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A Case for Solomon

A Case for Solomon

Bobby Dunbar and the Kidnapping That Haunted a Nation


In 1912, four-year-old Bobby Dunbar went missing in the Louisiana swamps. After an eight-month search that electrified the country and destroyed Bobby’s parents, the boy was found, filthy and hardly recogniz­able. A wandering piano tuner was arrested and charged with kidnapping— a crime then punishable by death.

But when a destitute single mother came forward from North Carolina to claim the boy as her son, not the lost Bobby Dunbar, the case became a high-pitched battle over custody—and identity—that divided the South. A gripping historical mystery, A Case for Solomon chronicles the epic century-long effort to unravel the startling truth.
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  • Free Press | 
  • 464 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439158609 | 
  • August 2013
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Read an Excerpt

A Case for Solomon Chapter 1

A. R. Waud, Cypress swamp on the Opelousas Railroad, Louisiana, Harper’s Weekly, December 8, 1866

August 23, 1912

LESSIE DUNBAR TUCKED her son’s little toes into one sandal, then another, and fastened the straps. She... see more

About the Authors

Tal McThenia
Photograph by Stefanie Spina
Margaret Dunbar Cutright
Photograph by Wayne Cutright



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