Harry Belafonte Endorses Bernie SandersLegendary Civil Rights leader and activist Harry Belafonte Leader endorses Bernie Sanders. Harry Belafonte has endorsed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders for president.
The singer and songwriter who was active in the Civil Rights Movement and close with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. released a video Thursday detailing his endorsement that was given exclusively to NBC News.
"I would suggest to those of you who have not yet made up your minds, or maybe even some of you who have made up your minds, to maybe consider and reconsider what it is that Bernie Sanders offers," Belafonte said in a video endorsing Sanders. "He offers us a chance to declare unequivocally that there is a group of citizens who have a deep caring for where are nation goes and what it does in the process of going."
Presidential Proclamation -- Martin Luther King...
With profound faith in our Nation's promise, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led a non-violent movement that urged our country's leaders to expand the reach of freedom and provide equal opportunity for all. Dr. King joined a long line of heroes and vindicated the belief at the heart of our founding: that humble citizens, armed with little but faith, can come together to change the world and remake an America that more closely aligns with our highest ideals.
Dr. King recognized that, as a country built on the foundation of self-governance, our success rested on engaging ordinary citizens in the work of securing our birthright liberties. Together, with countless unsung heroes equally committed to the idea that America is a constant work in progress, he heeded the call etched into our founding documents nearly two centuries before his time, marching and sacrificing for the idea of a fair, just, and inclusive society. By preaching his dream of a day when his children would be judged by the content of their character -- rather than by the color of their skin -- he helped awaken our Nation to the bitter truth that basic justice for all had not yet been realized. And in his efforts, he peaceably yet forcefully demonstrated that it is not enough to only have equal protection under the law, but also that equal opportunity for all of our Nation's children is necessary so that they can shape their own destinies.Continue reading - President Obama's Proclamation
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service - MLK Day...www.nationalservice.gov/MLKDayMONDAY, JANUARY 18, 2016. Martin Luther King Jr Day of Service is right around the corner! ... Inspired by the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service.
Lawmakers reflect on MLK Day 'no' votes | TheHill
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- Happy Birthday To Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.!News One -Born Michael King Jr. on this date in Atlanta to parents Rev. Michael, Sr. (later Martin Luther, Sr.) and Alberta, he would later change his name ...
The King Legacy of ServiceThe Corporation for National and Community Service MLK Day Legacy of Service videos feature civil rights luminaries Congressman John Lewis, Ruby Bridges, Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, and former U.S. Senator Harris Wofford remembering Dr. King and his legacy of service. The PSAs remind us of the importance of keeping Dr. King's legacy of service alive and challenge us to make service a part of our everyday lives.
Martin Luther King Memorial
This weekend is a great time to visit the Memorial. National Park Service Rangers discuss King's role in the Civil Rights movement daily. On January 18, 2016, at 12 p.m. the National Park Service will host a wreathlaying service in observance of the birthday-anniversary for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
MLK Drum Major for ServiceMLK Drum Majors for Service are the helping hands who perform extraordinary everyday acts of service with reliability and commitment, but who seldom receive recognition. The MLK Drum Major for Service recognition is an opportunity to acknowledge that work and share stories of those leaders in your community. Learn more.
What is the MLK Day of Service?Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: 'What are you doing for others?'" Each year, Americans across the country answer that question by coming together on the King Holiday to serve their neighbors and communities. The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President's national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.
Ernest Withers was Spy for FBI and Betrayed the Dreamer
Ernest Withers, who snapped some of the most recognizable images from the civil rights movement, was doing double duty as an FBI informant, providing intelligence on the likes of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and others. The man known as the “civil rights photographer” spied on the civil rights movement for the FBI.
Steve Cokely - Jesse Jackson conspire to Kill Dr. Martin L. King - Video Results
The Murder Of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr - Unspoken Details - Part One
Unmasking Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson set up Martin Luther King. Steve cokely
JESSIE JACKSON KILLED MARTIN LUTHER KING JR - YouTube
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Jesse Jackson Killed Martin Luther King. pt 1 ...
youtube.comFeb 4, 2010 - 10 min - Uploaded by MrBeliveitornot Jesse Jackson Killed Martin Luther King. pt 1 Steve cokely ... Your true owners keep you focused on skin ...
