Thursday, March 10, 2011

Did James Earl Ray assassinate Martin Luther King for KKK reward?

Forty-three years have passed since the assassination of Martin Luther King, but investigators are still seeking information about the crime.

In his blog, investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger points to circumstantial evidence reported in a new book that James Earl Ray may have killed King for the $100,000 reward offered by the KKK:

Stuart Wexler and Larry Hancock, co-authors of the upcoming book, Seeking Armageddon: The Effort to Kill Martin Luther King Jr, are investigating that possibility.

Before escaping from prison in 1967, James Earl Ray reportedly learned of a $100,000 bounty that the White Knights were purportedly offering for King’s assassination.

On March 29, 1968, Ray (using the alias Harvey Lowmeyer) entered the Aeromarine Supply Co. in Birmingham and purchased a .243-caliber rifle.

The next day, Ray came back to the store and returned the rifle, exchanging it for a .30-06 rifle Remington Gamemaster. The owner told FBI agents that Ray had said his brother had told him it was the wrong kind of gun.

After King was assassinated, the FBI examined a series of telephone calls that Sam Bowers, imperial wizard for the White Knights, made in 1967 and 1968.

Bowers called Birmingham the same day that Ray bought the rifle.

“This could be very important, even if all it shows is that Bowers — or someone in Bowers’ amusement company — called a pay phone in Birmingham,” Wexler said.

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