The Death Of Martin Luther King


This just in from Reuter's

Tuesday March 24 11:07 AM EST

New Evidence Revealed in King Assassination

ATLANTA (Reuters) - A former FBI agent who investigated the 1968
assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was to present
on Tuesday what he claimed was evidence never before disclosed in the case.

Donald Wilson, who left the FBI in 1987, was one of two agents who on April
10, 1968, impounded a white Ford Mustang belonging to James Earl Ray, who
confessed to the killing but later recanted, saying the case was a
conspiracy involving federal agents.

Wilson said Monday he found and kept two slips of paper from the car, which
was found in Atlanta's Capitol Homes housing project, that may support Ray's
claim of a government conspiracy in the April 4, 1968, assassination.

"This is very significant," King's son, Dexter King, told The Atlanta
Constitution. "The evidence that he has will go a long way toward disputing
the official story."

Ray, 70, was sentenced to life in prison for killing King He has been
diagnosed with liver cancer. The King family said it supports his request
for a new trial.

Wilson said he did not reveal the evidence earlier because he did not trust
some of the investigators in the case. He said he also feared for his

He said he contacted the King family after hearing the slain civil rights
leader's wife Coretta Scott King ask Tennessee officials in 1997 to let
Ray's case go to trial.

Wilson, who heads a career management company, was to present the evidence
to Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard because the documents were
found in Atlanta and Howard has jurisdiction.



This just in from CNN.

                               July 11, 1997
                  Web posted at: 11:47 a.m. EDT (1547 GMT)
   MEMPHIS, Tennessee (CNN) -- Markings on some of the test bullets fired
   from the rifle believed used in the killing of Martin Luther King Jr.
   do not match the markings on the bullet that killed King, according to
     an affidavit filed by confessed killer James Earl Ray's attorneys.
    The results of bullet tests, conducted in May, were read in court by
                            Judge Joseph Brown .
   Lawyers for Ray, who sought the tests in a bid to prove his innocence,
    are asking Brown to approve additional tests on Ray's .30-06 hunting
                                  rifle .
    "A comparison was conducted of the bullet material removed from Dr.
     King with the 12 test bullets that could be adequately analyzed,"
           Brown said, reading from a report on the test firings.
     "This comparison revealed that the gross and unique characteristic
   signature left on the 12 test bullets by the James Earl Ray rifle was
                     not present on the death bullet."



Back in the 60's, the FBI's COINTELPRO program specifically targeted the civil rights movement for harassment and disruption. Not lawful investigation, but actual criminal acts committed by the FBI designed to deny the black population (along with Native Americans, the anti-war movement, and the early feminist movement) their civil rights.

That no limits were set on the type of actions directed against the central figures of the civil rights movement is illustrated by the following quote from an FBI document made public by the Freedom Of Information Act.

   "Concerning the first proposal submitted by Detroit,
   counterintelligence action by San Francisco to capitalize on Huey P.
   Newton's favorable stand toward homosexuals has already been
   authorized by the Bureau. The second Detroit proposal to consider
   directing an anonymous communication to Newton accusing David Hilliard
   of stealing BPP funds and depositing them in foreign banks does have
   merit and the Bureau does not concur with San Francisco's observation
   that this would have little effect since there is no record that
   Hilliard is skimming large amounts of money. Purpose of
   counterintelligence action is to disrupt BPP and it is immaterial
   whether facts exist to substanciate the charge. If facts are present
   it aids in the sucess of the proposal but the Bureau feels that the
   skimming of money of money is such a sensitive issue that disruption
   can be accomplished without facts to back it up."
   -from Sept. 16, 1970 Airtel from Hoover informing his COINTELPRO
   operatives that outright lies were appropiate content for anonymous

Among the "outright lies" committed by the FBI against the civil rights movement was a fraudulent coloring book distributed by the FBI but blamed on the Black Panthers by the all-too-willing media. Scans of the book are at

The coloring book was chosen because this attack came long before the Black Panthers became militant, when their primary activities were the 60's equivilent of food banks, free food for children, and the desire for local control of the schools.

