Site of Mattie Green’s murder, Ringgold, Georgia, 2008
Mattie Green, a thirty-two-year-old mother of six, was killed when a bomb under her house exploded on May 19, 1960, while she and her family were sleeping. The rest of the family survived. Two daughters, including Anna Ruth Montgomery, were staying at their grandmother’s house a few blocks away. When she heard the explosion, little Anna ran home; she remembers seeing her family’s clothes strewn outside. No one was convicted of the crime, and the FBI closed the case after concluding that no federal laws had been violated. Montgomery recollects that the family knew who the murderers were—she remembers several times when her father, while reading the Sunday obituaries, told the family, “Another one’s gone.” A few years ago, a woman approached Montgomery in the grocery store and apologized, saying that she knew that her father had killed Montgomery’s mother. When the FBI reopened the case in 2007, Montgomery told them, “Don’t open it if you’re not going to solve it.” The FBI closed the case in 2009 due to a lack of evidence.