Attorney General Eric Holder is circulating in Congress his second report on the Justice Department's efforts to solve 109 murder cases in the South during the 1950s and '60s that appear to have been racially motivated.
In late August 1965, Thad Christian, father of seven, set out to go fishing near his home in the rural community of Central City, west of Anniston.
While more than half of the unsolved civil rights era murders have been closed by the FBI, two local cases are still being investigated and a third has been added to the list for review.
FBI agents have closed almost half of the 122 unpunished killings from the civil rights era that four years ago they announced they were investigating.
In February 2007, Alberto R. Gonzales, the attorney general under President George W. Bush, issued a stern warning to those who murdered blacks with impunity during the civil rights era: “You have not gotten away with anything. We are still on your trail.” He noted that time was short. The window of opportunity to solve racially motivated crimes more than 40 years old was closing. Families of the victims had waited decades for resolution, while suspects and witnesses have died. More than three years later, they are still waiting.