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Episode 55 Who Killed Janie Sharp?

In July 1910, the murder of Janie Sharp rocked the community of Rural Hill, Mississippi. A man would be arrested for the murder but over the next two years there would be unexpected twists in the search for answers, including the murder of two men associated with the case.

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Janie Sharp
Photo: Findagrave.com

When someone is murdered in a small town, everyone in the community is affected. It can consume the town. Even split it in two. This was the case in the farming community of Rural Hill in Winston county, Mississippi.

Life in Rural Hill had been fairly quiet and ordinary until July 21st, 1910. That was the day Janie Sharp’s lifeless body was discovered in the woods not far from her home.

Soon after, the son of another family in the community would be arrested and charged with murder.  His trial, and the debate over who really murdered this young woman, left Rural Hill divided. And it led to the murder of two men associated with the case. 

For generations, people have been asking who killed Janie Sharp? Folks who grew up in Winston County will tell you that they know the families involved. Remember their own mothers or grandmothers keeping newspaper clippings from the days after Janie was killed and clipping from both trials of her suspected killer. 

The Janie Sharp murder worked its way into the hearts and minds of all of Winston County back in the early 20th century. And Janie’s remained there for generations with many who have their own theories about the murder and who really killed Janie Sharp.

Sharp Family
Photo: Winston County Historical Preservation Facebook

Episode Sources

Mississippi businessman and author, William McCully wrote an in depth series about the murder of Janie Sharp. You can read the series here.

His book, Murder in Rural Hill, dives deeper into the murder.

Murder in Rural Hill by William McCully

Powell, Robert. (1912). Cases Argued and Decided in the Supreme Court of Mississippi. October Term 1910, March Term 1911, Volume 99.


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Music
Theme Song “Dark & Troubled” by Panthernburn. Special thanks to Phillip St Ours for permission for use

Additional Music
“Sugar Pines” by Wes Hutchison; Lost Time”, “Evening Fall Harp”, “Clean Soul” by Kevin MacLeod; “Last Train to Mars” and “I Am A Man” by Dan Lebowitz Licensed under Creative Commons

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