Header Image Source: Photo by David Banning on Unsplash
1. Charles Moore and Henry Dee
2. Thomas Moore and David Ridgen (Alamy)
"One of the more disturbing moments in the civil rights struggle in the South came on July 12, 1964, the twenty-first day of the search for civil rights workers Mickey Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman in Mississippi.
By that time, more than 400 sailors had joined the FBI in searching Southeast Mississippi woods, rivers and swamps. On July 12, when the brutalized corpse of a man was discovered across the state in an offshoot of the Mississippi River on the Louisiana side, there was early conjecture that it was one of the civil rights workers.
The next day, a few miles south, the river yielded another body, also brutalized, raising the possibility that a second civil rights worker had been located.
Then came the shock: The bodies were two altogether different men, both black, who had been missing since early May in Meadville, Mississippi. With that news came the awful realization that a search of any river or swamp in South Mississippi might reveal the vile extremes to which the Ku Klux Klan would go to preserve white supremacy.
The three civil rights workers would be found buried on the 44th day; they would be memorialized in movies, music and every history of civil rights. But what of the other two men, identified as Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore?
It took more than 40 years for the story hidden behind the murders of Dee, a 19-year-old sawmill worker, and Moore, a 20-year old college student, to be discovered and made public. When Klansman and former police officer James Ford Seale was finally arrested in connection with their murder in 2007, it was only because journalists, particularly filmmaker David Ridgen of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., investigated the case and dug out the incriminating information..."
Source: “Henry Dee and Charles Moore Case” (Cold Case Project)
3. Miguel José Viana and Manoel Pereira da Cruz
4. Lead masks used by Miguel and Manoel
"Bodies are found every day, often under mysterious circumstances. Most of these discoveries are eventually explained away; their deaths are the result of foul play or suicide, illness or accident. But some cases are so strange that they defy explanation—even after all the evidence has been collected. Such is the story of Brazil’s Lead Masks Case.
On August 20, 1966, a young man was flying a kite on Vintem Hill in a suburb of Rio de Janeiro, when he spotted the bodies of two men farther up the hill. He reported the matter to police who weren’t able to reach the bodies until the following day due to rough terrain. When they did arrive, they found a truly bizarre scene.
The two men were stretched out side by side, dressed in matching formal suits covered by raincoats and—most perplexing of all—lead masks that veiled their eyes. While some accounts described these lead masks as the kind used to protect against radiation, other sources indicate that they were quite different in design.
Protective masks typically cover the whole head, with goggles or enclosed sight slits. These homemade masks were more like lead blindfolds that completely covered the eyes but left the rest of the face exposed. While wearing them, it would have been impossible for the men to see anything.
The pair was identified as Manoel Pereira da Cruz and Miguel José Viana. Alongside their bodies authorities found a water bottle, two wet towels, and a notebook. The notebook contained lists of parts and other information related to their occupations as electronic technicians. One page, however, contained cryptic instructions that seemed to relate to the their mysterious deaths. “16:30 be at the specified location. 18:30 ingest capsules, after the effect protect metals await signal mask.”
There were no signs of trauma, no evidence of a struggle, and no obvious cause of death for either of the men. In spite of references to ingesting capsules, toxicology reports were not run on the bodies. The reason? According to reports, the coroner was simply overwhelmed with work at the time. Police, who had no particular reason to suspect foul play, did not push matters.
Investigations performed by journalists both professional and amateur revealed that the men might have been members of a “scientific spiritualists” collective. The paranormal group was apparently popular among local electronic technicians. One account suggested that another technician had died some four years earlier atop a different hill under similar circumstances. He too was found wearing a lead mask..."
Source: “Bodies on the Hill: The Enduring Mystery of the Lead Masks Case” by Orrin Grey (The Line Up)