The Secret Life and Brutal Death of Mamie Thurman

I haven’t shared a book review with you all for a while. I have spoken about Mamie Thurman before and now I want to share more about her with you.

The Secret Life and Brutal Death of Mamie Thurman by F. Keith Davis is a wonderful account of what occurred in Logan, WV back in 1932. You have to remember that in 1932 it was still a time of prohibition and organized crime was rampant. Bootlegging was big in WV and moonshine stills were everywhere. Logan was considered to be a booming profitable town back in those days. Looking at the town of Logan now you wouldn’t exactly picture what you read about it being back then.

Mamie Thurman was a beautiful woman who happened to be married to a Logan police officer. Her husband worked most evenings and she was known about town as the Stratton Street Vixen. She had a key to the local speak easy and was believed to have her own apartment in a local brothel. During the trial of the man accused of murdering her it came out that she had 16 different lovers all of which were businessmen of importance in Logan.

I don’t want to give too much away because I want you to read the book. It is so well written that it keeps your attention. I do not believe that the man convicted of killing her is the actual murderer. I believe that what was written on page 178 is the true account of what actually occurred to her.

My friend Libby and I went geocaching a while back and you might recall my writing about it here.

Wow, that was 2 years ago. I had no idea it was so long ago. Anyway, we ended up being in the cemetery where Mamie was first buried. Someone went in during the night and removed her body and no one seems to know where she is buried. Not even her brother. This was taken at the cemetery.


Next we went geocaching up on Mine 22 road and ended up where Mamie’s body had originally been discovered. While there we found this huge painting of what people believe her ghost to look like.


People claim that her ghost still haunts Mine 22 road. There are pictures in the book showing what people believe to be her ghost standing in windows as well. I am not sure that I believe that her ghost is haunting the mountain but it could be possible. Her neck had been broken, her throat slit and she was shot in the head twice.  That is a very brutal way to die.

The author presents the details of the investigation, trial and what happened to the poor man convicted of killing her.  The man who was convicted was an African-American who was a dwarf. The KKK was very strong in Logan at that time and people were afraid.

When you are finished with the book you are left to come to your own conclusion of what actually happened to the Stratton Street Vixen.  Libby and I discussed at great length Saturday evening what we believe occurred to Mamie. During the trial her husband testified that he had no idea his wife was frequenting speak easy’s and having affairs. He never admitted to her having an apartment in a brothel. I don’t see how he could be on the police department with these establishments practically on the same block and not know that your wife is doing these things.

So if you have read this book or have researched the death of Mamie Thurman lets discuss it. 🙂


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