Martin Luther King Jr Assassination - New Evidence ...
youtube.comSep 19, 2010 - 10 min - Uploaded by MarkRadioTurner Martin Luther King Jr Assassination - New Evidence of a Government .... anti- Vietnam and working more and ...
Complete Transcript of the Martin Luther King, Jr ...Complete Transcript of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Assassination Conspiracy Trial ... Olivia Catling, neighborhood resident around Lorraine Motel. Mr ...PDF]
Dissident Voice : Who Killed Martin Luther King?Adobe PDF - View as htmlAcross from the Lorraine Motel was Fire Station no. 2. Who ordered ... to the question did Loyd Jowers participate in a conspiracy to do harm to Dr. Martin Luther King, your ...www.tucradio.org/Who_killed_MLK.pdfIn the complaint filed by the King family, "King versus Jowers and Other Unknown Co-Conspirators," the only named defendant, Loyd Jowers, was never their primary concern. As soon became evident in court, the real defendants were the anonymous co-conspirators who stood in the shadows behind Jowers, the former owner of a Memphis bar and grill. The Kings and Pepper were in effect charging U.S. intelligence agencies -- particularly the FBI and Army intelligence -- with organizing, subcontracting, and covering up the assassination. Such a charge guarantees almost insuperable obstacles to its being argued in a court within the United States. Judicially it is an unwelcome beast.
I can hardly believe the fact that, apart from the courtroom participants, only Memphis TV reporter Wendell Stacy and I attended from beginning to end this historic three-and-one-half week trial. Because of journalistic neglect scarcely anyone else in this land of ours even knows what went on in it. After critical testimony was given in the trial's second week before an almost empty gallery, Barbara Reis, U.S. correspondent for the Lisbon daily Publico who was there several days, turned to me and said, "Everything in the U.S. is the trial of the century. O.J. Simpson's trial was the trial of the century. Clinton's trial was the trial of the century. But this is the trial of the century, and who's here?"
Many qualifiers have been attached to the verdict in the King case. It came not in criminal court but in civil court, where the standards of evidence are much lower than in criminal court. (For example, the plaintiffs used unsworn testimony made on audiotapes and videotapes.) Furthermore, the King family as plaintiffs and Jowers as defendant agreed ahead of time on much of the evidence.But these observations are not entirely to the point. Because of the government's "sovereign immunity," it is not possible to put a U.S. intelligence agency in the dock of a U.S. criminal court. Such a step would require authorization by the federal government, which is not likely to indict itself. Thanks to the conjunction of a civil court, an independent judge with a sense of history, and a courageous family and lawyer, a spiritual breakthrough to an unspeakable truth occurred in Memphis. It allowed at least a few people (and hopefully many more through them) to see the forces behind King's martyrdom and to feel the responsibility we all share for it through our government. In the end, twelve jurors, six black and six white, said to everyone willing to hear: guilty as charged.We can also thank the unlikely figure of Loyd Jowers for providing a way into that truth.Loyd Jowers: When the frail, 73-year-old Jowers became ill after three days in court, Judge Swearengen excused him. Jowers did not testify and said through his attorney, Lewis Garrison, that he would plead the Fifth Amendment if subpoenaed. His discretion was too late. In 1993 against the advice of Garrison, Jowers had gone public. Prompted by William Pepper's progress as James Earl Ray's attorney in uncovering Jowers's role in the assassination, Jowers told his story to Sam Donaldson on Prime Time Live. He said he had been asked to help in the murder of King and was told there would be a decoy (Ray) in the plot. He was also told that the police "wouldn't be there that night."In that interview, the transcript of which was read to the jury in the Memphis courtroom, Jowers said the man who asked him to help in the murder was a Mafia-connected produce dealer named Frank Liberto. Liberto, now deceased, had a courier deliver $100,000 for Jowers to hold at his restaurant, Jim's Grill, the back door of which opened onto the dense bushes across from the Lorraine Motel. Jowers said he was visited the day before the murder by a man named Raul, who brought a rifle in a box.As Mike Vinson reported in the March-April Probe, other witnesses testified to their knowledge of Liberto's involvement in King's slaying. Store-owner John McFerren said he arrived around 5:15 pm, April 4, 1968, for a produce pick-up at Frank Liberto's warehouse in Memphis. (King would be shot at 6:0l pm.) When he approached the warehouse office, McFerren overheard Liberto on the phone inside saying, "Shoot the son-of-a-bitch on the balcony."Café-owner Lavada Addison, a friend of Liberto's in the late 1970's, testified that Liberto had told her he "had Martin Luther King killed." Addison's son, Nathan Whitlock, said when he learned of this conversation he asked Liberto point-blank if he had killed King."