Widow And The Wizard

Ellie Dahmer has campaigned for three decades to retry a former Klan leader accused of slaying her husband. That goal now seems within reach

Sitting now at her dining table, reaching back three decades, Ellie Dahmer can speak calmly of the night the Ku Klux Klan came to kill her husband. Two cars of white-hooded men burst out of the darkness on Jan. 10, 1966, firing guns and hurling flaming jugs of gasoline at her house in Hattiesburg, Miss. "It happened so fast," Ellie recalled, that she turned to her husband Vernon and said, "I believe they've got us this time." He held off the attackers with a shotgun while she led their children out the back. Everyone escaped, but Vernon was badly burned and...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!