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Jerry Mitchell

The Clarion-Ledger
Jackson, MS

The revival of national interest in unsolved murders from the civil rights era begins with Jerry Mitchell, a dogged investigative reporter whose work for The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Mississippi, has won him many descriptions. “White traitor” is one. “The South’s Simon Weisenthal” is another. From his first civil rights story in 1989 revealing how the State of Mississippi secretly provided legal assistance to the man who murdered NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers in 1963, Mitchell has been more responsible than anyone for the trials and convictions of four Klansmen involved in some of the most heinous crimes of the 20th century. In 2009, Mitchell received a MacArthur "genius award" for his reporting on civil rights cold cases.