A gambling addiction played an unlikely role in pushing authorities toward reprosecuting the Jan. 10, 1966, killing of Dahmer, leading to the May 28 arrests of Sam Bowers and two other men. Bowers’ trial is set here for Aug. 17.
Imperial Wizard Sam Bowers told an FBI informant that he tampered with a jury to ensure he never went to state prison for ordering the 1966 fatal firebombing of NAACP leader Vernon Dahmer, documents show.
Billy Roy Pitts — who never served a life sentence for his involvement in the Ku Klux Klan’s 1966 murder of Vernon Dahmer — surrendered to Forrest County authorities, but they would not disclose Pitts’ location.
The slaying of Vernon Dahmer, killed in the Ku Klux Klan firebombing of his home in 1966, could very well be a viable case now, with the testimony of one man, Billy Roy Pitts. To this, we say: Billy Roy, turn yourself in.
Pitts, who pleaded guilty to his involvement in the Jan. 10, 1966, raid, was the key witness against his co-defendants in the trials, resulting in the convictions of four Klansmen. But the man he identified as masterminding the murder of the Hattiesburg NAACP leader, Imperial Wizard Sam Bowers, walked away free when juries deadlocked.
One of the Ku Klux Klansmen sentenced to life for killing Vernon Dahmer in 1966 never served a day in state prison, research by The Clarion-Ledger has revealed. The Clarion-Ledger began questioning Mississippi Department of Corrections officials Monday about Pitts. On Friday, they executed a warrant for his arrest.
Sam Bowers, the Ku Klux Klan imperial wizard tried three times on charges of masterminding the killing of NAACP leader Vernon Dahmer, is now under state investigation on allegations he participated in an illegal gambling operation, The Clarion-Ledger has learned.