Our Dad Was in the Klan: Drawn in, disillusioned, disgusted

Our Dad Was in the Klan: Drawn in, disillusioned, disgusted

Second in a three-part series

When Leland Boyd woke up in the middle of the night as a child, he’d sometimes find his father Earcel in the bathroom, scrubbing his hands over and over. 

“The next day you’d see him, his hands would be just red,” Leland said. “He would take a bar of soap and just scrub his arms for hours under hot water. He would be in the bathroom at least three times a month early in the morning for hours.”

Earcel’s sons believed this compulsion was a result of nightmarish experiences during World War II, when Earcel participated in landing assaults on the Japanese in Guam. 

During one raid, another son Sonny said, Earcel spotted a Japanese guard whose position put U.S. troop movements at risk. That night, Earcel silently crawled up a ditch, grabbed the guard from the back and slit his throat with a knife. He then had to lie in the ditch overnight with the guard’s blood encrusting his hands and arms. 

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The stories have received thanks from the family members of victims and have earned regional and national acclaim.

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