1. The failure to identify eyewitnesses or direct evidence hindered the FBI's 1946 investigation. One of the witnesses, Emerson Farmer, was 12 at the time of the killings and was on his porch about a third of a mile up a dirt road from where the killings occurred. Decades later, he told a relative he witnessed the killings and was haunted by the screams of the victims.
2. The question of law enforcement's involvement in the crime has persisted for decades. A black man who never spoke to investigators told friends he was at the bridge at the time of the lynching and witnessed a local sheriff's deputy participate, according to a family friend who spoke to GBI agents in 2001.