By Alexa Mills
September 2 2016
The government never solved his murder.
Pvt. Felix Hall’s body hung in this position for about six weeks. His feet rest on the dirt that he dug out of a ravine wall in an effort to release the pressure of the noose around his neck. Photo by Sgt. Robert Templeton, Fort Benning Military Police Detachment, U.S. Army, March 28, 1941. (Department of Veterans Affairs records) (US Army/US Army)FORT BENNING, Ga. —Pvt. Felix Hall was strung up in a jack-knife position in a shallow ravine. A quarter-inch noose, tethered to a sapling on the earthen bank above him, dug into the flesh of his neck. His feet, bound with baling wire, were attached by a second rope to three other saplings, and his hands were tied behind him.
Hall succeeded in kicking loose his legs and freeing his left hand. Then, while he still had breath, he desperately scraped dirt loose from the ravine wall, trying to scoop out enough of the sienna-colored earth to build up a mound beneath his feet that he could stand on “to take the strain from his neck,” the FBI would later report. He got the dirt up to the arches of his dangling feet. But the earth was soft and loose and ultimately not enough to support his weight.
When investigators eventually arrived on the scene and examined his body, he’d been suspended in this position, in the woods of Fort Benning, for more than six weeks. Maggots were eating his flesh.
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