Why is the FBI Still Hiding Information about the Assassination of Martin Luther King?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010
(photo: Joseph Louw)

The FBI continues to keep secret hundreds of thousands of pages of documents stemming from the Civil Rights Era, including information related to the assassination of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Records not released include details about a Ku Klux Klan leader who claimed to have played a role in King’s death in 1968. Stuart Wexler, a history teacher in New Jersey who requested the KKK information, was told by the FBI that the document had been accidentally destroyed, only to discover this was not true.

A 1979 investigation by the House of Representatives concluded that the King assassination was likely the result of a conspiracy and that the assassin, James Earl Ray, was probably acting on a for-hire basis.
Civil rights advocates believe the FBI is holding onto other records about racially motivated killings that took place in the South from the 1940s to the 1960s.
U.S. Senator John Kerry (D-MA) is planning to introduce legislation that would require all records relating to the life and death of Dr. King be located, reviewed, and released by a review board at the National Archives similar to those established for the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and for Nazi war criminals.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
US Cloaks Case Files Involving Civil Rights (by Bryan Bender, Boston Globe)


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