[Liberto] said, `I didn't kill the nigger but I had it done.' I said, `What about that other son-of-a-bitch taking credit for it?' He says, `Ahh, he wasn't nothing but a troublemaker from Missouri. He was a front man . . . a setup man.'"The jury also heard a tape recording of a two-hour-long confession Jowers made at a fall 1998 meeting with Martin Luther King's son Dexter and former UN Ambassador Andrew Young. On the tape Jowers says that meetings to plan the assassination occurred at Jim's Grill. He said the planners included undercover Memphis Police Department officer Marrell McCollough (who now works for the Central Intelligence Agency, and who is referenced in the trial transcript as Merrell McCullough), MPD Lieutentant Earl Clark (who died in 1987), a third police officer, and two men Jowers did not know but thought were federal agents.Young, who witnessed the assassination, can be heard on the tape identifying McCollough as the man kneeling beside King's body on the balcony in a famous photograph. According to witness Colby Vernon Smith, McCollough had infiltrated a Memphis community organizing group, the Invaders, which was working with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. In his trial testimony Young said the MPD intelligence agent was "the guy who ran up [the balcony stairs] with us to see Martin."Jowers says on the tape that right after the shot was fired he received a smoking rifle at the rear door of Jim's Grill from Clark. He broke the rifle down into two pieces and wrapped it in a tablecloth. Raul picked it up the next day. Jowers said he didn't actually see who fired the shot that killed King, but thought it was Clark, the MPD's best marksman.Young testified that his impression from the 1998 meeting was that the aging, ailing Jowers "wanted to get right with God before he died, wanted to confess it and be free of it." Jowers denied, however, that he knew the plot's purpose was to kill King -- a claim that seemed implausible to Dexter King and Young. Jowers has continued to fear jail, and he had directed Garrison to defend him on the grounds that he didn't know the target of the plot was King. But his interview with Donaldson suggests he was not naïve on this point.Loyd Jowers's story opened the door to testimony that explored the systemic nature of the murder in seven other basic areas:
- background to the assassination;
- local conspiracy;
- the crime scene;
- the rifle;
- broader conspiracy;
- Background to the assassinationJames Lawson, King's friend and an organizer with SCLC, testified that King's stands on Vietnam and the Poor People's Campaign had created enemies in Washington. He said King's speech at New York's Riverside Church on April 4, 1967, which condemned the Vietnam War and identified the U.S. government as "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today," provoked intense hostility in the White House and FBI.Hatred and fear of King deepened, Lawson said, in response to his plan to hold the Poor People's Campaign in Washington, D.C. King wanted to shut down the nation's capital in the spring of 1968 through massive civil disobedience until the government agreed to abolish poverty. King saw the Memphis sanitation workers' strike as the beginning of a nonviolent revolution that would redistribute income."I have no doubt," Lawson said, "that the government viewed all this seriously enough to plan his assassination."Coretta Scott King testified that her husband had to return to Memphis in early April 1968 because of a violent demonstration there for which he had been blamed. Moments after King arrived in Memphis to join the sanitation workers' march there on March 28, 1968, the scene turned violent -- subverted by government provocateurs, Lawson said. Thus King had to return to Memphis on April 3 and prepare for a truly nonviolent march, Mrs. King said, to prove SCLC could still carry out a nonviolent campaign in Washington.
