Williamson County in southern Illinois has been the scene of almost unparalleled violence, from the Bloody Vendetta between two families in the 1870s through the Herrin Massacre of 1922, Ku Klux Klan activities that ended in fatalities, and the gang war of the 1920s between the Charlie Birger and Shelton brothers gangs. Paul Angle was fascinated by this more-than-fifty-year history, and his account of violence has become a classic.
"This small book is packed with historical details. . . . Citizens should read it for no other reason than to discover that such violence. . . can "happen"--and that it may not yet be quite finished."--Journal of Criminal Law, Criminology & Police Science "Angle's story of Williamson County has justifiably been called a classic, and the University of Illinois Press deserves praise for reissuing it with the helpful introduction by Southern Illinois University historian John Y. Simon."--Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society