Herman Tucker

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Herman Tucker
Herman Tucker mugshot, late 1964
Born ca. 1928
Neshoba County, Mississippi
Died March 14, 2001 (Age 72)
Neshoba County, Mississippi
Nationality American
Occupation Heavy equipment operator
Spouse(s) Catherine Tucker

Herman Tucker (ca. 1928 – March 14, 2001) was a native Mississippian and a heavy equipment operator. He was linked to the murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner who were murdered in June 1964. The bodies of the Civil Rights workers were buried in an earthen dam that Tucker had helped to construct.


Tucker was a born in and was a lifelong resident of Neshoba County. He was a veteran of the United States Army. At the time of the murders, Tucker lived with his wife in the Hope community found a few miles west of Philadelphia. Tucker was never identified by a witness or informant as a Klan member.[1]

Freedom Summer Murders[edit]

In the afternoon of June 21, 1964, Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner arrived at Longdale to inspect the burned out church in Neshoba County. They left Longdale around 3 p.m. They were to be in Meridian by 4 p.m. that day. The fastest route to Meridian was through Philadelphia. At the fork of Beacon and Main Street their station wagon sustained a flat tire. It is possible that a shot was fired at the station wagon's tire. Rainey's home was near the Beacon and Main Street fork. Deputy Cecil Price soon arrived and escorted them to the county jail. Price released the trio as soon as the longest day of the year became night which was about 10 p.m. The three was last seen heading south along Highway 19 toward Meridian.

Burrage's Dam[edit]

Burrage was developing a cattle farm on Highway 21 which was a few miles southwest of Philadelphia.[2] Burrage hired Herman Tucker to build that dam.[2] Tucker was a part-time driver for Burrage, and Tucker owned two Caterpillar bulldozers.[2] Burrage contracted Tucker to clear an area on his farm for a dam.[3]

Sometime before the murders, Burrage remarked about the "invasion" of Civil Rights workers coming to Mississippi. Burrage allegedly proclaimed that, "Hell, I've got a dam that'll hold a hundred of them."[4]


In December 1964, Tucker was placed under arrest by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for violation of Title 18, Section 241, United States Code.

Tucker was officially arrested at 9:02 a.m., December 4, 1964, and transported to the Naval Auxiliary Air Station, Meridian, Mississippi where he was taken to the Bachelor Officers Quarters on the base where he was interviewed, fingerprinted and photographed.


Tucker died at his home in Neshoba County, Mississippi.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cagin, Seth; Philip Dray (1988). "June 21, 1964". We Are Not Afraid. Bantam Books. p. 359.
  2. ^ a b c Cagin, Seth; Philip Dray (1988). "June 21, 1964". We Are Not Afraid. Bantam Books. p. 55.
  3. ^ Cagin, Seth; Philip Dray (1988). "June 21, 1964". We Are Not Afraid. Bantam Books. p. 359.
  4. ^ Cagin, Seth; Philip Dray (1988). "June 21, 1964". We Are Not Afraid. Bantam Books. p. 341.

External links[edit]