Imagine realizing you are worth more dead than you are alive; that there was a market for your corpse; that you might never be allowed to rest in peace, even after death. These are the ideas that drive the legend of Needle Men. The mysterious sounding title was used to describe rogue medical students in New Orleans who went out looking for unsuspecting victims to inject with poison and carve up in order to learn the secrets of the human body. While this is a legend, the study of human anatomy did have a dark side in America’s early days. This week we will explore the history of Resurrectionists, Night Doctors and Sackemup Men; and how the fear of such persons along with the fear of Night Riding Slave Patrols gave rise to the Invisible Empire known as the Ku Klux Klan. Join us this week as we discuss the terror the KKK has inspired in America for well over a century, and the ways in which this hate group is evolving to continue its teachings and missions in modern society.
A native of Atlanta, Matthew Guinn earned a BA in English from the University of Georgia. He continued graduate school at the University of Mississippi, where he met his wife Kristen and completed a master’s degree. At the University of South Carolina, where he earned a Ph.D. in English, he was personal assistant to the late James Dickey. In addition to the Universities of Mississippi and South Carolina, he has taught at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and at Tulane University’s School of Continuing Studies in Madison, Mississippi.
Matthew and Kristen live in Jackson, Mississippi, with their two children, Braiden and Phoebe.