Killing the Dream: James Earl Ray and the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Gerald PosnerIn the three decades since April 4, 1968, when Martin Luther King, Jr., was shot to death in Memphis, scores of books and articles have questioned whether James Earl Ray, Kings killer, acted alone or was part of a larger conspiracy. Now, based on explosive new interviews, confidential files, and previously undisclosed evidence, bestselling author Gerald Posner finally resolves the simple truth of the last great political murder mystery of the 1960s, definitively proving that Ray acted alone. Beginning with a straightforward narrative of the events before, during, and after the shooting, Posner untangles the cases leading puzzles: Was there a mysterious person named Raoul who directed Ray in the year leading up to the murder? Were the FBI, the CIA, or an arm of the Mafia involved? Did the military have a covert team of snipers in Memphis on the day King died? Was James Earl Ray a patsy, as the King family has publicly declared? At the heart of this book is an in-depth profile of Ray himself, a fascinating profile of a career criminal from one of the most forsaken parts of poor white America. Posner re-creates the memorable dramas of the case: Dr. Kings rousing mountaintop speech the night before his death; the chilling moments of the assassination; Rays frantic flight across four countries as he tried to escape justice; and the shock of the King familys embrace of Ray just before his own death in jail. A riveting search for justice, Killing the Dream finally thwarts James Earl Rays efforts to take his secrets to the grave, and proves the identity of Kings killer beyond a shadow of a doubt.
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Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
Martin Luther King Jr. He was rushed to St. He was a prominent leader of the Civil Rights Movement and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who was known for his use of nonviolence and civil disobedience. On March 10, , he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 99 years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary. The King family and others believe the assassination was the result of a conspiracy involving the U. They believe that Ray was a scapegoat.
Martin Luther King, Jr. A Baptist minister and founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference SCLC , King had led the civil rights movement since the mids, using a combination of impassioned speeches and nonviolent protests to fight segregation and achieve significant civil-rights advances for African Americans. His assassination led to an outpouring of anger among black Americans, as well as a period of national mourning that helped speed the way for an equal housing bill that would be the last significant legislative achievement of the civil rights era. In the last years of his life, King faced mounting criticism from young African-American activists who favored a more confrontational approach to seeking change. As a result of this opposition, King sought to widen his appeal beyond his own race, speaking out publicly against the Vietnam War and working to form a coalition of poor Americans—black and white alike—to address such issues as poverty and unemployment.
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The petty criminal pleaded guilty to murder, but 50 years on doubts still persist that the FBI and other shadowy government forces might also have been involved in a conspiracy. This was the youngest man ever to have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize , a leader whose oratory on behalf of his people could neither be ignored nor forgotten. The year-old reverend spoke of narrowly surviving an attempt to stab him to death a decade previously, the blade coming so close to his heart that had he sneezed, he would have died. No-one noticed when the following afternoon, on April 4 , year-old James Earl Ray checked into a boarding house a block away from the Lorraine. Why would they? Unlike Martin Luther King, this guy was a loser, a burglar, armed robber and nobody whose only talent seemed to be for getting arrested and escaping jail. That was what he had done a year earlier, slipping out of Missouri State Penitentiary by hiding in a bakery truck.
Over a half-century ago, Martin Luther King Jr. Fifty-one years have passed since one of the nation's most harrowing episodes unfolded, when at p. On Feb. The incident cast a light on the poor working conditions and low wages of sanitation workers, who were prompted by the deaths of the two men to call for a strike. Sanitation workers, all of them black, walked off their jobs on Feb. King, a Baptist minister from Atlanta and the country's most famous civil rights activist, had heard about the work stoppage and decided to go to Memphis to bring national attention to the strike. He had already come to national prominence by leading the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, in , after an African-American woman named Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up a front bus seat to a white man.
The bullets that mortally wounded the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Central Standard Time on April 4, The first news bulletin flashed across television screens about an hour later. The New York Times newsroom had only hours to rework a newspaper that would be printed later that night, and 26 articles that Friday would mention Dr.