News Release

For immediate release - March 27, 2012

Author Gilbert King's Devil in the Grove

Author Gilbert King’s Devil in the Grove shines new light on a sensational 60-year-old rape case in Central Florida that saw four people murdered, and threatened the life of future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the lead defense attorney for the Groveland Boys. King’s book, a true-to-life To Kill a Mockingbird set in Lake County, is published by HarperCollins, and will be of tremendous interest to Floridians, as the author takes readers behind-the-scenes of a case that made headlines around the world. Mr. King will appear in the Puryear Building, 243 South Lake Avenue in Groveland, at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3rd free to the public, hosted by the Marion Baysinger Memorial County Library.

Just before he was to argue the landmark school segregation case Brown v. Board of Education before the U.S. Supreme Court, Thurgood Marshall risked his life to defend the last of the “Groveland Four,” a quartet of black citrus pickers accused of raping a white girl. Devil in the Grove brings this little known trial, one of the most heinous civil rights cases in American History, to life. It also offers a rare and revealing portrait of Marshall as a young and vibrant trial attorney embroiled in an explosive case that threatened to change the course of the civil rights movement. Drawing on a wealth of never-before-published material, including the FBI’s unredacted Groveland files, as well as unprecedented access to the NAACP’s Legal Defense Fund case files, King weaves a rich and driving narrative that captures Thurgood Marshall’s brilliance, resolve, bravery, patriotism, and even humor, in his epic struggle to save the lives of four young men falsely accused of rape.

Gilbert King is originally from Schenectady, New York. He has written about Supreme Court history and the death penalty for the New York Times and the Washington Post, and is a featured contributor to Smithsonian magazine’s history blog, Past Imperfect. His book, “The Execution of Willie Francis”, was published in 2008. Gilbert is also a photographer whose work has appeared in Glamour and New York Magazine, as well as international editions of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and Elle.

For additional information call 352-429-5840 or check


Media contact:
Katherine Spurgeon
Library Branch Manager

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