[sixties-l] Fwd: King Family Rejects New Federal Whitewash of MLK Assassination

From: radman (resist@best.com)
Date: Sun Jun 11 2000 - 20:23:47 CUT

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    >Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2000 00:52:40 -0500 (CDT)
    >From: Grassroots Media Network <tta@mail.utexas.edu>
    >Subject: King Family Rejects New Federal Whitewash of MLK Assassination
    >King Family Rejects Conspiracy Rule
    >ATLANTA (AP) -- The son of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. says his family
    >plans no further
    >action to try to uncover a conspiracy in his father's 1968 assassination,
    >but they reject a Justice
    >Department finding that there was no evidence of such a plot.
    >''We are disappointed, but this is certainly not something we did not
    >expect,'' Martin Luther King
    >III said Friday after the Justice Department released results of an
    >18-month investigation.
    >As in four earlier investigations, Justice investigators ''found no
    >reliable evidence that Dr. King was
    >killed by conspirators who framed James Earl Ray,'' the 150-page report
    >said. ''We found nothing
    >to disturb the 1969 judicial determination that James Earl Ray murdered Dr.
    >The civil rights leader's son recalled that the family had sought an
    >independent investigation,
    >''because we do not believe that in such a politically sensitive matter the
    >government is capable of
    >investigating itself.''
    >King told an Atlanta news conference that his family stands by a Memphis
    >civil jury's ruling that
    >Memphis bar owner Loyd Jowers and ''others, including government agencies''
    >conspired to
    >assassinate his father.
    >But the new investigation found no credible evidence to support allegations
    >in recent years from
    >Jowers and former FBI agent Donald Wilson, and earlier from Ray himself,
    >that a mysterious
    >''Raoul'' -- later identified as ''Raul'' -- or others, including federal
    >agents, police or black ministers,
    >participated in a plot to kill King and frame Ray.
    >The Justice Department recommended that no further investigation be conducted.
    >''We are convinced of our conclusions beyond a reasonable doubt,'' said
    >Barry Kowalski, head of
    >the investigation and one of the Justice Department's leading civil rights
    >In Smartt, Tenn., James Earl Ray's brother, Jerry, said, ''The American
    >public and the King family
    >believe James was innocent so it doesn't matter to me what the politicians
    >Although Ray pleaded guilty in 1969 to killing King, he claimed three days
    >later -- and until his 1998
    >death in prison -- that he was framed, an account dismissed by the report.
    >Prodded by the King family's embrace of some conspiracy theories, Attorney
    >General Janet Reno
    >ordered the new probe Aug. 26, 1998, even though two Justice Department
    >investigations, a U.S.
    >House committee and the Shelby County, Tenn., district attorney's office
    >previously studied the
    >In December, a Memphis civil court jury ruled for the King family in its
    >wrongful death lawsuit
    >against Jowers and concluded Jowers and ''others, including government
    >agencies'' plotted to kill
    >King. The new Justice Department probe also rejected those findings.
    >In 1993, Jowers, who owned a tavern across the street from the motel where
    >King was shot, said
    >a produce dealer involved with the Mafia gave him $100,000 to hire an
    >assassin and assured him
    >Memphis police would not be around. Jowers claimed someone named Raoul gave
    >him a gun and
    >the assassin fired from behind Jowers' bar, not from a rooming house window
    >above it where Ray
    >had stayed.
    >In many retellings, Jowers ''has contradicted himself on virtually every
    >key point,'' the report said.
    >No physical evidence corroborates Jowers' story, and some contradicts key
    >elements, including
    >the lack of footprints in the muddy ground behind the bar after the shooting.
    >In 1998, ex-FBI agent Wilson claimed to have found papers 30 years earlier
    >in Ray's abandoned
    >Mustang in Atlanta. Before spurning immunity and ending his cooperation,
    >Wilson turned over part
    >of a page from a 1963 Dallas telephone directory and a piece of paper with
    >handwritten words and
    >The name ''Raul'' was handwritten on both papers. The phone directory scrap
    >carried the
    >handwritten 1963 phone number of the Dallas bar owned by Jack Ruby, who
    >shot Lee Harvey
    >Oswald, the assassin of President Kennedy. But Kowalski said, ''We don't
    >believe the papers came
    >from Ray's car.''
    >Wilson's accounts were inconsistent, said Justice investigators, who also
    >found contradictory
    >evidence. Photos showed the Mustang door was closed and locked, not open as
    >Wilson claimed.
    >Ray did not confirm the papers were his. No one saw Wilson when the car was
    >found; he is not in
    >photos of the search.
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    >Austin, TX 78723

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