Original photographer:
Chris McNair
Chris McNair

Bill Ganzel

Death of an Innocent

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Janice Wesley Kelsey – "Death of an Innocent"

From left, Denise McNair, 11; Carole Robertson, 14; Addie Mae Collins, 14; and Cynthia Wesley, 14; are shown in these 1963 photos. A former Ku Klux Klansman, Thomas Blanton Jr., 62, was convicted of murder in 2001 for the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing that killed the four girls on Sept. 15, 1963. From the March 24, 1964, edition of LOOK.

Four Girls who were bombed in Birmingham

Janice Wesley Kelsey with the sculpture memorial for Cynthia Wesley, one of the four girls killed at Birmingham's Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in September 1963. Photo by Bill Ganzel, March 2016.

Janice Wesley Kelsey

In 1963, Janice Wesley was friends with Cynthia Wesley in Birmingham AL. Cynthia was killed in the Sept. bombing of 16th Street Baptist Church. The word went around the black community that "the Wesley girl was killed." Janice's folks got sympathy calls, and Janice felt survivor's guilt. Janice is shown with the sculpture commemorating Cynthia and at the commoration of the water canons in Kelly Ingram Park. Janice also talked about being arrested and her continuing experience with discrimination.

Janice Wesley Kelsey