- Local conspiracyOn the night of April 3, 1968, Floyd E. Newsum, a black firefighter and civil rights activist, heard King's "I've Been to the Mountain Top" speech at the Mason Temple in Memphis. On his return home, Newsum returned a phone call from his lieutenant and was told he had been temporarily transferred, effective April 4, from Fire Station 2, located across the street from the Lorraine Motel, to Fire Station 31. Newsum testified that he was not needed at the new station. However, he was needed at his old station because his departure left it "out of service unless somebody else was detailed to my company in my stead." After making many queries, Newsum was eventually told he had been transferred by request of the police department.The only other black firefighter at Fire Station 2, Norvell E. Wallace, testified that he, too, received orders from his superior officer on the night of April 3 for a temporary transfer to a fire station far removed from the Lorraine Motel. He was later told vaguely that he had been threatened.Wallace guessed it was because "I was putting out fires," he told the jury with a smile. Asked if he ever received a satisfactory explanation for his transfer Wallace answered, "No. Never did. Not to this day."In the March-April Probe, Mike Vinson described the similar removal of Ed Redditt, a black Memphis Police Department detective, from his Fire Station 2 surveillance post two hours before King's murder.To understand the Redditt incident, it is important to note that it was Redditt himself who initiated his watch on Dr. King from the firehouse across the street. Redditt testified that when King's party and the police accompanying them (including Detective Redditt) arrived from the airport at the Lorraine Motel on April 3, he "noticed something that was unusual." When Inspector Don Smith, who was in charge of security, told Redditt he could leave, Redditt "noticed there was nobody else there. In the past when we were assigned to Dr. King [when Redditt had been part of a black security team for King], we stayed with him. I saw nobody with him. So I went across the street and asked the Fire Department could we come in and observe from the rear, which we did." Given Redditt's concerns for King's safety, his particular watch on the Lorraine may not have fit into others' plans.Redditt testified that late in the afternoon of April 4, MPD Intelligence Officer Eli Arkin came to Fire Station 2 to take him to Central Headquarters. There Police and Fire Director Frank Holloman (formerly an FBI agent for 25 years, seven of them as supervisor of J. Edgar Hoover's office) ordered Redditt home, against his wishes and accompanied by Arkin. The reason Holloman gave Redditt for his removal from the King watch Redditt had initiated the day before was that his life had been threatened.In an interview after the trial, Redditt told me the story of how his 1978 testimony on this question before the House Select Committee on Assassinations was part of a heavily pressured cover-up. "It was a farce," he said, "a total farce."Redditt had been subpoenaed by the HSCA to testify, as he came to realize, not so much on his strange removal from Fire Station 2 as the fact that he had spoken about it openly to writers and researchers. The HSCA focused narrowly on the discrepancy between Redditt's surveiling King (as he was doing) and acting as security (an impression Redditt had given writers interviewing him) in order to discredit the story of his removal. Redditt was first grilled by the committee for eight straight hours in a closed executive session. After a day of hostile questioning, Redditt finally said late in the afternoon, "I came here as a friend of the investigation, not as an enemy of the investigation. You don't want to deal with the truth." He told the committee angrily that if the secret purpose behind the King conspiracy was, like the JFK conspiracy, "to protect the country, just tell the American people! They'll be happy! And quit fooling the folks and trying to pull the wool over their eyes."When the closed hearing was over, Redditt received a warning call from a friend in the White House who said, "Man, your life isn't worth a wooden nickel."Redditt said his public testimony the next day "was a set-up": "The bottom line on that one was that Senator Baker decided that I wouldn't go into this open hearing without an attorney. When the lawyer and I arrived at the hearing, we were ushered right back out across town to the executive director in charge of the investigation. [We] looked through a book, to look at the questions and answers.""So in essence what they were saying was: `This is what you're going to answer to, and this is how you're going to answer.' It was all made up -- all designed, questions and answers, what to say and what not to say. A total farce."Former MPD Captain Jerry Williams followed Redditt to the witness stand. Williams had been responsible for forming a special security unit of black officers whenever King came to Memphis (the unit Redditt had served on earlier). Williams took pride in providing the best possible protection for Dr. King, which included, he said, advising him never to stay at the Lorraine "because we couldn't furnish proper security there." ("It was just an open view," he explained to me later, "Anybody could . . . There was no protection at all. To me that was a set-up from the very beginning.")
