Violence was very prevalent amongst people of the Post- Bellum era. A young woman named Sarah Hunn, better known as Fascinating Sarah Bunn, was the most expert thief and all round female crook in the city. While in her room she shot her lover, a black man named Alex Howard, with a fatal wound to the stomach. He died later that night in the City Hospital. She claimed that it was performed out of self defense because Howard had attempted to strangle her.
This story is significant because according to historians in the book Ordeal by Fire, the culture of the South often portrays white women to be the Southern 'belle,' who are well mannered and would never overpower a man, let alone handle a shot gun. It is also significant that Hunn was with a black male lover. In the South at this time, inter-racial unions were culturally illegal, and warranted harsh punishment. It is significant that she claimed it was in self defense because although she is an already notorious criminal, during this time, a white woman's word warranted more favor than a black man's word.