This is the dark story of a white supremacist's life - fully revealed in a compelling, richly detailed biography that only an insider could tell. One of the most tragic and notorious murders of the 1960s was the assassination of Medgar Evers, the revered Mississippi NAACP leader, in June of 1963. The slaying of Evers not only galvanized the civil rights movement in the South, but it later had an unspeakably profound effect on one young man. Although no one in his family would tell him the truth, this young man knew that hidden away in the shadows of deep family secrets, there was a story waiting to be told. It had something to do with Evers's death and something to do with his uncle - and it interested him from a very early age. In this way began an extraordinary search, seven years in the making, for a very personal kind of justice. Portrait of a Racist: The Man Who Killed Medgar Evers? is author Reed Massengill's relentless quest to unearth the truth about his own uncle - Byron De La Beckwith - the notorious white supremacist and alleged assassin of Medgar Evers. This is an astonishing biography of a man consumed with racial hatred, who believes in his God-given mission to uphold the racial purity of the old-plantation South. Although the case of Evers's murder has not yet been formally solved, and Beckwith's two previous murder trials in 1964 - both decided by all-white, all-male juries - ended in mistrials, it is still widely believed that Beckwith is Evers's killer. In December 1990, Beckwith was again charged with the murder, after a lengthy and remarkable investigation uncovered new evidence against him. He is expected to be tried for a third time on a charge of first-degree murder. Still insisting on his own innocence, Beckwith has communicated through letters with his nephew for more than six years. Along with Beckwith's correspondence, Massengill has conducted numerous interviews, with people who knew Beckwith. Much of Massengill's extensive research includes personal interviews, with his aunt, who was Beckwith's first wife, Mary Louise Williams (known as Willie). In this book, "Willie," who was married to and divorced from Beckwith three separate times, comes forward to tell of her relationship with Beckwith, which was often physically abusive. Massengill has courageously uncovered revelations of which not even Beckwith himself is aware. From Beckwith's birth to a mother who could not accept the demise of the antebellum South, to his upbringing as an orphan in the Mississippi Delta, Portrait of a Racist presents a mesmerizingly detailed biography of Beckwith and probes the psychological makeup of a mind turned to racial hatred, making it both a compelling biography and a lasting work of history.