Hatred and fear of King deepened, Lawson said, in response to his plan to hold the Poor People's Campaign in Washington, D.C. King wanted to shut down the nation's capital in the spring of 1968 through massive civil disobedience until the government agreed to abolish poverty. King saw the Memphis sanitation workers' strike as the beginning of a nonviolent revolution that would redistribute income. "I have no doubt," Lawson said, "that the government viewed all this seriously enough to plan his assassination."For King's April 3, 1968 arrival, however, Williams was for some reason not asked to form the special black bodyguard. He was told years later by his inspector (a man whom Jowers identified as a participant in the planning meetings at Jim's Grill) that the change occurred because somebody in King's entourage had asked specifically for no black security officers. Williams told the jury he was bothered by the omission "even to this day."Leon Cohen, a retired New York City police officer, testified that in 1968 he had become friendly with the Lorraine Motel's owner and manager, Walter Bailey (now deceased). On the morning after King's murder, Cohen spoke with a visibly upset Bailey outside his office at the Lorraine. Bailey told Cohen about a strange request that had forced him to change King's room to the location where he was shot.Bailey explained that the night before King's arrival he had received a call "from a member of Dr. King's group in Atlanta." The caller (whom Bailey said he knew but referred to only by the pronoun "he") wanted the motel owner to change King's room. Bailey said he was adamantly opposed to moving King, as instructed, from an inner court room behind the motel office (which had better security) to an outside balcony room exposed to public view."If they had listened to me," Bailey said, "this wouldn't have happened."Philip Melanson, author of the Martin Luther King Assassination (1991), described his investigation into the April 4 pullback of four tactical police units that had been patrolling the immediate vicinity of the Lorraine Motel. Melanson asked MPD Inspector Sam Evans (now deceased), commander of the units, why they were pulled back the morning of April 4, in effect making an assassin's escape much easier. Evans said he gave the order at the request of a local pastor connected with King's party, Rev. Samuel Kyles. (Melanson wrote in his book that Kyles emphatically denied making any such request.) Melanson said the idea that MPD security would be determined at such a time by a local pastor's request made no sense whatsoever.Olivia Catling lived a block away from the Lorraine on Mulberry Street. Catling had planned to walk down the street the evening of April 4 in the hope of catching a glimpse of King at the motel. She testified that when she heard the shot a little after six o'clock, she said, "Oh, my God, Dr. King is at that hotel!" She ran with her two children to the corner of Mulberry and Huling streets, just north of the Lorraine. She saw a man in a checkered shirt come running out of the alley beside a building across from the Lorraine. The man jumped into a green 1965 Chevrolet just as a police car drove up behind him. He gunned the Chevrolet around the corner and up Mulberry past Catling's house moving her to exclaim, "It's going to take us six months to pay for the rubber he's burning up!!" The police, she said, ignored the man and blocked off a street, leaving his car free to go the opposite way.I visited Catling in her home, and she told me the man she had seen running was not James Earl Ray. "I will go into my grave saying that was not Ray, because the gentleman I saw was heavier than Ray.""The police," she told me, "asked not one neighbor [around the Lorraine], `What did you see?' Thirty-one years went by. Nobody came and asked one question. I often thought about that. I even had nightmares over that, because they never said anything. How did they let him get away?"Catling also testified that from her vantage point on the corner of Mulberry and Huling she could see a fireman standing alone across from the motel when the police drove up. She heard him say to the police, "The shot came from that clump of bushes," indicating the heavily overgrown brushy area facing the Lorraine and adjacent to Fire Station 2.
