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Betty Winston Bayé

journalist, was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He was the third of John Trevillian and DeSylvia (Chase) Wickham's five children. John and DeSylvia Wickham were a cab driver and store clerk, respectively.

In his autobiography Woodholme: A Black Man's Story of Growing Up Alone (1995) Wickham recounted how in the early hours of 17 December 1954, his father, apparently distraught that he could not afford to buy Christmas gifts for his family, shot and killed his wife and then turned the .32-caliber revolver on himself. Wickham's parents were found inside his father's powder-blue 1950 Plymouth station wagon. Besides John Wickham's suicide note to his mother, a twenty-dollar money order, and the couple's wedding rings, police also recovered twenty-one photographs of a black boy—his school pictures, Wickham wrote.

The Wickham children were parceled out among relatives. Eight-year-old DeWayne and his brother John Rodney were taken in ...