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Lemars, Iowa., June 9. Ebenezer Davis, the wild man with a circus, confessed today that he ravished Miss Josephine Wilmes, for which crime another negro narrowly escaped lynching Tuesday night.
Davis was with the circus at Luverne, Minn., and was brought back from there today by Sheriff Arndt. He was confronted by Miss Wilmes in the county jail and she positively identified him. The negro broke down and confessed all.
Miss Wilmes was assaulted by a strange negro Thursday night while the circus was in town. Miss Wilmes later identified another negro as her assailant and he narrowly escaped lynching at the hands of a mob, but was rescued by the sheriff.
It goes without saying that most custodial confessions aren't worth the knuckle-skin they're printed on, even when the supposed culprit isn't the second perpetrator to be fingered for the crime. The year 1906 puts us dead-center in the golden age of the Southern-fried race lynching. I'll leave the last word to Civil Rights muckraker Ida Wells-Barnett:
"No nation, savage or civilized, save only the United States of America, has confessed its inability to protect its women save by hanging, shooting, and burning alleged offenders."