- The crime sceneEarl Caldwell was a New York Times reporter in his room at the Lorraine Motel the evening of April 4. In videotaped testimony, Caldwell said he heard what he thought was a bomb blast at 6:00 p.m. When he ran to the door and looked out, he saw a man crouched in the heavy part of the bushes across the street. The man was looking over at the Lorraine's balcony. Caldwell wrote an article about the figure in the bushes but was never questioned about what he had seen by any authorities.In a 1993 affidavit from former SCLC official James Orange that was read into the record, Orange said that on April 4, "James Bevel and I were driven around by Marrell McCollough, a person who at that time we knew to be a member of the Invaders, a local community organizing group, and who we subsequently learned was an undercover agent for the Memphis Police Department and who now works for the Central Intelligence Agency . . . [After the shot, when Orange saw Dr. King's leg dangling over the balcony], I looked back and saw the smoke. It couldn't have been more than five to ten seconds. The smoke came out of the brush area on the opposite side of the street from the Lorraine Motel. I saw it rise up from the bushes over there. From that day to this time I have never had any doubt that the fatal shot, the bullet which ended Dr. King's life, was fired by a sniper concealed in the brush area behind the derelict buildings."I also remember then turning my attention back to the balcony and seeing Marrell McCollough up on the balcony kneeling over Dr. King, looking as though he was checking Dr. King for life signs."I also noticed, quite early the next morning around 8 or 9 o'clock, that all of the bushes and brush on the hill were cut down and cleaned up. It was as though the entire area of the bushes from behind the rooming house had been cleared . . ."I will always remember the puff of white smoke and the cut brush and having never been given a satisfactory explanation."When I tried to tell the police at the scene as best I saw they told me to be quiet and to get out of the way."I was never interviewed or asked what I saw by any law enforcement authority in all of the time since 1968."Also read into the record were depositions made by Solomon Jones to the FBI and to the Memphis police. Jones was King's chauffeur in Memphis. The FBI document, dated April 13, 1968, says that after King was shot, when Jones looked across Mulberry Street into the brushy area, "he got a quick glimpse of a person with his back toward Mulberry Street. . . . This person was moving rather fast, and he recalls that he believed he was wearing some sort of light-colored jacket with some sort of a hood or parka." In his 11:30 p.m., April 4, 1968 police interview, Jones provides the same basic information concerning a person leaving the brushy area hurriedly.Maynard Stiles, who in 1968 was a senior official in the Memphis Sanitation Department, confirmed in his testimony that the bushes near the rooming house were cut down. At about 7:00 a.m. on April 5, Stiles told the jury, he received a call from MPD Inspector Sam Evans "requesting assistance in clearing brush and debris from a vacant lot in the vicinity of the assassination." Stiles called another superintendent of sanitation, who assembled a crew. "They went to that site, and under the direction of the police department, whoever was in charge there, proceeded with the clean-up in a slow, methodical, meticulous manner." Stiles identified the site as an area overgrown with brush and bushes across from the Lorraine Motel.Within hours of King's assassination, the crime scene that witnesses were identifying to the Memphis police as a cover for the shooter had been sanitized by orders of the police.
- The rifleProbe readers will again recall from Mike Vinson’s article three key witnesses in the Memphis trial who offered evidence counter to James Earl Ray’s rifle being the murder weapon:
- Judge Joe Brown;
- Judge Arthur Hanes Jr.;
- William Hamblin.
- Judge Joe Brown, who had presided over two years of hearings on the rifle, testified that “67% of the bullets from my tests did not match the Ray rifle.” He added that the unfired bullets found wrapped with it in a blanket were metallurgically different from the bullet taken from King’s body, and therefore were from a different lot of ammunition. And because the rifle’s scope had not been sited, Brown said, “this weapon literally could not have hit the broad side of a barn.” Holding up the 30.06 Remington 760 Gamemaster rifle, Judge Brown told the jury, “It is my opinion that this is not the murder weapon.”
- Circuit Court Judge Arthur Hanes Jr. of Birmingham, Alabama, had been Ray’s attorney in 1968. (On the eve of his trial, Ray replaced Hanes and his father, Arthur Hanes Sr., by Percy Foreman, a decision Ray told the Haneses one week later was the biggest mistake of his life.) Hanes testified that in the summer of 1968 he interviewed Guy Canipe, owner of the Canipe Amusement Company. Canipe was a witness to the dropping in his doorway of a bundle that held a trove of James Earl Ray memorabilia, including the rifle, unfired bullets, and a radio with Ray’s prison identification number on it. This dropped bundle, heaven (or otherwise) sent for the State’s case against Ray, can be accepted as credible evidence through a willing suspension of disbelief. As Judge Hanes summarized the State’s lone-assassin theory (with reference to an exhibit depicting the scene), “James Earl Ray had fired the shot from the bathroom on that second floor, come down that hallway into his room and carefully packed that box, tied it up, then had proceeded across the walkway the length of the building to the back where that stair from that door came up, had come down the stairs out the door, placed the Browning box containing the rifle and the radio there in the Canipe entryway.” Then Ray presumably got in his car seconds before the police’s arrival, driving from downtown Memphis to Atlanta unchallenged in his white Mustang.Concerning his interview with the witness who was the cornerstone of this theory, Judge Hanes told the jury that Guy Canipe (now deceased) provided “terrific evidence”: “He said that the package was dropped in his doorway by a man headed south down Main Street on foot, and that this happened at about ten minutes before the shot was fired [emphasis added].”Hanes thought Canipe’s witnessing the bundle-dropping ten minutes before the shot was very credible for another reason. It so happened (as confirmed by Philip Melanson’s research) that at 6:00 p.m. one of the MPD tactical units that had been withdrawn earlier by Inspector Evans, TACT 10, had returned briefly to the area with its 16 officers for a rest break at Fire Station 2. Thus, as Hanes testified, with the firehouse brimming with police, some already watching King across the street, “when they saw Dr. King go down, the fire house erupted like a beehive . . . In addition to the time involved [in Ray's presumed odyssey from the bathroom to the car], it was circumstantially almost impossible to believe that somebody had been able to throw that [rifle] down and leaave right in the face of that erupting fire station.”When I spoke with Judge Hanes after the trial about the startling evidence he had received from Canipe, he commented, “That’s what I’ve been saying for 30 years.”
