My Grandfather: Targeted by Racists and Killed by A Devil Worshiper

I love my grandfather. Although I never met him, I feel as though I did. I know about the menial jobs he took sweeping up a pool hall and carting vegetables to the grocer while studying to become a lawyer in West Virginia. I know about the times he got booted from law offices due to his Italian blood. I know about the threats made against him by the Ku Klux Klan and how they kicked him out of his home. I know about his murder.  

My grandfather was Tucker Moroose, a man loved by everyone except those who could not see beyond their prejudice. Back in the day, Italian Americans were considered “black dagoes” and were the target of the largest mass lynching in U.S. history, which occurred in New Orleans on March 14, 1891. That is why I chose that date (March 14, 2018) for the release of Devil in the Basement, my new book about my grandpa’s unforgettable life.

As an adopted child, I spent years tracking down my natural family. The Morooses—Tucker’s relatives and mine—are kind and hard-working folks who began in the coal mines and rose to become educated professionals (i.e. doctors, university professors, entrepreneurs, and in Tucker’s case, a lawyer with plans to run for the U.S. Senate).

My search also introduced me to the world of “black Satanism” because Tucker’s killer, Ernie Yost, was a believer in the occult. Ernie was consumed with jealousy, had wild mood swings. beat his wife, carved “Hell’s Half Acre” onto his steps, possessed a life-size satanic doll, reveled in “evil,” and was one of the first documented devil worshipers in the U.S.

On a woeful Wednesday in 1948, Ernie went on a crime spree, which the Fairmont Times called “the most bizarre set of tragic events ever to occur.”

Devil in the Basement reveals the unfiltered story in the form of a nonfiction novel. With this book, I honor my grandfather as well as the Italian Americans throughout history who faced prejudice and still fought to make America their home. They will never be forgotten.


Devil in the Basement can be purchased on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble or at your local bookstore.


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