The fact that mostly white households were receiving the coloring book in the mail should have been the tipoff that the coloring book was not what it was claimed to be. But those were innocent days, when the true nature of our government was still well hidden from the general population, and the media was always assumed to tell the truth (those days are forever gone as the last poll taken shows that the media is trusted by only 5% of all Americans).

The coloring book was filled (as you san see at the above URL) with highly racist, overtly anti-white and anti-police illustrations that so angered the white population that they stopped listening to the black's legitimate political grievences, which is what the FBI intended. The manufactured image of the Black Panthers as racists educating their children to hate whites legitimized open political repression.

Individuals who had become prominant supporters of the civil rights movement were targeted for similar "outright lies". No more tragic example exists than the FBI's scheme to deliberatly ruin the career of actress Jean Seberg, a vocal and financial supporter of civil rights.

Jean Seberg, a well known actress in the 60s, starred in such films as "Saint Joan", "Airport", "Dead of Summer", "Paint Your Wagon", "Pendulum", "A Fine Madness", "Moment to Moment", "Lilith", and "The Mouse That Roared" along with dozens of films made in France. Jean Seberg was married to French Diplomat Romain Gary and was carrying his child when the Los Angeles office of the FBI sent the following memo to Washington D.C.

   "Bureau permission is requested to publicize the pregnancy of Jean
   Seberg, well-known movie actress by (name deleted) Black Panther (BPP)
   (deleted) by advising Hollywood "Gossip-Columnists" in the Los Angeles
   area of the situation. It is felt that the possible publication of
   Seberg's plight could cause her embarrassment and serve to cheapen her
   image with the general public.
   " 'It is proposed that the following letter from a fictitious person
   be sent to local columinists:
   "I was just thinking about you and remembered I still owe you a favor.
   So ---- I was in Paris last week and ran into Jean Seberg, who was
   heavy with baby. I thought she and Romaine [sic] had gotten together
   again, but she confided the child belonged to (deleted) of the Black
   Panthers, one (deleted). The dear girl is getting around!
   " 'Anyway, I thought you might get a scoop on the others. Be good and
   I'll see you soon.
                                  " 'Sol.,
   "Usual precautions would be taken by the Los Angeles Division to
   preclude identification of the Bureau as the source of the letter if
   approval is granted."

(Note the comment about "usual precautions"; yet another indicator that such smear campaigns, then and now, are common operations).

Permission was granted (but with the suggestion that the smear be delayed until Jean Seberg's pregnancy was in a very obvious condition), and the rumor started by Los Angeles Times propagandist Joyce Haber. The story was picked up by Newsweek and the international press. The shock of the story was so severe that Jean Seberg suffered a miscarriage. The funeral for the child was held with an open casket, so that the lie stood revealed in it's most tragic form. Jean Seberg, her baby dead and her career shattered by this outright lie, attempted suicide several times, finally succeeding in a French Hotel.

(The name which was redacted from the above memo during the FOIA process is thought by many to have been Raymond Hewit, a Black Panther leader. His "outright lie" was far more direct. The FBI typed up a letter on official FBI stationary identifying Hewit as an informant and planted it where other Black Panthers would find it in the hopes that Hewit would then be killed.)

Following Seberg's death, the Los Angeles Times, the key instrument of her torment, issued a statement by the FBI.

   "The days when the FBI used derogatory information to combat advocates
   of unpopular causes have long since passed. We are out of that
   business forever."
The Senate committee that looked into COINTELPRO disagreed, however.
   "Cointelpro activities may continue today under the rubric of

(From my own experiences in Hollywood following my interest in the Vincent Foster murder, I can attest that the Senate committee has a far more accurate grasp of reality. Threats, smears, and blacklisting are still the tools of choice for the FBI.)

Disinformation was not the limit of the FBI's tactics against the civil rights movement. While officially critical of the KKK, the FBI's "White Hate" program let it be known that KKK attacks against certain black leadership targets would not result in any reprisals.

