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D.C. Stephenson
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Racist
    (August 21, 1891-June 28, 1966)
    Born in Houston, Texas
    Birth name was David Curtiss Stephenson
    Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana and 22 other Northern states (1922-25)
    Convicted of second-degree murder for the abduction and rape of Madge Oberholtzer, leading her to commit suicide
    Sentenced to life in prison (1925), paroled (1950), re-imprisoned for parole violation (1951), paroled again on condition of leaving Indiana and never returning (1956)
    He started as a Socialist, ran for Congress as a Democrat (1920), then changed affiliations again to Republican.
    He bit Oberholtzer so many times, she was described as having been 'chewed by a cannibal.'
    When Oberholtzer said, 'The law will get their hands on you,' he replied 'I am the law in Indiana.'
    When Oberholtzer swallowed mercuric chloride to commit suicide, instead of taking her to a hospital, he drove her from Chicago back to her home in Indianapolis.
    At his trial, doctors testified that Oberholtzer could have been saved with prompt medical attention.
    He was arrested on charges of attempted sexual assault against a 16-year-old girl (1961).
    He served in the infantry during World War I.
    He was a heck of a recruiter, with KKK membership in Indiana growing to 250,000, nearly a third of the white men in the state.
    The trial of a 'defender of Protestant womanhood' (as the KKK proclaimed itself) for rape and murder led to the downfall of the Klan following its second wave.
    When Indiana Governor Edward Jackson refused to commute his sentence, he made public a list of state officials who had been members of the KKK.

Credit: C. Fishel


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