William Pepper was hired by the King family to free James Earl Ray
February 20, 2011
Cindy Sheehan speaks with Dr. William Pepper, who talks about his personal associations with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr during the last year of his life, and then the legal battles Dr. Pepper undertook on behalf of Dr. King’s family and the patsy: James Earl Ray. He offers an unpublicized retrospective view of the passing of one of our nation’s most revered and inspirational leaders.
listen 00:38:00 9M
On April 4 1968, Martin Luther King was in Memphis supporting a workers’ strike. By nightfall, army snipers were in position, military officers were on a nearby roof with cameras, and Lloyd Jowers had been paid to remove the gun after the fatal shot was fired. When the dust had settled, King had been hit and a clean-up operation was set in motion-James Earl Ray was framed, the crime scene was destroyed, and witnesses were killed. William Pepper, attorney and friend of King, has conducted a thirty-year investigation into his assassination. In 1999, Loyd Jowers and other co-conspirators were brought to trial in a civil action suit on behalf of the King family. Seventy witnesses set out the details of a conspiracy that involved J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, Richard Helms and the CIA, the military, Memphis police, and organized crime. The jury took an hour to find for the King family. In An Act of State, you finally have the truth before you-how the US government shut down a movement for social change by stopping its leader dead in his tracks.
King assassination was a conspiracy (no theory)
December 9, 1999- National Public Radio
NPR’s Debbie Elliott reports that yesterday a Tennessee jury found that the 1968 assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was the result of a murder conspiracy, and not the act of a lone gunman. The king family sued Loyd Jowers, a retired Memphis businessman who claimed six years ago that he paid someone other than confessed killer James Earl Ray to kill civil rights leader.
Listen 00:03:50 1M
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December 13, 1999 – DemocracyNow
Jury Rules King Assassination a Conspiracy
The King family filed the suit against Loyd Jowers, a retired Memphis businessman who claimed on national television six years ago that he paid someone other than James Earl Ray to kill King in Memphis in 1968. Jowers claimed he became involved at the behest of a friend who was working for a Mafia boss in New Orleans.
Ray confessed to the killing in 1969 but recanted and spent the rest of his life trying to prove his innocence. He died in prison last year.
A U.S. House committee concluded in 1978 that Ray killed King but may have had help from a small group of racists before or after the murder. The committee found no government involvement.
The Kings were represented by William Pepper, who was Ray’s lawyer and has for years claimed the assassination was the result of a vast conspiracy involving the FBI, CIA, Army, organized crime and various state and local officials. Pepper claims King was targeted because of his opposition to the Vietnam War and plans to bring thousands of poor people to Washington for a march.
The jury found Jowers was liable in King’s death and that unnamed others, including government agencies, were involved. It awarded the King family $100–the token amount requested in the suit. And the King family said the verdict justified its belief that a conspiracy was at the heart of the assassination