A Christmas Family Tragedy

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Exclusive photographs, intimate interviews, and faithful recreations bring a historical tragedy to life as never before in this documentary exploring the 1929 massacre of a North Carolina family that still manages to conjure up controversy to this very day. On December 25, 1929, prolific Stokes County tobacco farmer Charlie Lawson systematically slaughtered his wife and six of his seven children before taking his own life. In the aftermath of the shocking crime, the story spread quickly and everyone who read it had precisely the same question: Why? Was the recent Stock Market crash to blame, ot perhaps a recently-sustained injury that drove this once-devoted father to insanity? Seventy-five years after the fact, the answer to this question remains as elusive as ever. Some folks speculate that Lawson committed the act to cover up a horrific family secret, while others claim that foul play may have been involved. As the families, relatives, and community ponder whether to study the crime further or simply leave the past alone, murder ballads are written and ghost stories born.

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