The only known photo of the Lawson Family taken two weeks before the Christmas Day murders.

The book, AChild in the Midst,is the memoir of her own life, written by Stella Lawson Boles in 1992.

It touches on the famous Lawson murders, but it is also a treasured look back at life growing up in the rural foothills of North Carolina in the first quarter of the twentieth century.  She also chronicles personal tragedies from her life and the lives of members of her family.  It is a great insight into one of the most controversial figures behind the sotry of the murders of the Lawson Family.

     On a bitter cold Christmas Day in 1929,  Charles Davis Lawson murdered his entire family with the exception of his oldest son.

     The story became even more famous as the murderer's brother made the decision to open the bloody murder scene as a tourist  attraction during  the years of the Great Depression.

    Everything was left as it was the day of the mass murder:  the bloody pillows where Lawson had lain his children's heads, the blood-stained walls and floors, and the bloodied crib where he had taken the life of his 3 month-old daughter.

   What caused this simple, respected country tobacco farmer to take the lives of his wife and children and then turn his gun on himself? Why was one son spared? 

    For decades the mystery was discussed and wondered about; writers were threatened if they attempted to research the murder; but the generations continued to follow the story.

     Sixty years after the crime my father, M. Bruce Jones, and I decided to research and write the first book about what happened that sad Christmas Day.  As we worked, we came to realize there was a scandal in the story that had never been made public.  So many years after the crime, the elderly niece of the murderer came forward and told us the story behind the story.   The result was the original paperback book, White Christmas, Bloody Christmas. 

     Fifteen years later, I produced the enlarged and revised version of the story,The Meaning of Our Tearswhich further described the events and controversy surrounding this famous murder.