Wednesday, August 15, 2001

Camp Van Dorn: Haunted Memories

Written by: Darren Dedo
Case Filed: 08/15/01 - Centreville, Mississippi
Executive Producer: Rick Garner
Part 2 of 4

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Is it possible that the United States Army could kill their own men? The Army says no, but others say the massacre of black soldiers did happen at Camp Van Dorn in Centreville, Mississippi.

"I believe there was a massive cover-up by the United States Army," says Malcolm LaPlace, a former member of the 364th Infantry. He was Regimental Headquarters Clerk, responsible for typing the day's journal. He says he came across an important piece of evidence.


"And I read the entire text before typing it. About midway down, I read this: 20 enlisted men of the 364th Infantry Regiment were found murdered in Centreville, Mississippi last night...an investigation is underway."

Moments later, his superior, Colonel John Goodman, made LaPlace change his entry.

"He came back out, handed me it and said, 'Re-type this, Sergeant. And I got down to the 20 enlisted men of the 364th Infantry Regiment were reported AWOL last night in Centreville, Mississippi...an investigation underway."

LaPlace says he was told to change records three other times about black soldiers being AWOL, instead of murdered. This is how he came up with 36 black soldiers being murdered. The Army says journal entries aren't a credible source of information.

"The regimental journal isn't the most important record that would have reflected change in status like that," says Lt. Col. Charles Graul. "That would have been reflected in our morning reports and we saw nothing of the kind."

LaPlace response: "The colonel is wrong! The journal entries reflected dates and times and occurrences in that regiment at Camp Van Dorn, Mississippi. He is lying, period!"

The Army knows that LaPlace was a member of the 364th. According to LaPlace, they have documents he signed in 1942. LaPlace says those documents are falsified. "How do you use my signature over a document in 1942 when I did not enter the service until March 3rd, 1943?"

LaPlace believes the Army's inaccuracy's prove their investigation has holes in it. Congressman Benny Thompson agrees, "The fact that reports were submitted in the name of a clerk who was not even in the Army at that time raises questions."

Thompson has been skeptical about the Army's investigation since the beginning. One part of the Army's investigation was based on the testimony of former 364th soldiers. Another soldier they didn't speak with was Corporal Anthony J. Snively.

Snively spoke with us off camera. He told us that a mass shooting did not happen, but he says the black soldiers were treated harshly. In 1943, Snively wrote several letters to a black newspaper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, talking about violence against black soldiers. These letters were documents used in Carroll Case's book "The Slaughter."

Here is where the story takes a twist. Mr. Snively told us, "The first and last paragraph's I wrote, the middle ones I did not."

He goes on to say, "I wrote the letters in pencil, not on a type writer...the middle paragraph's are a fabrication."

Also, Snively's name is spelled incorrectly as "Smirley."

Since these letters were declassified documents, Snively wonders if the Army confiscated them, and they never made it to Philadelphia.

Author Carroll Case says down a gravel road on what used to Camp Van Dorn property is a man-made lake. Below the waters of that lake, is the final resting place for 1,227 black soldiers.

We'll talk with the family that owns this mystery spot and find out what they know about having the dead bodies of black soldiers allegedly under their lake.

Additional Resources:



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"Betty" Full Video Interview

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Malcolm LaPlace Full Video Interview

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"Mister X" Full Video Interview

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Lt. Col. Charles Graul: Full Video Interview

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Author Carroll Case: Full Video Interview

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Ron Caulfield: Full Video Interview

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Paige Cothren: Full Video Interview

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Dr. Lucius Lampton: Full Video Interview

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Edythe Lensing: Full Video Interview

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Theodore Bullock: Full Video Interview


NEW Congressman Bennie Thompson Letter

5 comments:

  1. I have to question the government to their handling this case and reading the book The Slaughter An American Atrocity by Carroll Case and this is the first time I have heard about this but I would have to question our government about covering up this massacre at Camp Van Dorn. If we gullible about the truth here then we are as gullible to the assassination of our President John F. Kennedy. I know that our government is capable of more than what we think they can do with covering up incident like both these situation. I would like to know the truth of both of these. The government needs to stand up for their wrong they have done and be responsible for their crimes as one is responsible of our wrong we do against the law. I may have put myself in danger and family for what I speak here but I speak of the truth of what my heart tells me. They will all have to answer to their lies for God the Father knows of the wrong and they will have to answer to him for their lies and will judge for this wrong. Sometime it is hard to face the truth than to cover up lies which become almost the truth to those who tell the lies. I can trust our government no more and will not trust them unless they can be honest to their fellow men and can summit to their wrong they have covered up. As a citizen of this country I can have trust in any of our government. For they are the worst to commit murder than a person who commit murder under the laws we are guilty and sentence for the laws we have broken. The government to come forward with their guilty of these things will lose the trust of the people and the government cannot have this because then we find their wrong they have down to us as citizens of this country.

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  2. Larry, thank you for your comments. The Camp Van Dorn case is one that few have heard about and sadly fewer witnesses remain alive today. I feel privileged to have captured their stories on video for history's sake. The truth cannot be buried forever.

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  3. I have some facts about this event and it did happen in nov. 1943

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  4. MY CLOSE FRIEND WAS ,EARL ISREAL HAYSLIP PVT IN THE 99TH AT CAMP VAN DORN IN NOV 1943. HE TOLD ME PRIOR TO9 HIS DEATH IN 2001 THAT HE WAS ON GAURD DUTY NEAR THE RAILROAD TRACKS AND WAREHOUSES,NEXT TO A WOODSHED WHEN HE SAW AT LEAST 1000+ BLACK SOLDIERS MARCHED TO A CLEARING NEAR THE TRACKS AND GUNNED DOWN BY SEVERAL MACHINE GUNS UNTIL THE BLOOD RAN DOWN THE GUTTERS BY THE TRACKS PAST THE WOODSHED,HE SAW MEN STACKING DEAD BODIES LIKE CORDWOOD ALONG THE TRACKS,WHEN A MP CAME UP TO HIM AND TOLD HIM TO LEAVE NOW AND YOU SAW NOTHING. HE TOLD ME HE WAS SO SCARED HE HID IN THE WOODSHED FOR ABOUT 3 HOURS,UNTIL HE WAS OFF GUARD DUTY AND HE LEFT. AS HE DEPARTED BLOOD WAS STILL RUNNING IN THE TRACKSIDE GUTTERS! THIS WAS ABOUT NOV 17TH 1943. HE TOOK THIS NTRUE STORY TO HIS GRAVE OUT OF FEAR FOR HIS LIFE!I AM AT 2014 JAN 27TH

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  5. Anonymous, I don't know if you're the same Anonymous that provided the information above which I reposted to remove the email address it contained, but feel free to contact me directly about any facts you have.

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