By Tal McThenia, Margaret Dunbar Cutright
A CASE FOR SOLOMON: BOBBY DUNBAR AND the abduction THAT HAUNTED A kingdom chronicles probably the most celebrated—and such a lot misunderstood—kidnapping circumstances in American heritage. In 1912, four-year-old Bobby Dunbar, the son of an upper-middle-class Louisiana relations, went lacking within the swamps. After an eight-month seek that electrified the rustic and destroyed Bobby’s mom and dad, the boy used to be came upon, filthy and rarely recognizable, within the pinewoods of southern Mississippi. A wandering piano tuner who have been shuttling the kid through the quarter by way of wagon for months used to be arrested and charged with kidnapping—a crime that was once punishable by means of loss of life on the time. but if a destitute unmarried mom got here ahead from North Carolina to say the boy as her son, now not Bobby Dunbar, the case turned a high-pitched conflict over custody—and identity—that divided the South.
Amid an ever-thickening tangle of suspicion and doubt, moms and a father struggled to say their rightful parenthood over the kid, either to the general public and to themselves. for 2 years, legal professionals dissected and newspapers sensationalized each element of the tale. Psychiatrists, physicians, criminologists, and personal detectives debated the piano tuner’s guilt and the boy’s id. And the entire whereas the boy himself remained exceptionally guarded at the query of who he was once. It took approximately a century, a interest that have been handed down via generations, and the technological know-how of DNA to find the reality.
A Case for Solomon is a gripping ancient secret, distilled from a trove of private and archival examine. the tale of Bobby Dunbar, fought over by way of competing New Orleans tabloids, the courts, and the citizenry of 2 states, deals a case learn in yellow journalism, emergent forensic technological know-how, and legal justice within the turn-of-the-century American South. it's a drama of uncooked poverty and gear and an exposÉ of the way that period outlined and defended motherhood, youth, and group. First instructed in a gorgeous episode of nationwide Public Radio’s This American existence, A Case for Solomon chronicles the epic fight to figure out one child’s id, alongside the way in which probing unsettling questions on the formation of reminiscence, kin, and self.