FBI records obtained by The Clarion-Ledger show three separate Klansmen-turned-informants for the FBI told agents that Price or the Neshoba County Sheriff's Department were tipped off by someone here in Longdale, an African-American community off Mississippi 19 nine miles east of Philadelphia.
Around lunchtime June 21, 1964, civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner arrived at the ashes of what once had been the Mount Zion Methodist Church, investigating what had happened. They spoke with church members, including Ernest Kirkland and Cornelius Steele, and interviewed Bud Cole, who had been severely beaten by Klansmen.
Minutes after they turned onto Mississippi 19, Deputy Cecil Price arrested them. That night, he released them into the hands of waiting Klansmen, who killed and buried the trio.
"You can conclude without a doubt there was an informant in the Longdale community," Ratliff said.
Back in 1964, the FBI investigated the informant question. One Longdale resident told the FBI that Clarence Hill was an informant for Sheriff Lawrence Rainey.
Hill, now 86, told The Clarion-Ledger that accusation is a lie.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Identity of informant in murder of three civil rights workers still in question
In an article published today in the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Jerry Mitchell explores the continuing mystery of the identity of the informant who told police how to find three civil rights workers in 1964, leading to their murders: