Lawson Family Murders: How and Why Did Charles Kill His Wife and Kids? – The Lawson family was murdered on December 25, 1929, in Germanton, North Carolina, in the United States, by sharecropper Charles Davis “Charlie” Lawson, who also killed his wife and six of his seven children.
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Read on if you want to know why and how Charles Lawson killed his wife and children. Check out Spikytv.com now.
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Who Was Charles Lawson and How Did He Kill His Wife and Six Children?
Charles Lawson wed Fannie Manring in 1911; they had eight kids together. William, the third, was born in 1914 and passed away in 1920 from disease. Lawson and his family moved to the Germanton region in 1918 after their younger brothers Marion and Elijah did the same. By 1927, the Lawsons had saved enough money from their employment as tenant tobacco farmers to purchase their own farm on Brook Cove Road.
On Christmas Day 1929, Lawson (age 43) went shopping and had a family portrait done in town with his wife Fannie (age 37), their seven children, Marie (year 17), Arthur (age 16), Carrie (age 12), Maybell (age 7), James (age 4), Raymond (age 2), and Mary Lou (age 4 months). This would have been an exceptional event for a rural working-class family of the time, which has given rise to rumors that Lawson’s deed was deliberate.
However, given that Lawson had bought his own property two years earlier and that he was described as a “well-to-do farmer” in an Associated Press wire that was published the day after the killings, a pre-Christmas buying spree would seem understandable.
Carrie and Maybell were the first victims of Lawson’s shooting on December 25 in the late afternoon as they left for their uncle and aunt’s home. He waited for them by the tobacco barn until they were close enough to shoot, then he shot them with a 12-gauge shotgun and bludgeoned them to death. The bodies were placed in the tobacco barn by him.
Lawson then returned to the home and killed Fannie, who was standing on the porch. James and Raymond, the two young boys, tried to locate a hiding spot while Marie, who was inside, shrieked in response to the gunshot. Lawson killed the two boys after shooting Marie. He also murdered the infant Mary Lou; it’s believed that she was bludgeoned to death. After the killings, he proceeded into the surrounding woods, where he shot himself. His 16-year-old eldest son, Arthur, whom he had dispatched on an errand moments before executing the murder, was the lone survivor.
The family members’ bodies were discovered with their arms crossed and pebbles piled on top of them. The large crowd that had assembled on the property after learning of the deaths there heard the gunshot that indicated Lawson’s own suicide. Lawson’s body and letters to his parents were discovered by a police officer who was accompanying Arthur when he hurried down to the scene. It was assumed that he had been pacing about the tree before taking his life since tracks surrounded the tree.
What was the Motive Behind Lawson Family’s Killing
Lawson had suffered a head injury months before the incident; several family members and acquaintances suspected that it affected his mental state and was connected to the massacre. But the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s autopsy and study of his brain revealed no anomalies.
An allegation of Charlie sexually abusing Marie did not come to light until the publication of the book White Christmas, Bloody Christmas in 1990, starting with an unnamed source who overheard a story while taking a tour of the Lawson home soon after the killings. A relative who had already been interviewed for the book, Stella Lawson, called the author the day before the book was set to be released.
Stella claimed to have heard Fannie confess in her sisters-in-law and aunts—among them, Stella’s mother, Jettie Lawson—that she had been worried about an “incestuous relationship” between Charlie and Marie. Fannie had been wary of the incest at least that long before the killings in late 1929, as Jettie passed away in early 1928.
The Meaning of our Tears, written by the same author and released in 2006, provided additional evidence in favour of this hypothesis. Marie Lawson confided in Ella May a few weeks before Christmas 1929 that she was pregnant by her own father and that both he and Fannie knew about it, according to Ella May, a close friend of Marie’s. Hill Hampton, a different close friend and neighbor of the Lawson family, claimed to be aware of significant issues present inside the household but refrained from going into further detail.
Marion Lawson, the brother of Charlie Lawson, opened the house on Brook Cove Road as a tourist destination soon after the killings. On tour, there was a cake that Marie had cooked on Christmas Day. The cake was stored in a covered glass cake server for many years because tourists started stealing raisins from it to take home as souvenirs.
The murder ballad “The Murder of the Lawson Family,” which was recorded by the Stanley Brothers in March 1956, was one of several songs and other memorials that were inspired by the tragedy.
Additionally, the case was discussed in a Criminal edition of the PRX podcast.
The Lawsons were buried in a family cemetery that was originally built in 1908 for the use of the W. D. Browder family, as well as a few chosen friends and neighbors. Due to a lack of available plots, it is currently only accessible to W. D. Browder’s immediate descendants for funerals. Arthur Lawson, who was 32 years old when he died in a car accident in 1945, left behind a wife and four kids.
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