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The Wrong Car
The death of Lillie Belle Allen
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Dem front-runner Tom Wolf's ties provide ammo for rivals - Wolf was campaign chairman and a political supporter of former York Mayor Charles Robertson, who was charged as an accomplice to murder in the 1969 death of a young black woman (Lillie Belle Allen). Tribune Review 3-4-2014
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Waiting for the Spells brothers
The Spells brothers got out of their Cadillac. They climbed the steps to the Messersmiths’ porch and knocked on the door. Bobby Messersmith came out with his shotgun. He took in the two black brothers. He didn’t like blacks, much less on his father’s front porch. And he certainly didn’t like the Spells brothers.
Lillie Belle Allen
He saw James and Sherman Spells were angry, but resolved. He saw they weren’t much impressed by his shotgun. They certainly weren’t impressed with Bobby. They looked at Bobby Messersmith like he was a coward, the kind of coward who hid behind a hood, or shot kids in the back, or molested little girls, or threw firebombs at defenseless old ladies under cover of night. Which was what brought them here, in broad daylight.
The Spells brothers told Bobby someone had been tossing Molotov cocktails onto the porch of their mother’s house. They knew Bobby and his gang were behind the firebombings. They wanted to put a stop to it.
The Spells brothers told Bobby to leave their mother alone. If anything happened to their mother, they told Bobby, they were going to come back and personally take care of his cowardly ass.
Was that simple enough for him to understand?
With that the Spells brothers turned and walked back to their car. Straight-backed, unafraid.
Cocky niggers, Bobby thought. Somebody ought to teach them a lesson. He stood on his porch, clutching his shotgun, watching them pull away in their off-white Cadillac. He’d get around to teaching them that lesson, once his gang was with him.
It was about four-thirty in the afternoon, Monday, July 21, 1969.
As soon as the Spells brothers drove off, Bobby Messersmith began planning to firebomb their mother’s house again that night. Down in Bobby’s basement they busied themselves making more Molotov cocktails. Pouring gasoline into empty bottles, stuffing the bottles with rags. They laid the bottles out back on the fence. Should the Spells brothers attack them from behind, someone would fire a shot at the bottles and ignite them.
While these plans were laid, Bobby and his family put out an alert. They needed help on Newberry Street. The message went out all over town, across the county. The niggers were coming back that night in their Cadillac. Boys with their guns were needed on Newberry Street. This time they’d be ready for the Spells brothers.
Hearing the call for help, white boys began arriving with their guns. Bobby’s father, John Messersmith, assigned the boys to battle stations.
Then they told the police about the impending ambush.
Soon it was almost 9pm. The Cadillac full of coloreds would be coming before long. All was ready. Now they had only to wait for Sherman Spells.
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