Hello Mr. History,

Recently I read Angela Y. Davis’ book “If They Come in the Morning.” In one chapter she outlines the cases of many Americans who were jailed because of their political opinions or their race. One of the cases she mentions is that of Marie Hill, a 15 year old black girl charged with murdering a middle-aged white man in 1968. She was denied a lawyer for a week and was coerced into signing a confession. Despite the prosecution failing to provide any evidence placing her at the scene of the crime, the jury found her guilty of first-degree murder. She was sentenced to life in prison. The most recent information I could find about her is from a Rolling Stone article from 1972. At the time it was written she had served three years in prison and requested that her lawyers give up trying to appeal the sentence because she would be up for parole soon. So what ever happened to Marie Hill? Was she released on parole? Is she still in prison (she’d be about 65 now)? Did she die in prison? What happened to Marie Hill?

I understand this question is beyond the kinds of questions you normally answer, but I would really appreciate it if you could help me, Mr, History.


Bonham Killewald




Dear Mr. Killewald:

It may seem strange in this time of court cases re-examined and revised, but aside from a review of the 1968 decision convicting Marie Hill in 1971—which upheld the original verdict (attached below) and the 1972 Rolling Stone article you cited, Miss Hill and her ultimate fate since then have vanished from the radar…or at least from print.



Jon Guttman

Research Director

World History


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