South Carolina Sheriff Sheds Light on Historic Criminal Investigations Within Berkeley County in New Book
Both Duane Lewis and Daniel Crooks have dedicated their careers to law enforcement and the pursuit of justice. As the sheriff of Berkeley County for a third consecutive term, Lewis has often considered the duty of the role and its history. Eager to explore a bygone era in Berkeley County’s past, Lewis turned to former SC constable, historian, and author Daniel Crooks to help him chronicle the criminal investigations of past Berkeley County sheriffs.
Together they unearthed trial transcripts, letters, and testimonies from local archives and found a compelling collection of notable criminal cases, some of which hadn’t seen the light of day in a century.
“We were fascinated by what we uncovered and felt the public deserved to see these long-forgotten records,” Crooks said.
In Lawmen and Lawlessness, Lewis and Crooks reflect on Berkeley County’s criminal past, sharing firsthand accounts of manhunts, shootouts, ruckus trials, and ghastly public executions. While law enforcement can be a grisly trade, the pair are not aiming to present an overly gloomy documentary.
“The cases are naturally sad at times, but it is truly a telling of prosecutions and trials,” Sheriff Lewis said. “And while the book is colloquial, it is an authentic representation of what crime and punishment in the South looked like during the late nineteenth through the better part of the twentieth century.”
Law and Lawlessness is available for purchase online at Amazon.com.
About the Authors
Duane Lewis is the sheriff of Berkeley County. First elected in 2015, he was reelected to a third term in 2022. He began his career in law enforcement as a deputy sheriff with Berkely County Sheriff’s Office and has worked in municipal, county and state police agencies. He serves on the board for the Berkeley County Museum and is a member of the Berkeley County Historical Society. He lives in Berkeley County with his wife. He has six children and one grandson.
Daniel J. Crooks is a retired state constable and professor of criminal justice. He began his career as a state public safety officer and has taught classes on law enforcement and criminology. A licensed tour guide in Charleston, SC, he has authored four books on the city’s rich history. He lives with his wife on James Island.
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