Blog entries by Ben Greenberg
This week on the NPR Code Switch blog I published a story about the racial shooting of Richard Joe Butler. In 1964, near Natchez, Miss., Butler was shot four times by white hooded men—and survived. One of the alleged shooters, who was charged with assault and battery with intent to kill in 1964, was also a prime suspect in the Clifton Walker murder.
On February 28, 1964, near midnight, Clifton Walker’s ride home from work was cut short. On the twisty unpaved road he took as a shortcut on the final leg of the drive from the International Paper plant in Natchez, Klansmen stopped his car and shot him multiple times in the face at point blank range.
A week before Thanksgiving, on November 21, I received a text from Catherine Walker Jones from New Orleans. “Strange thing happened a hour ago,” she said, “FBI agent delivered a letter informing me Daddy’s case will be closed!!! I am lost for words and angry.”
Today, in Jackson, Mississippi's Clarion-Ledger, I published the first investigative news report about the 1964 racial murder of Clifton Walker:
The Alabama Senate joined the state House yesterday in passing a resolution for an official state apology to Recy Taylor, 91, who was raped by seven white men in Abbeville, Ala., in 1944. According to the AP:
The Alabama House made an historic move Tuesday evening towards a state apology to Recy Taylor, 91, who was gang raped by 7 white men in Abbeville, Ala., in 1944. The AP reports:
This morning in an op-ed at the Anniston Star, I reported that an apology to Recy Taylor may be forthcoming soon from the city of Abbeville and Henry County, AL.
Local Reporter and Cold Case Project Film Crew Interview Leonard Spencer Following Stanley Nelson's Revelations
As far as I knew, none of the children of Clifton Walker had ever been contacted by FBI agents regarding the February 28, 1964 racial killing of their father, near Woodville, MS. Still, I thought I should confirm this, so a few nights ago I gave a call to Walker's second daughter Catherine and asked her if her family has heard from the FBI.
"I wish we had, no," Catherine answered.