Death of Ben Giddens

On March 2, 1936 Truby Giddens shot and killed her abusive father at Ray City, Georgia. Stories of the sensational killing made the national news and were published in papers all across the country.

Fourteen-year-old Trudy Giddens (left), and her mother, Mrs. Pearlie Lee Giddens, were jailed at Nashville, Ga., charged with killing their father and husband, Ben Giddens, 48, farmer, assertedly because they were afraid of him.  The girl is charged with the actual slaying. An 11 months-old baby girl whom the mother took to jail with her is shown in her arms.

Fourteen-year-old Trudy Giddens (left), and her mother, Mrs. Pearlie Lee Giddens, were jailed at Nashville, Ga., charged with killing their father and husband, Ben Giddens, 48, farmer, assertedly because they were afraid of him. The girl is charged with the actual slaying. An 11 months-old baby girl whom the mother took to jail with her is shown in her arms.  [Moberly Monitor and Index, Moberly, MO.]

The Atlanta Constitution
 Mar 3, 1936

Girl Says Fear Caused Her To Shoot Her Father at Ray City.

    NASHVILLE, Ga., March 2. – A 14-year-old Georgia farm girl and her mother were charged today with killing her father in his sleep under a plan made assertedly because they were afraid of him.
    Both the girl, Truby Giddens, and her mother, about 40, were jailed on a murder charge but Sheriff O.L. Garner said the daughter was accused of the actual shooting.
    “From what they have told me,” Sheriff Garner said, “they planned the whole thing out.
    “The girl and her mother told me they were afraid of Giddens and that he had been mean to them,” he added.     The father, Ben Giddens, 48-year-old farm laborer, was asleep on a porch at the home.
    “They sent the six other children (all younger than Truby) away from the house.  Truby Giddens, the daughter, said she went out on the porch, pointed a shotgun about 14 inches away from her father’s body and fired.”
    Sheriff Garner said the girl told him her father had been drinking but added he detected no odor of liquor about the body.
    After the shooting, which took place  Sunday, the sheriff arrested the mother and daughter at a neighbor’s house.
    “I brought them by their own house,” he added.  “The mother broke down a little but the girl didn’t.”
    Giddens, the sheriff said, worked for a south Georgia landowner as a “handy man.”  The shooting took place near Ray City in the rural souther part of the state.
    “The girl told me she had never been to school but two days in her life,” the sheriff said.
    Funeral services were held at Ray City today.
    Beside the widow and daughter, nine children survive.


  1. Lauren said,

    May 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

    This is really interesting. I’m curious about what happened afterwards.

  2. Sable Bishop said,

    May 15, 2016 at 12:17 am

    This was my grandma and my Aunt who shot and killed her Father whom she told family previously tried to drown the baby the Mother is holding which happens to be my mother when she was a baby.

  3. Debra ( Daqua) twobraidsnAdkins said,

    December 29, 2016 at 5:36 pm

    She was my grandmother she was of Native American decent as was her mother and those of her ancestors they lived in pure horror with Ben Giddens which also my great grandfather!…she dd not have a choice of weather to kill him or not because of her race and being a woman would have went against her as you see it did!…she lived on to be 96 years old with many stories about our people and I recieved the name twobraids from her she was an awesome loved grandmother

  4. Barbara Smith said,

    June 14, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Who were Ben Giddens’s parents?

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