All of the covertness and subterfuge was to allow COINTELPRO to stifle dissent while maintaining the illusion that the nation was a democracy with a still-functioning Bill Of Rights. However, no matter how many times the word "Democracy" gets drummed into our ears as we grow up, common sense will tell you that the mere existence of a secret police force, able, willing, and permitted to destroy the lives of citizens at will, proves we live in a dictatorship.


No single figure of the "unpopular" civil rights movement attracted the ire of the FBI more than Martin Luther King. Several attempts were made to discredit him and to drive him to suicide so that a more "tractable" synthetic leader could be manufactured to take his place; someone who would provide a focus for the black population, but who who could be counted on not to cross certain lines (and I note that when the children of Dr. King went public with their belief that James Earl Ray was actually innocent, the most vocal criticism of them came from the Reverend Jesse Jackson).

Martin Luther King first became a target of the FBI following the riots in Albany, Georgia, when the New York Times ran an article critical of the overt racism the FBI was demonstrating, and Dr. King went on record as agreeing with that assessment.

Notice that in all cases, the appellation "hate-group" was used as psychological justification for the actions being undertaken, even against clearly pacifist organizations such as Dr. King's.

SAC, Albany                                               August 25, 1967

                                        PERSONAL ATTENTION TO ALL OFFICES

[From] Director, FBI


	[...] The purpose of this new counterintelligence endeavor is to
expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit, or OTHERWISE NEUTRALIZE [emphasis 
added] the activities of black nationalist hate-type organizations and 
groupings, their leadership, spokesmen, membership, and supporters, and 
to counter their propensity for violence and civil disorder.  The activities 
of all such groups of intelligence interest to the Bureau must be followed 
on a continuous basis so we will be in a position to promptly take advantage 
of all opportunities for counterintelligence and inspire action in instances
where circumstances warrant.  The pernicious background of such groups,
their duplicity, and devious maneuvers must be exposed to public scrutiny
where such publicity will have a neautralizing effect.  Efforts of the
various groups to consolidate their forces or to recruit new or youthful
adherents must be frustrated.  NO OPPORTUNITY SHOULD BE MISSED TO 
BLACK NATIONALIST ORGANIZATIONS.  [emphasis added]  When an opportunity is 
apparent to disrupt or NEUTRALIZE [emphasis added] black nationalist, hate-
type organizations through the cooperation of established local news media 
contacts or through such contact with sources available to the Seat of 
Government [Hoover's office]*, in every instance careful attention must be 
given to the proposal to insure the targetted group is disrupted, ridiculed, 
or discredited through the publicity and not merely publicized...

	You are also cautioned that the nature of this new endeavor is such
KNOWN OUTSIDE THE BUREAU [emphasis added] and appropriate within-office 
security should be afforded to sensitive operations and techniques considered 
under the program.

	No counterintelligence action under this program may be initiated
by the field without specific prior Bureau authorization. [Emphasis in orig.]

* [EDITOR'S NOTE:  "Seat of Government" (SOG) is an official designation 
 created by J. Edgar Hoover to refer to his own office.  Hoover was director
 of the FBI for some 40 years, even receiving a special exemption from
 compulsory retirement by President Ford (blackmailable because of the same
reason he was appointed Vice President under Nixon; his connections to
the coverup of the JFK assassination). The "SOG" appelation is
 indicative of his egotistical view of his power, which saw presidents come
 and go.]


Years later, the growth and popularity of the civil rights movement, along with Martin Luther King's persistant ability to survive the various COINTELPRO operations launched against him, prompted this memo.

   RACIAL INTELLIGENCE                                              3/4/68


	For maximum effectiveness of the Counterintelligence Program, and
to prevent wasted effort, long-range goals are being set.

	1.  Prevent the COALITION of militant black nationalist groups.  In
unity there is strength; a truism that is no less valid for all its 
triteness.  An effective coalition of black nationalist groups might be the
first step toward a real "Mau Mau" [Black revolutionary army] in America, 
the beginning of a true black revolution.

	2.  Prevent the RISE OF A "MESSIAH" who could unify, and
electrify, the militant black nationalist movement.  Malcolm X might have
been such a "messiah;" he is the martyr of the movement today.  Martin
Luther King, Stokely Carmichael and Elijah Muhammed all aspire to this
position.  Elijah Muhammed is less of a threat because of his age.  King
could be a very real contender for this position should he abandon his
supposed "obedience" to "white, liberal doctrines" (nonviolence) and embrace
black nationalism.  Carmichael has the necessary charisma to be a real
threat in this way.

