Joan Little Pt. 1 | Truer Crime Podcast

Joan Little Pt. 1

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Joan Little Pt. 1
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In the early hours of August 27th, 1974, the security camera at North Carolina’s Beaufort County Jail was inexplicably not working. So when the night jailer, Clarence Alligood is found dead in 20-year-old Joan Little’s cell — everyone is left with a slew of unanswered questions. Why was Clarence Alligood in Joan Little’s cell? What had led to his murder? And where was Joan Little? 

Today’s episode explores a case that was too big and important to fit into one episode. The story continues with part 2 next Tuesday (July 6th).

Today’s episode contains references to sexual assault. Please take care while listening.

A full transcript of this episode is available here.

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Action Items Related to Today’s Episode:

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Check out and Support the Southern Historical Collection.

Key Research Mentioned:

The New York Times: The Joan Little Case, by James Reston, Jr.

Vintage: At the Dark End of the Street, by Danielle McGuire.

Folder 1: Testimony of Joan Little  in the James Reston, Jr., Collection of Joan Little Trial Materials #4006, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Audiocassette 10: Joan Little, accused of murdering her white jailor, Clarence Alligood.: Side 2 in the James Reston, Jr., Collection of Joan Little Trial Materials #4006, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Audio Used:

Audiocassette 22: Marjorie Wright, helped Joan Little escape Beaufort County.: Side 1 and Side 2 in the James Reston, Jr., Collection of Joan Little Trial Materials #4006, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

YouTube: 40th Anniversary of Joan Little’s Pivotal Muder Acquittal, by CBS News.

YouTube: The Case of Joan Little Interview Excerpts TBPM Extras, uploaded by 3X Muhammed.

Sources Used:

Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Observer’s Reaction to the “Innocent Victim”: Comparison or Rejection?, by Melvin J. Lerner and Carolyn H. Simmons.

The Atlantic: A Just World, by Jonah Lehrer.

The University of Chicago Press Journals: “She Ain’t No Rosa Parks”: The Joan Little Rape-Murder Case and Jim Crow Justice in the Post-Civil Rights South, Christina Greene.

U.S. Census Bureau: Statistical Abstract of the United States 1999.

The Baltimore Sun: July 13, 1975.

Asheville Citizen-Times, 28 Aug. 1974.

Black Perspectives: Free Joan Little: Anti-Rape Activism, Black Power, and the Black Freedom Movement, by Ashley Farmer.

Prison Culture: ‘Free Joan Little’: Reflections on Prisoner Resistance and Movement-Building.

Wikipedia: Joan Little.*

*Indicates a source that is speculative and/or otherwise unofficial. These sources are used for gathering general information related to the story and are then independently verified by our team. We want to give credit to these sources for pointing us in the right direction of more official sources and/or being the first source to present us with information. With any source, it’s always important to fact-check the information.

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