Truth in Cold Blood


A play in three acts by Thomas Tisdale

ISBN: 978-1-4675-7563-8
6×9, 86 pages, paper

The events portrayed in this drama arose in June 1928 in Charleston, South Carolina when an Episcopal bishop, William Alexander Guerry, was gunned down in his office at Sain Philip’s Church by a disgruntled priest. This play brings to life the reasons for this now forgotton tragedy, and it forces us to confront the deep societal issues that divide our communities in our own time

William Alexander Guerry, a bishop of the Episcopal Church, was shot and killed in June 1928 in Charleston, South Carolina. His death and the events leading to it have been largely forgotten. This play, Truth in Cold Blood, restores the memory of this tragedy to a place where it can, as all history strives to do, lead people to a better understanding of how to face the future while, at the same time, confronting the past and present.



 “As the lines of the play reveal in this dramatic rendition of the events leading to his death, it becomes clear that what happened is a certain mirror of our time. The unfolding plot vividly translates the societal injustices of an earlier day and lays them on the doorsteps of people living in the 21st century. The events ending in the tragedy of Guerry’s death are powerfully portrayed, and the conflicts in human nature are clearly focused, still begging for obvious but elusive solutions.”

~From the Introduction by the Venerable Calhoun Walpole Archdeacon, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina

“Thomas Tisdale’s play Truth in Cold Blood reminds the church of people and events that should never be forgotten. The story of Bishop Guerry’s witness to human decency and his martyrdom by bigotry is a powerful witness to Christians in every age, and especially so in our time when once again we are faced by those who will divide the church and attack Christians who seek seriously to follow the Scripture’s invitation to ‘work that which is good towards all’ (Galatians 6:10) and the Baptismal Covenant’s injunction to ‘respect the dignity of every human being.’”

~ The Reverend Christopher Bryan, Professor Emeritus, The University of the South