	3.  Prevent VIOLENCE on the part of black nationalist groups.  This
is of primary importance, and is, of course, a goal of our investigative
activity; it should also be a goal of the Counterintelligence Program to
pinpoint potential troublemakers and neutralize them before they 
exercise their potential for violence.

	4.  Prevent militant black nationalist groups and leaders from
gaining RESPECTABILITY, by discrediting them to three separate segments of
the community.  The goal of discrediting black nationalists must be handled
tactically in three ways.  You must discredit those groups and individuals
to, first, the responsible Negro community.  Second, they must be
discredited to the white community, both the responsible community and to
"liberals" who have vestiges of sympathy for militant black nationalist
[sic] simply because they are Negroes.  Third, these groups must be 
discredited in the eyes of Negro radicals, the followers of the movement.  
This last area requires entirely different tactics from the first two.  
Publicity about violent tendencies and radical statements merely enhances 
black nationalists to the last group; it adds "respectability" in a different

	5.  A final goal should be to prevent the long-range GROWTH of
militant black organizations, especially among youth.  Specific tactics to
prevent these groups from converting young people must be developed. [...]


	Primary targets of the Counterintelligence Program, Black
Nationalist-Hate Groups, should be the most violent and radical groups and
their leaders.  We should emphasize those leaders and organizations that
are nationwide in scope and are most capable of disrupting this country.
These targets, members, and followers of the:

   Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
   Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC)
   Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM)
   NATION OF ISLAM  (NOI)   [emphasis added]

	Offices handling these cases and those of Stokely Carmichael of
SNCC, H. Rap Brown of SNCC, Martin Luther King of SCLC, Maxwell Stanford of
RAM, and Elijah Muhammed of NOI, should be alert for counterintelligence
suggestions.  [...]

				J. Edgar Hoover

 [SOURCE:  Brian Glick, _The_War_At_Home: _Covert_Action_Against_U.S._
 Activists_And_What_We_Can_Do_About_It_  (Boston: South End Press, 1989)
 ISBN: 0-89608-349-7.]

On April 4th, 1968, one month after the above memo was sent out by Hoover, Martin Luther King was in Memphis Tennessee, trying to pick up the pieces of a peace march that on March 28th had been disrupted by a gang of agents provocateur called "The Invaders," later revealed to be connected with COINTELPRO.

When Martin Luther King announced his return to Memphis, the FBI, with direct approval of J. Edgar Hoover, circulated to friendly press contacts a memo riducling Martin Luther King for staying at the white-owned Holiday Inn instead of the Motel Lorraine, which was black-owned. King fell for the ruse and booked himself into a ground floor room at the motel. An unknown individual, claiming to be King's advance man, changed the booking to the second floor room with the balcony, claiming that King liked to look at swimming pools.

[Motel Lorraine]

This new room, in the rear of the building and facing open alleys, was a security disaster, wide open to sniper fire from numerous angles.

At 6PM, while standing on the balcony and speaking to his driver, Martin Luther King was shot and killed.

Conveniently placed individuals immediately pointed to the bathroom window of Bessie Brewer's boarding house. Those individuals who claimed that the shot had been fired from a hedge next to the building were ignored and ridiculed. James Earl Ray was arrested, urged to confess by his lawyer, then retracted his confession. He is still in jail, at present dying of liver desease (but probably not fast enough to suit the FBI).

There are numerous reaosns to doubt the official story.

[James Earl Ray's arrest photo]

[James Earl Ray today]

  • 1. James Earl Ray, not unlike his lone-nut cousin Lee Harvey Oswald, was a poor shot in the Army.

  • 2. At Ray's evidentiary hearing, a former FBI ballistics expert testified that not even the most skilled gunman could have accurately fired a rifle in the manner claimed by the government prosecution. According to the expert, to effectively line up the rifle for such a shot, the butt of the rifle would have had to stick six inches into the wall. The prosecution countered that Ray had contorted himself into position around the bathtub in order to make the kill shot, which seems equally incredulous.

