Thursday, April 13, 2023

Who Assassinated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

April 4th was the 55th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I decided to do a blog post about it and ended up going down a very deep rabbit hole. I finally had to quit looking for material and go with what I had. It took me until today to sort and write. Getting the pertinent stuff in without writing a book was a challenge. This is my attempt. 

Fifty-Five years ago, on April 4th, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis Tennessee. The official verdict was that it was done by a lone gunman. James Earl Ray, a petty thief and escaped convict, who pleaded guilty and died in prison. However, a great many things did not add up leaving the identity of the actual assassin open for debate.

It takes a great deal of proof to convince me about many official versions of controversial events. Too many official accounts cover up or ignore crucial details. Top Secret is not to protect the nation but to cover someone’s ass. It isn’t just Russia where people inconvenient to the powers are eliminated. Journalist Michael Hastings died in a flaming car wreck. JFK? I am convinced that events went down as the Warren Commission described them and as confirmed by Philip Shenon’s book, “A Cruel and Shocking Act”. The question is who put the idea in Oswald’s head and made it stick? RFK? I’ll look at that closer to his assassination date.

Throughout the upheaval of the 1960s, the US government waged an all-out covert war against the black freedom movement. The FBI’s campaign of illegal surveillance, harassment, blackmailing, subversion, and violence—including the extrajudicial execution of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in Chicago in 1969—under the auspices of COINTELPRO is largely a matter of historical record.

The FBI, in particular J. Edgar Hoover, hated MLK. After King made his “I have a dream” speech in 1963, Hoover called him the most dangerous and effective Negro leader in the country.” The FBI kept him under constant surveillance hoping to find Communist influence. They didn’t find any, but they did learn about his philandering, which they used against him. They were obsessed with neutralizing his influence in the civil rights movement, tracking his flights, tapping his phone, and harassing him to the point of sending an anonymous letter suggesting he commit suicide.

King made powerful enemies by opposing the war in Vietnam as contractors were making too much money to want the war to stop. But what really made him dangerous was The Poor People’s Campaign of 1968, which demanded that the government address the employment and housing problems of the poor, both Black and White, throughout the United States. The Idea that if King was able to convince poor Blacks and Whites that they had enough in common to unite and fight together for justice, terrified the establishment that survived by pitting one against the other. King had to be stopped. Conveniently, a lone deranged racist gunman, James Earl Ray, allegedly shot King at 6:01 pm on April 4th, 1968.

Ray’s first lawyer, Haines began digging into some of the questionable assertions of the Memphis police. Ray was persuaded to change lawyers. He pleaded guilty on the advice of his new lawyer, Percy Foreman, who assured him he would get a retrial in two weeks. Foreman immediately disappeared, leaving Ray $500 to hire another lawyer.

Consequently, the official investigations stopped, and no trial was held. None of the evidence that might have cleared him and incriminated the guilty party (parties) was ever made public. For the rest of his life, Ray was unsuccessful in getting a new trial. All official government investigations, thereafter, including one by the House Select Committee on Assassinations under chief counsel Robert Blakey found Ray acted as the lone assassin.

However, in 2012, G. Robert Blakey, who had been the staff director to the HSCA, admitted that he had been misled by the CIA, which had failed to disclose that a government liaison to the HSCA, George Joannides, had a CIA background. Blakey told the (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger that “reasonable people today, not just conspiracy theorists, believe that more individuals than James Earl Ray were involved in King’s assassination.

Dr. William Pepper, lawyer, civil rights activist, and a friend of Matin Luther King Jr., interviewed Ray in 1978 and was convinced of his innocence. He spent almost 40 years tracking down witnesses and compiling evidence that exonerated James Earl Ray and pointed to an evil conspiracy. His third and final book “The Plot to Kill King” published in 2016 is the culmination of his investigations.

In 1999, Pepper and the King family launched a civil suit against the Memphis restaurant owner, Lloyd Jowers, who claimed that he had been paid by a local mobster to organize King’s assassination. He testified that organizational meetings were held in his restaurant. The jury heard from 70 witnesses and took 59 minutes to decide that James Earl Ray was not the person who murdered King. They ruled that local, state, and federal government aided by members of the New Orleans Marcello crime family, were responsible.

Witnesses have testified to and/or evidence has been found for all of the following:

