Blind Vengeance
The Roy Moody Mail Bomb Murders

Ray Jenkins

Inside the mind of an infamous killer


"A disciplined, incisive reconstruction of one of the century's most notorious crimes: the 1989 mail-bomb assassination of a federal judge and an NAACP attorney . . . Jenkins's recounting of the crimes, investigation, and trial is as suspenseful as his wide-net harvest of historical context is enlightening."
Kirkus Reviews

"The reader is drawn here into the bizarre mind of the bomber and the peculiar events that unraveled his plan. A compelling description of the birth of a terrorist that both lay readers and scholars will find elucidating."
Library Journal

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Just days before Christmas 1989, bombs delivered through the U.S. mail exploded in two southern states, taking the lives of a federal judge in Alabama and a civil rights attorney in Georgia. The same week, two more deadly packages were intercepted en route to a federal courthouse and an office of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Blind Vengeance is the riveting account of the frantic federal, state, and local investigations that ensued, eventually resulting in the arrest and conviction of Walter Leroy Moody Jr., a small-time con man who blamed society for his failures.

In-depth portraits of the victims and their killer show three men representative of the changing South: the privileged white man, Judge Robert Smith Vance of Birmingham, who saw the necessity of political changes; the black lawyer and city alderman, Robert Robinson of Savannah, who prevailed in a segregated society to become a respected professional figure; and the embittered lifelong criminal Roy Moody, who led a brooding, solitary life on the edges of society.

Ray Jenkins's research is based on new information from interviews, record searches, and unprecedented access to Moody's psychiatric profile. The result is a chilling exploration of the mind of a killer blinded by a desire for revenge.

Page count: 352 pp.
21 b&w photos, 1 map, 1 figure
Trim size: 6 x 9


List price: $29.95

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Ray Jenkins is a Pulitzer Prize-winning former syndicated columnist and editorial page editor with the Baltimore Sun. A Georgia native, he makes his home in Baltimore.