From the Los Angeles Times:
Black man found hanging in Mississippi: Why this story haunts the nation
A black man found hanging from a tree in Mississippi was Otis Byrd, a convicted killer whose family reported him missing more than two weeks ago, the FBI said Friday.
By MICHAEL MUSKAL
The black man found hanging in Mississippi evokes a powerful image that haunts the South.
There is no more powerful image in the South than that of a black man’s body hanging from a tree. Though the practice of lynching reached its peak during the 19th and early 20th centuries, the idea continues to haunt, explaining in part why the case of Otis Byrd has captured the nation’s attention.
Law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times that early results from the autopsy were leading investigators to believe the death was a suicide, though a final determination wasn’t expected until next week. “It looks like that,” said the official, who asked not to be identified, adding “that’s where they are headed” — with a finding of suicide.
But regardless of the cause of death, a body found in such a way arouses strong emotions especially in rural Mississippi, with its history of racial strife and lynchings.