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Reputed Klansman arrested in 1964 Neshoba County (MS) civil rights slayings
Ledger-enquirer.com ^ | 11-6-05 | SHELIA BYRD

Posted on 01/06/2005 6:49:14 PM PST by WKB

PHILADELPHIA, Miss. - Reputed Ku Klux Klansman Edgar Ray Killen was arrested late Thursday on murder charges in the 1964 slaying of three civil rights workers in Neshoba County, officials said.

Neshoba County Sheriff Larry Myers told The Associated Press that Killen, a 79-year-old preacher, was arrested at home without incident.

The arrest came after a daylong grand jury meeting Thursday that apparently included testimony from people believed to have knowledge about the killings.

"We've got several more to arrest, but we went ahead and got him because he was high-profile and we knew where he was," Myers said.

Myers said Killen was being held on three counts of murder. Calls to Killen's home late Thursday were answered by a recording.

Neshoba County District Attorney Mark Duncan said during the grand jury hearing that arraignments would be held Friday morning.

The grand jury considered whether sufficient evidence existed after 40 years to bring charges in the crimes that were dramatized in the movie "Mississippi Burning." Killen was identified in testimony in earlier federal court proceedings as having a role in the killings.

Mississippi has had some success reopening old civil rights murder cases, including a 1994 conviction of Byron de la Beckwith for the 1963 assassination in Jackson of NAACP field secretary Medgar Evers.

But until recently there has been little progress in building murder cases against those involved in the Ku Klux Klan slayings of civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner.

Seven Klansmen were convicted of federal conspiracy charges in the killings and sentenced to prison terms ranging from three years to 10 years. None served more than six years. But the state never brought murder charges.

"After 40 years to come back and do something like this is ridiculous ... like a nightmare," said Billy Wayne Posey, one of the men convicted. The graying Posey, supported by a cane, refused to say what he expected to be asked by the grand jury.

Goodman's mother, Carolyn Goodman, said she "knew that in the end the right thing was going to happen."

"As I have said many times before, I'm not looking for revenge. I'm looking for justice," Goodman, 89, said from her home in New York.

Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner were among hundreds of Freedom Summer volunteers, mostly white college students, who came to Mississippi in 1964 to educate blacks and help them to vote. The three were beaten and shot to death. Their bodies were found later in an earthen dam.

Chaney, a 21-year-old black man, was from Meridian, Miss. Goodman, 20, and Schwerner, 24, were from New York.

Jackson attorney James D. McIntyre, who declined to identify his client but said he was on the defense team during the 1967 trial, was critical of prosecutors.

"It appears to be a sad day for the state of Mississippi," McIntyre said. "The investigation that has being brought forth - the prosecutors, news media - I just hate to see it happen."

McIntyre said all he new of the reopened case is "what I read in the newspaper and it appears there has been a lot of judgment made concerning the guilt or innocence of a lot of these people."

Ben Chaney, the younger brother of James Chaney, called the latest investigation a sham that may target one or two unrepentant Klansmen but spare wealthy and influential whites who he said had a hand in the murders.

He said he and others had asked Hood early last year to turn the case over to the FBI with the goal of having a special prosecutor named to take up the investigation.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; US: Mississippi
KEYWORDS: 1964; edgarraykillen; kkk
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1 posted on 01/06/2005 6:49:15 PM PST by WKB
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To: selucreh; RebelDS; The Loan Arranger; Malichi; L98Fiero; ducks1944; LoudRepublicangirl; smonk; ...

Mississippi Ping


2 posted on 01/06/2005 6:50:30 PM PST by WKB (3! ~ Psa. 12 8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.")
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To: WKB

Er, I think you got the date wrong, either that or your crystal ball is shineing tonight.

Should be: Jan. 06, 2005


3 posted on 01/06/2005 6:55:29 PM PST by konaice
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Baynative
Are you watching Hillary?


This has to do with truth and justice.
It doesn't apply to the Clintons.
5 posted on 01/06/2005 6:57:56 PM PST by WKB (3! ~ Psa. 12 8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.")
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To: WKB

My goodness.
If he did it, then good.
I hope they get everyone involved.


6 posted on 01/06/2005 6:58:12 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (President Bush is a mensch in cowboy boots.)
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To: dixiechick2000

After all one of the victums was a hometown boy for you.


7 posted on 01/06/2005 6:59:37 PM PST by WKB (3! ~ Psa. 12 8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.")
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To: WKB

Yes, he was.
That was a terrible time in my
neck of the woods.


8 posted on 01/06/2005 7:00:21 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (President Bush is a mensch in cowboy boots.)
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To: dixiechick2000

"I hope they get everyone involved."

What a difference. Go to a Muslim website when they arrest a cleric (I love that term) for similar crimes, and you'll see a whole bunch of apologists come out of the woodwork, claiming that he's being persecuted. Somehow I doubt I'll see that in FR.


9 posted on 01/06/2005 7:01:02 PM PST by BobL
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To: WKB; konaice
The Ledger-Enquirer is in Columbus, GA. The link to Fort Benning gave it away. :-)

ff

10 posted on 01/06/2005 7:01:06 PM PST by foreverfree
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To: foreverfree

It took forever to find it on a page I could post from.


11 posted on 01/06/2005 7:03:09 PM PST by WKB (3! ~ Psa. 12 8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.")
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To: WKB

You have a point... can't wait to vote her out in 2006.


12 posted on 01/06/2005 7:03:20 PM PST by cyborg (http://mentalmumblings.blogspot.com/)
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To: Baynative

bttt


13 posted on 01/06/2005 7:03:30 PM PST by cyborg (http://mentalmumblings.blogspot.com/)
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To: WKB

"We've got several more to arrest, but we went ahead and got him because he was high-profile and we knew where he was," Myers said.

Is Senator Byrd one of them?


14 posted on 01/06/2005 7:07:04 PM PST by LauraleeBraswell ("Hi, I'm Richard Gere and I'm speaking for the entire world. -Richard Gere)
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To: WKB

I spent a little bit of time in Neshoba County when I was growing up. I used to ride with an elderly lady to her home, and it was usually between 11:30 and 12:30 at night. (she was an RN, and she got off work at 11:00pm.) It was dark and quiet and downright eerie sometimes. I can only imagine what it was like in the early 60s. I know that if I were a Yankee in Mississippi in those days I wouldn't have been driving through that area of Mississippi. Day or night.

My father always carried a gun when he was driving through rural Mississippi, which he did often. Of course, he never used it. (at least not that I know of)


15 posted on 01/06/2005 7:07:32 PM PST by petitfour
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To: LauraleeBraswell

BWAHAHAHA! That's a good one.


16 posted on 01/06/2005 7:07:34 PM PST by cyborg (http://mentalmumblings.blogspot.com/)
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To: petitfour

I know that if I were a Yankee in Mississippi in those days



It's still not REAL safe for some yankees down here. :>)


17 posted on 01/06/2005 7:09:43 PM PST by WKB (3! ~ Psa. 12 8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.")
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To: cyborg

You have a point... can't wait to vote her out in 2006.


So she will have 2 years to run freely for President?


18 posted on 01/06/2005 7:11:07 PM PST by WKB (3! ~ Psa. 12 8 The wicked freely strut about when what is vile is honored among men.")
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To: WKB

Yes I think she will run for president, the way she's been talking :(


19 posted on 01/06/2005 7:13:42 PM PST by cyborg (http://mentalmumblings.blogspot.com/)
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To: BobL

Bumping a good comment!


20 posted on 01/06/2005 7:13:58 PM PST by dixiechick2000 (President Bush is a mensch in cowboy boots.)
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