  • 3. After the assassination, Wayne Chastain, a reporter at the Memphis Press Scimitar, came across an unpublished Associated Press photograph in the newspaper's files which was taken from the boarding house bathroom window, through which Ray allegedly shot King. The sniper's view was obscured by branches from trees growing between the boarding house and the Motel Lorraine. The City of Memphis ordered the sanitation department to cut those trees down shortly after the assassination, making it impossible to conclusively determine how the tree branches may have interfered in a shot fired from the boarding house bathroom. (Students of one of the other assassinations from that period, that of President John F. Kennedy, will recall how the government of Dallas almost immediately replaced and relocated all the street signs in Dealey Plaza, some of which were reported to have had bullet holes).

  • 4. Only one witness claimed to have seen Ray leaving the boarding house bathroom, a man named Charles Stephens. According to two other sources, Stephens was extremely inebriated at the time. The first three descriptions Stephens gave didn't resemble Ray at all--in fact, Stephens' first two descriptions of the alleged assassin were of a black man. Stephens admitted that he did not get a good look at the alleged assassin. It wasn't until the FBI paid $30,000 in bar tabs for Stephens that he fingered Ray as the hit man. Charles Stephens, it should be noted, did not see the actual shooting. According to another witness, Stephens was busy urinating in some bushes when the killing actually occured.

  • 5. Two other witnesses saw someone leaving the boarding house bathroom. One witness, Bessie Brewer, the owner of the boarding house, could not identify the individual and refused to identify Ray as the man she had rented a room to. The other witness, Stephens' common law wife Grace, said she did get a good look at him, and that it was definitely not James Earl Ray. Grace's drunken husband became the preferred witness. Grace was committed to a mental institution. According to her lawyer, C.M. Murphy, she was committed illegally, and after she was committed, the Memphis prosecutors removed her records from the hospital. After years of imprisonment under heavy sedation, Grace still refused to recant her story.

  • 6. In addition to Brewer, two other witnesses at the boarding house insisted that the man who rented Ray's room looked nothing like James Earl Ray.

  • 7. Less than two minutes after the fatal shot was fired, a bundle containing the 30.06 Remington rifle allegedly used in the assassination and some of Ray's belongings was conveniently found in the doorway of the Canipe Amusement Company next door to the boarding house. Ray would have had to fire the shot that killed King from his contorted position in the bathroom, exit the sniper's nest, go to his room to collect his belongings and wrap and tie it all in a bundle, leave his room, run down the stairs and out of the boarding house, stash the bundle next door, and then get away from the scene unnoticed--all within two minutes! (Again, students of the JFK assassination will recognize a familier pattern in the superhuman running skills attributed to the patsy).

  • 8. A service station manager told an investigator for Ray's defense team that he saw Ray several blocks from the boarding house at the time of the shooting. He was stabbed soon after he started talking to the defense team. After changing his story about his involvement in the assassination, Ray himself was stabbed while in the library of the Brushy Mountain Prison.

  • 9. Martin Luther King's brother, an excellent swimmer, was found drowned in his pool following Martin Luther King's assassination.

  • 10. Finally and most telling, the FBI lab was never able to ballistically match the bullet recovered from the body of Martin Luther King with the James Earl Ray rifle conventiantly found in the doorway.


    The only basis for James Earl Ray's imprisonment is his confession, one offered under coercion by his court-appointed attorney and immediately retracted. There exists no evidence at all that James Earl Ray was the killer of Martin Luther King.

    James Earl Ray is now trying to avail himself of a Tennessee law which allows the re-opening of his case in the face of new investigative technologies that might exhonorate him. Here was the initial CNN story (quoted under "Fair Use").