- William Hamblin testified not about the rifle thrown down in the Canipe doorway but rather the smoking rifle Loyd Jowers said he received at his back door from Earl Clark right after the shooting. Hamblin recounted a story he was told many times by his friend James McCraw, who had died.James McCraw is already well-known to researchers as the taxi driver who arrived at the rooming house to pick up Charlie Stephens shortly before 6:00 p.m. on April 4. In a deposition read earlier to the jury, McCraw said he found Stephens in his room lying on his bed too drunk to get up, so McCraw turned out the light and left without him — minutes before Stephens, according to the State, identified Ray in profile passing down the hall from the bathroom. McCraw also said the bathroom door next to Stephen’s room was standing wide open, and there was no one in the bathroom — where again, according to the State, Ray was then balancing on the tub, about to squeeze the trigger.William Hamblin told the jury that he and fellow cab-driver McCraw were close friends for about 25 years. Hamblin said he probably heard McCraw tell the same rifle story 50 times, but only when McCraw had been drinking and had his defenses down.In that story, McCraw said that Loyd Jowers had given him the rifle right after the shooting. According to Hamblin, “Jowers told him to get the [rifle] and get it out of here now. [McCraw] said that he grabbed his beer and snatched it out. He had the rifle rolled up in an oil cloth, and he leapt out the door and did away with it.” McCraw told Hamblin he threw the rifle off a bridge into the Mississippi River.Hamblin said McCraw never revealed publicly what he knew of the rifle because, like Jowers, he was afraid of being indicted: “He really wanted to come out with it, but he was involved in it. And he couldn’t really tell the truth.”William Pepper accepted Hamblin’s testimony about McCraw’s disposal of the rifle over Jowers’s claim to Dexter King that he gave the rifle to Raul. Pepper said in his closing argument that the actual murder weapon had been lying “at the bottom of the Mississippi River for over thirty-one years.”
Maynard Stiles, who in 1968 was a senior official in the Memphis Sanitation Department, confirmed in his testimony that the bushes near the rooming house were cut down. At about 7:00 a.m. on April 5, Stiles told the jury, he received a call from MPD Inspector Sam Evans “requesting assistance in clearing brush and debris from a vacant lot in the vicinity of the assassination. . . . They went to that site, and under the direction of the police department, whoever was in charge there, proceeded with the clean-up in a slow, methodical, meticulous manner.” . . . Within hours of King’s assassination, the crime scene that witnesses were identifying to the Memphis police as a cover for the shooter had been sanitized by orders of the police.
- RaulOne of the most significant developments in the Memphis trial was the emergence of the mysterious Raul through the testimony of a series of witnesses.In a 1995 deposition by James Earl Ray that was read to the jury, Ray told of meeting Raul in Montreal in the summer of 1967, three months after Ray had escaped from a Missouri prison. According to Ray, Raul guided Ray’s movements, gave him money for the Mustang car and the rifle, and used both to set him up in Memphis.Andrew Young and Dexter King described their meeting with Jowers and Pepper at which Pepper had shown Jowers a spread of photographs, and Jowers picked out one as the person named Raul who brought him the rifle to hold at Jim’s Grill. Pepper displayed the same spread of photos in court, and Young and King pointed out the photo Jowers had identified as Raul. (Private investigator John Billings said in separate testimony that this picture was a passport photograph from 1961, when Raul had immigrated from Portugal to the U.S.)The additional witnesses who identified