A majority-white jury took 2› hours Tuesday to convict former Klansman Thomas Blanton of murder in a 1963 church bombing that killed four girls. Blanton received 4 life sentences.
Articles by Jerry Mitchell
Three suspects implicated in the infamous killings of three civil rights workers in 1964 took part in a similar Klan kidnapping of a black teen three weeks earlier, a Klansman-turned-FBI informant says.
In the 1988 fiction film Mississippi Burning there was a scene in which FBI agents conceal the identity of a key witness by placing a cardboard box over his head with one hole that allows him to see. That really happened to 19-year-old Wilmer Faye Jones, who directed FBI agents to an abandoned farm in Neshoba County where Klansmen had discussed killing him on June 2, 1964.
The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth never knew who attacked him outside an all-white high school here 44 years ago, but he believes they included those who dynamited his house on Christmas Eve 1956.
The Clarion-Ledger has obtained correspondence Rainey and Price received at the sheriff's office in 1964. The never-published letters arrived amid the maelstrom of the civil rights movement, documenting a nation torn apart by hate.
A special Alabama grand jury indicted Thomas Blanton Jr., 61, of Birmingham, and Bobby Cherry, 69, of Mabank, Texas, on four counts of murder each in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church. The two former Ku Klux Klansmen surrendered Wednesday on murder charges.
A key witness who helped put one-time Imperial Wizard Sam Bowers behind bars could aid authorities seeking to bring the first-ever murder charges in Mississippi's most notorious civil rights slayings.
Jurors in the 1967 federal civil rights conspiracy trial of the murder of three civil rights workers in 1964, or their survivors interviewed recently by The Clarion-Ledger revealed that during deliberations a lone juror told others on the panel she could never vote guilty against Edgar Ray "Preacher" Killen for one reason - she could never convict a preacher.
For jurors in Mississippi's most famous multiple civil rights murder case, threats and intimidation didn't stop with guilty verdicts. For six weeks after the verdicts, jurors said U.S. marshals guarded their homes saying the jurors had been threatened.
To many in the nation, the killings define Mississippi. To many in Mississippi, the killings define a past they'd rather forget. Now, 33 years after the trial, with many of the original 18 defendants still living, the state of Mississippi may do what it's never done - prosecute them for murder.