  • Clyde Tolson, longtime assistant to J Edgar Hoover and his man in Memphis, delivered $25,000 cash via the mob, to the warden of the Missouri prison where Ray was held. He was allowed to escape, made his way to Atlanta and eventually to Montreal, where he met a man named Raul, a CIA operative who became Ray’s handler.
  • Raul involved Ray in some small gun running ventures. Ray was sent to Birmingham for one such deal to buy a hunting rifle with a scope, specifically a 30-06, after Ray initially bought a .243 calibre.
  • Ray, at 3:00 pm on April 4th, on instructions from Raul, booked a room on the second floor of Bessy’s Boarding House, a cheap flophouse across the street from the Lorraine Motel on April 4th, with a bar called Jim’s Grill, owned by Lloyd Jowers, on the street level. Ray allegedly fired the shot from the window of the public bathroom on the second floor.
  • The distance from the bathroom window to the balcony was about a 200-yard shot, easy for a skilled marksman but difficult for a novice. Ray had never fired a rifle in his life. The rifle was not sighted in. The bullet recovered from King’s body was never matched to the rifle and was in fact cut up by the FBI.
  • After shooting King, in the three minutes before the nearest policeman arrived on foot, Ray allegedly took the rifle apart, put it in a briefcase, threw it and a few belongings in a blanket and fled down the stairs and to his car. On the way he dropped the blanket and rifle in front of the Canipe Amusement Company, next door to the rooming house.
  • Ray’s fingerprints were found on the rifle and a few other things in the blanket but not in the room he rented at the flop house.
  • Ray said he was told by Raul to leave the rifle and go somewhere as there were things that needed to be done before the deal went down. Ray was three blocks away when the shot was fired. As he drove back to the boarding house, he saw all the activity and police cars and decided he had better make a run for it.
  • The fatal shot came from the bushes beside the rooming house, possibly Memphis Police Lt. Earl Clark, a skilled marksman and associate of Frank Liberto, a member of the Marcello crime family of New Orleans. Immediately after the shot, a man was seen coming from the bushes into the street and mingling with the crowd. Inexplicably, The bushes were cleared away the next day by Memphis city workers.
  • Jowers’ girlfriend said immediately after the shot, Jowers came in the back door of Jim’s Grill with a rifle which he hid under the counter, and which was picked up later, allegedly by Raul.
  • The day of the shooting, the Memphis Police Department did not provide the usual security for King and other security squads were kept several blocks away. Orders allegedly came from Washington.
  • The FBI immediately took control of the case though it was clearly the jurisdiction of the Memphis Police. In the years following his death, documents related to Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder case were doctored or destroyed, and all files of FBI surveillance on King were sealed for 50 years.
  • After the shooting, Ray drove to Atlanta, then flew to Europe, ending up in Portugal where he stayed until he ran out of money. He went back to England where he was arrested in July 1968 and extradited to America. Where did he get the money to stay on the run as long as he did?
  • Ray used four aliases of real people who looked like him who lived in Toronto. How did he get them?
  • In 1995, new evidence had convinced Memphis criminal court Judge Joe Brown to approve a new trial but before he could sign the papers he was removed by the state.
  • The son of Russel Adkins, member of the Dixie Mafia, testified that meetings to organize the assassination took place in their house. Participants included the Memphis Mayor and Chief of Police, and FBI agent Tolson.
  • John McFerren, Black owner of a small grocery and gas business, said he was in Frank Liberto’s warehouse buying produce for his store when he overheard Liberto on the phone telling someone to shoot him when he is on the balcony, go to New Orleans and get the rest of your money. . .”

These are just a few of the unanswered questions, testimony, statements, and evidence leading to the conclusion that James Earl Ray was not the assassin but was King's murder was carried out by parties unknown or unproveable. 

By the late 60s there was an erosion of support for the civil rights movement. After King was killed, riots broke out in over 100 cities, as Blacks dealt with their feeling of loss and hopelessness. The majority of non-Blacks, instead of dealing with the issues that created the Black ghettos, believing that the protesters were merely bad people, determined simply to stop any further uprisings by any means possible. Thus Nixon and Ronald Reagan ran on 'law and order" leading to the mass incarceration of Blacks. 

Investigation Points to FBI Conspiracy to Silence Martin Luther King Jr.

The FBI’s secret memos show an agency obsessed with ‘neutraliz(ing)’ MLK

Did the FBI Kill MLK?

Did The FBI Orchestrate MLK Jr's Assassination | The Conspiracy Show | Documentary Central

Investigator Gary Revel’s Probe into Martin Luther King Assassination Leads to New Book & Movie

MLK Plot | American Black Journal Clip

Who killed Martin Luther King Jr.? His family believes James Earl Ray was framed.

‘I Am a Man’: The ugly Memphis sanitation workers’ strike that led to MLK’s assassination.

William Pepper - The Execution of Martin Luther King



The Week That Made Modern America



  1. Another mystery we'll probably never know the truth about.

    1. We know who didn't do it, but yes, we will never know who did assassinate King.

  2. Replies
    1. Yup. America is much more clever than Russia in covering up their assassinations. There are always lone gunmen around when you need them

  3. Sigh. And you are right. Sadly Top Secret is indeed often about protecting someone's precious behind...

    1. So often when Top Secret documents are revealed, they have nothing to do with national security, just CYA

  4. Thank you, Allen. This was very interesting and I am going to pass on to some of my friends. There is so very much that gets covered up! Apparently!

  5. I wonder if more don't get covered up these days. Because of social media.
    Coffee is on and stay safe.

    1. Opps, I meant to say...I wonder if less doesn't get cover up. Because of social media. Although more fake news.
      Coffee is on and stay safe.

    2. I suspect that it would have been much harder to frame James Earl Ray today because if social media but other methods may have been used to bring King down. The FBI/CIA and Military could not afford to let him live.

  6. It's scary how every event narrative gets edited to suit the narrator's purposes. It seems there's no way to ever ferret out the truth.

    1. Truth can be buried very deep. And competing conspiracy theories can be generated by the perpetrators to fog the search for truth.

  7. I believe it is like a puzzle with missing pieces that may never be resolved.

    1. Welcome to my blog. Enough pieces exonerate James Earl Ray but no, we will never find the pieces to say exactly who and how it was done.


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