                   Bullet test results due in King assassination             
                                    May 21, 1997
                      Web posted at: 3:14 p.m. EDT (1914 GMT)                
       CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (CNN) -- Criminal experts might know
        by the end of the day whether James Earl Ray Jr.'s hunting rifle was 
              the murder weapon that killed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
       Technicians at the CamScan laboratory were to use a powerful scanning 
       electron microscope to zoom in on markings made on bullets test-fired 
        from the hunting rifle found with Ray's fingerprints on it near the  
                    Memphis motel where King was slain in 1968. 
         The test bullets are to be compared to a bullet taken from King's   
       body. If tests prove Ray's rifle was not the murder weapon, he can ask
       for a hearing on his assertion of innocence. The results, however, may
                            not be released until June.       
         Eighteen test bullets were fired from Ray's .30-06 Remington rifle  
       last week in Rhode Island and taken to the CamScan lab near Pittsburgh
                                 for the analysis.

    The tests were completed a month later. Had they concluded that the rifle owned by James Earl Ray had indeed fired the bullet that killed Dr. Martin Luther King, I think it's safe to say that it would have been page one news across the country. Instead, the release of the results has been continually put off, and now is on indefinate hold under the claim that new tests are needed because the rifle was not cleaned properly.

    Here is the latest CNN story (quoted under "Fair Use").

              Sources: Tests fail to rule out King assassination rifle
                                   June 13, 1997
                 Web posted at: 10:31 a.m. EDT (1031 GMT) Ray photo         
        MEMPHIS, Tennessee (CNN) -- Defense lawyers for James Earl Ray have  
        requested a second test-firing of the rifle believed to have killed
        Martin Luther King Jr., sources citing a sealed affidavit told CNN.
        The defense made its request after testing last month failed to rule
        out the rifle as the murder weapon, the sources said. The results of
         those tests were to be released June 18, but could now be delayed.
       Defense attorney William Pepper, contacted by phone Thursday, said the
          defense request does not mean the test results are inconclusive.  
       "The process is still going on, so there are no conclusions," he said,
         adding that he could not comment further due to a gag order on the

    Note that the only actual statement made by the defense lawyer is that the tests were NOT inconclusive. All else is attributed to "sources" and commentary about "sealed affidavits". Note also that a gag order has been issued in this case.

    The meaning of the hemming and hawing is clear. The test results are not something that the government wishes We The People to be aware of. So, by decree, and with the willing complicity of the ministry of truth (otherwise known as ABCNNBCBS), We The People will not be told.

    We will not be told that the tests did not match the bullet that killed Martin Luther King with the rifle owned by James Earl Ray. We will be given excuses, delays, obfuscations, and hopefully we will all forget that tests even took place. Hopefully, James Earl Ray (who has spent his life behind bars solely for the crime of trusting his court appointed attorney) will die soon and solve the government's problems.

    The sealing of the affidavits, the issuance of a gag order, and the claim that the complete failure to match the bullet to the rifle doesn't "rule out" the rifle as the murder weapon all underscores the scale of the big lie being protected.

    Ballistics tests are an either/or situation. Either the bullet matches or it doesn't. Either the James Earl Ray rifle fired that bullet or it didn't. Legally, if it cannot be proven, it didn't happen.

    A report leaked from the court confirms that the second set of ballistics tests showed that there is a manufacturing defect in the James Eal Ray rifle that gouges any bullet it fires. That mark does NOT appear on the bullet that killed Martin Luther King. When the judge ordered one more set of tests to make sure, the Federal government, instead of complying with the court order, had the judge removed from the case March 7th, 1998!

    In the 60's, COINTELPRO, with the full knowledge and blessing of the political leadership, destroyed the leadership of the civil rights movement, intentionally, covertly, and with malice of forethought.

    In the present, the inheritors of COINTELPRO, with the full knowledge and blessing of the present political leadership, still perpetuate the lies and coverups.

    And all of Bill Clinton's postured "apology for slavery" does not change that fact. A photo-op is not absolution.

    What does it say about the reality of our nation when the secret police destroy careers and frame innocent people, aided and abbetted by the media and the machinery of so-called law and order?

    What does it say about the reality of our nation when a quarter of a century after the murder and frame up took place, a government composed of entirely new individuals willfully perpetuates the lies of the past?

    The FBI teletype making James Earl Ray a "top ten" fugitive! Click for full size picture.(158.2K)

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