Tuesday, April 24, 2012

FBI and Reporters Team to Solve Murders during Civil Rights Era

It is not often that we can look at the Martin Luther King Jr. celebration within the context of crime. However, there still are many unsolved murders that occurred during the civil rights era that remain. In 2007, the FBI presented a list of unsolved civil rights murders that they were going to re-open and investigate.
In fact, they have released the names of some of the victims of murders that occurred before 1969. This includes more than 100 unsolved murder cases are under review through the Civil Rights Era Cold Case Initiative, a 2007 partnership between the FBI, civil rights groups, and federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. 


At the end of last year, The FBI reopened investigations into three more Alabama slayings from the 1960s, including one case involving a former state trooper charged in 2007 with another civil-rights era murder.
The cases included the May 1966 killing of a black motorist at the Alabaster police station by James Bonard Fowler, the former trooper charged in 2007 with two counts of murder in the 1965 shooting of Jimmie Lee Jackson in Marion and the September 1963 shooting by Birmingham police officer Jack Parker of a black teenager on the day of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing.


Now a writer for a small Louisiana Newspaper has revealed information that may lead to the arrest and conviction in the arson/murder of Frank Morris on December 10, 1964 in Ferriday, LA.  Morris was a business owner who allegedly was the target of the Ku Klux Klan. Stanley Nelson, a writer for the Concordia Sentinel has uncovered that a Richland Parish truck driver who was a member of the Ku Klux Klan told them he participated in the arson that killed Frank Morris. In total, three people including the suspects’ son and truck drivers former wife have provided credible eyewitness report s that placed the truck driver at the scene of the arson when the fire was ignited more than 46 years ago. The suspect,  Arthur Leonard Spencer, 71, of Rayville.  Has yet to be charged but is expected to be targeted by FBI soon.

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