Razing Biloxi's Infamous Murder Scene

They're tearing down the Gulf Coast site of the Sherry murders. Fox News and the Sun Herald out of Biloxi, Mississippi, have the story -- and did it bring back some shivery memories. I spent a lot of time in and around that comfortable old house near Biloxi's Back Bay, working on Mississippi Mud, my book about the murders of Judge Vincent Sherry and his mayoral candidate wife, Margaret. Simon & Schuster just released an updated edition of Mud this summer.

A conspiracy of Dixie Mafia killers, con-men, and the man who won the mayor's office in Margaret's stead was eventually uncovered, thanks largely to the efforts of the Sherry's daughter, Lynne Sposito. But the house where the Sherrys were shot to death in 1987 has stood empty all these years, a decaying monument to the civic corruption and violence that ended two lives and ruined many others. Hurricane Katrina severely damaged the old house, and city officials have finally decided to finish the job.

It would be tempting to think of this as wiping the slate clean, closing a dark chapter in Gulf Coast history. But I'm not so sure.