or stupidity is something else.

  • mzwhang90210

    Why is your co-worker calling you "son" if you're a woman?
    And I feel you. But here's the thing..the MINUTE you object, they'll say you're too sensitive or playin the race card. SMH. Yt folks love to play slick.

  • mzwhang90210

    Not Lydia though. LOL...
    What gets me is...yt women will come at me like "I bet you have alot of boyfriends??"
    I'm like, "boyfriends?????" Sorry to disappoint you, Missy Ann, but Black women DO get married!!
    Like they just assume that Black women can't be married. Like we ALL have to be livin with some dude so that state benifits won't be cut off. My name ain't "Claudine" bih...
    I mean Ughhhhhhhh fo real!!!

  • MNjumpoffacliff

    ??????????way past due

  • I Run New York

    Amen ?

  • I Run New York

    Most people sit on death row 15-20 years because of appeals

  • the guest

    James Byrd Jr. such a beautiful man and soul.

    I HATE HIS EVIL RACIST MURDERERS.

    LORD FORGIVE ME, I REALLY DO.

  • Ryan

    The devil already got a spot for him in hell. He was smiling in those pics cause he thought he'd get away with it in trump's ''murrica with "very fine people on both sides", or at most get a light sentence. Wish they did a firing squad instead but we'll take it!

  • mzwhang90210

    Bewskiiiiiiiiiii

  • yvette46

    Girllll lol, Bottoms up. Lol

  • http://dateme-meetup.site/PY4aOtX9Gds Lillian
  • MNjumpoffacliff

    We lush yew Sis ????

  • Coco17

    So true ??????

  • free

    i wish it were live-streamed.

  • LYRICS

    I remembered this story when it happened.....

    James, may your smile be even brighter than this mo'foe, and may this bring some sort of piece (peace) of justice.??

  • free

    damn, do we work at the same job? lol

  • Malai

    That man died an absolute gruesome death.. when I first read about it, I literally cried.. we all know how bad RUG BURN hurt.. so just imagine your flesh being purposely drug along concrete for hundreds of yards.. maybe even miles. It’s just sick.. idk how this man didn’t die in prison already

  • http://dateme-meetup.site/iGZEwXLqds Madison
  • Yoni7
  • Look@m3

    you got me scared to read up and look it up to read.....

  • Look@m3

    How you live this long to get executed with a smile for a crime like this? I'm really starting to believe God has given up on mankind and said F it, I aint coming back. yawl on your own with this BS. Like Id like to know what did you do on a daily basis before you decided to commit this crime.

  • Look@m3

    WTH....I'm sure we got some over here in GA too but my goodness! I know TX is BIG so there is a lot of room for them nuts to commit the worse of the worse!

  • Raquel

    That's what I'm saying!! They don't even know the context; they're just happy to be speaking "slang" in any form. When I brought it up to someone else, I was the sensitive one OR (their favorite word), "maybe it's just my perception". I've had to refrain from slapping the sh*t outta my supervisor MANY times.

  • Raquel

    True. But I have a 4 year old son who goes to a private school and I NEED this job; I got bills, girl. lol

    So let me ask you this (just want your opinion): there is this white woman I work with and she's told me before that her parents are racist BUT claims that SHE isn't racist.....HOWEVER, when there are things that happen in the news and it includes a black person she'll come to work and say "did you see so and so on the news and what they did".....but I when there is a white man/boy who shoots up schools or some sh*t, I NEVER hear her say ANYTHING! She is mute on that.

    And there are some other black people who work here and she'll always say "I don't know, there's just something about then I don't like".....she always has a comment on US but she never talks sh*t about anyone else even if they are a piece of sh*t. I think she's racist just like her ugly ass daddy. lol I could go on.....but she pisses me the fu*k off each time I look at her. Tryna see how I should deal with her because I would LOVE to give her smoke....lol

  • Karen Brady

    "The slapper" teeeee heeeeeeeeeeeeee

  • SpillyNillie

    Too bad his racist ass can't be drugged behind a truck by his hair!!

  • Raquel

    Yeah, I forgot where I saw it at. It could be wrong, but who knows. I wouldn't put anything past these white folk though

  • SpiceGirl

    Justice!! Bout dang time too!!

  • DaughterOfaQueen

    You don’t necessarily have to “give her smoke”...when the situation arises again and you feel a certain way tell her how you feel. Periodt.

  • Guess Who

    BITCH ASS

  • ?Patty Kakes?

    I have no sympathy for him

  • kennedy220

    That's because the death penalty seems like an easy way out...I say put his ass in a real life SAW movie and let him suffer in pain day by day

  • kennedy220

    I'm originally from Lufkin which isn't far from either of those places. If I ever have to go there it's always in the day. I had to do some work in Vidor, and my mom begged me to take care of that place first even though it was out of my way in the way that I needed to get my work done. I was so scared

  • ?? Kari ?????????

    He should be executed the same way he killed James Byrd!

  • ClaireHuxtable

    I truly wish it was Real justice, but will have to be satisfied with his life ending this way.

  • ClaireHuxtable

    1/4 mile each day until U get to 3 miles.
    I know it's a good thing I'm not God.

  • ClaireHuxtable

    Is a pit of alligators too much?

  • SpiceGirl

    I agree

  • ClaireHuxtable

    Respond..."Hey Granny! How's Jethro?"
    That will mess him up.

  • Trace da Ace

    They should torture his ass and do the same mess they did to that poor man.....why is it 21 years later that he is being executed???? Texas got a back log like that??? Damn shame....this is not the justice that this man and his family deserves.....this ignorant piece of shyt sat in jail for 21 years while we tax payers paid for his pasty ass to live in jail!!!!!

    Texas....DO BETTER!

  • Kimberly King

    Auntie, thank you for doing this story. I never knew about this gruesome murder. I was only 9 years old back in 1998. Injection is too good for this bum. RIP to Mr. Byrd.

  • http://sandrarose.com SandraRose

    I was in Atlanta when this happened in 1998. It was all over the news. I don't know why I thought it happened in the 1960s.

  • Reenaface

    I remember this case well I was a sophmore in college when it happened. Horrible, horrible way to die. I don't understand how they live with no conscious knowing that they took this man's life for no reason.

  • Kimberly King

    I live in Houston too. How far are these places from HTX? The countriest (if that’s a word) areas of Texas I’ve ever been to include: Diboll, Hearne, Trinity and Crockett. Crockett looked like no man’s land. Funny though, I saw quite a few black people in Crockett. I’ve also been to China, TX which literally has a population of like 400. Luckily I’ve never been to any of these places at night.

  • Kimberly King

    It honestly sounds like something that would happen in the 60’s versus the 90’s.

  • Jethro

    ?? Are tickets available?

  • Malai

    I’ll forewarn you, it’s BAD

  • Ryan

    Not at ALL!!

  • ReadingIsFundamental4Real

    Say what you want about Texas but death means death and that's the only thing I can say good about this case. It just took too long.

  • http://dateme-meetup.site/b6794BON0ds Lee Kanne
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  • Zeta Phi Beta 1920

    MY GOD. MY GOD. MY GOD.

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