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.
A suspect in the infamous 1963 church bombing here that killed four girls says he’s innocent of that crime and has never harmed anyone black. But according to his son and FBI documents, Bobby Cherry admitted taking part in the 1957 violent assault on a civil rights leader trying to enroll his children in a Birmingham school. Those revelations could become evidence against the 70-year-old Bobby Cherry in his scheduled Dec. 4 murder trial.
In an interview with The Clarion-Ledger, Bobby Cherry confirmed he spent a few weeks at Bryce Hospital, a state mental institution in Tuscaloosa, but said it was not because he was having mental problems. “It was totally a mess,” he said. “The doctor didn’t talk to me but once or twice.”
For 35 years, Bobby Frank Cherry has been an FBI suspect in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four girls, and his alibi has gone unchallenged. The 69-year-old retired truck driver maintains he was home the night the bomb was planted because he was watching wrestling on TV — and shares a sworn affidavit to prove it.
There’s at least one problem with that alibi. There was no televised wrestling for Cherry to watch.
A Texas woman who appeared Wednesday before a federal grand jury implicated her grandfather in the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four girls. The woman's remarks are the first public indication that authorities have at least one new witness in the renewed federal investigation into the bombing, a moment in U.S. history that inspired many to join the civil rights movement.
1963 killings of 4 girls in church is reopened. Robert Chambliss was being tried for scheming to plant dynamite beneath the 16th Street Baptist Church 14 years earlier. Four girls had been preparing for a special youth service when they were blown apart by a bomb.
The man who once headed the nation's most violent Ku Klux Klan organization admitted he thwarted justice in the 1964 killings of three civil rights workers and said he didn't mind going to prison because a fellow Klansman got away with murder.