The Murder of Martin Luther King Jr.

by John Edginton and John Sergeant

{Editors' Note: In April 1988, John Edginton, a British 
independent film maker, began an inquiry into the circumstances 
surrounding the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Edginton had 
just completed a film about King's life ("Promised Land") and was 
intrigued by comments by King's friend, the Rev. Ralph Abernathy, 
that King was murdered by government forces. By January 1989, 
Edginton had gathered enough evidence disputing the official 
verdict that BBC Television agreed to fund a documentary: "Who 
Killed Martin Luther King?" John Sergeant joined the team as 
associate producer. The film aired in England in September 1989 
and on cable television in this country in March 1990. The 
following article is derived from information gathered in their 
investigation and raises questions about government complicity in 
the assassination of the civil rights leader.}


Equivocation, uncertainty, and doubt have never been fully 
dispelled with respect to the untimely death of Martin Luther 
King Jr. in 1968. This could be put down in part to the intensity 
of public suspicion over the killing of President John F. 
Kennedy. But suspicions linger primarily because of the 
inherently unconvincing nature of the official version of the 

In an apparently {bona fide} effort to lay these ghosts to rest, 
the House of Representatives Select Committee on Assassinations 
(HSCA) concluded an investigation in 1979 which reaffirmed the 
guilt of convicted assassin James Earl Ray but conceded the 
probable existence of a conspiracy behind him - headed by a group 
of St. Louis businessmen with ties to organized crime. It 
referred its leads to the Justice Department which quietly closed 
the case in 1983.

However, new revelations clearly demand official answers. The 
case should now be reopened and the whole 22-year-saga of James 
Earl Ray's conviction and imprisonment should now be rigorously 

The first important new revelation involves Jules Ron Kimble, a 
convicted murderer serving time in a federal prison in Oklahoma. 
In a recent interview, Kimble admitted being intimately involved 
in a widespread conspiracy that resulted in the assassination of 
King. He said that this conspiracy involved agents of the FBI and 
the CIA, elements of the "mob," as well as Ray. In the late 
1970s, investigators of the HSCA interviewed Kimble but, 
according to their report, he denied any knowledge of the murder. 
Now, for the first time, Kimble publicly admits participating in 
the assassination. [1. Kimble made this admission while being 
interviewed for the film documentary {Who Killed Martin Luther 
King?} The interview took place at the El Reno Federal 
Penitentiary, El Reno, Oklahoma, in June 1989.]

Kimble, a shadowy figure with ties to the U.S. intelligence 
community and organized crime, corroborates much of Ray's self-
serving story. He alleges that Ray, though involved in the plot, 
did not shoot King and was in fact set up to take the fall for 
the assassination. [2. {Ibid}.]

Jules Kimble, in implicating the mob and CIA in the 
assassination, claims to have introduced Ray to a CIA identities 
specialist in Montreal, Canada, from whom Ray gained four 
principal aliases. In August 1989, a former CIA agent serving in 
Canada around the time of the King assassination, confirmed that 
the CIA did indeed have such a false identities specialist 
operating out of Montreal in the late 1960s. [3. Telephone 
interview with ex-CIA agent who requests anonymity, August 1989; 
in-person interview in December 1989.]

An investigation by Dr. Philip Melanson revealed that the 
identities that Ray adopted during the period of the 
assassination were far more elaborate than previously realized. 
Melanson concluded that in at least one instance, Ray's alias 
could only reasonably have derived from a top secret security 
file accessible only to military and intelligence agencies. [4. 
See Philip Melanson, {The Murkin Conspiracy} (New York: Praeger, 

Finally, Ray who has been protesting his innocence for over 20 
years, has always claimed that he was set up for the 
assassination by a mysterious "handler" called Raoul whom he had 
first encountered in Montreal nine months before. The former CIA 
agent who served in Canada named the agency's Montreal identities 
specialist at the time as Raoul Maora. [5. {Op. cit.}, n. 3.]

Jules Ron Kimble cannot be dismissed out-of-hand. For a start he 
has a long record of mob activity and violence, often with 
political overtones. He is currently serving a double life 
sentence in El Reno, Oklahoma, for two murders he admits were 
political. He has proven links to the Louisiana mob empire of 
Carlos Marcello (frequently accused of involvement in political 
assassination) and admits to having done mob-related work in New 
Orleans, Montreal, and Memphis during the late sixties - three 
key cities in Ray's odyssey. [6. A July 1989 phone interview with 
a Baton Rouge police detective confirmed Kimble's close ties to 
organized crime. State investigator Joe Oster also investigated 
Kimble because of allegations of Kimble's involvement in the 
murder of union leader Victor Busie. In this investigation, Oster 
found that Kimble had ties to the Ku Klux Klan and organized 

Investigative records from the period confirm Kimble to have been 
involved with the underworld and the KKK, to have been in 
Montreal in the summer of 1967, and to have been called in for 
questioning in connection with the Kennedy assassination by then-
New Orleans District Attorney, Jim Garrison. During this 
questioning, Kimble admitted being linked to the local FBI and 
CIA and Garrison accepted this admission as true. [7. Statement 
taken from Jules Kimble by New Orleans District Attorney Jim 
Garrison on October 10, 1967.]

Like his contemporary, Lee Harvey Oswald, Jules Kimble had been 
living in Crescent City, California during the early 1960s and 
was associating with gangsters, segregationists, the FBI and, he 
forcefully asserts, the CIA. He is known to have been in contact 
with David Ferrie, the dead CIA flier who has been repeatedly 
implicated in the assassination of John Kennedy. [8. {Ibid}.]

Most astonishingly, Jules Ron Kimble is not dismissed out-of-hand 
by James Earl Ray. When Ray was recently confronted with the 
alleged connection, he said that Kimble may have been one of two 
mysterious figures he saw on the afternoon of the assassination 
but he wasn't sure. Ray then asked if Kimble was in prison (which 
he was) but rejected Kimble's allegations about their connection 
as some sort of "government disinformation." [9. Interview with 
James Earl Ray, June 1989, Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, 

Although James Earl Ray, now 60, stands convicted of shooting 
Martin Luther King, most observers agree the truth of what really 
happened has never been established. New evidence from Kimble, 
compounded with other recent revelations, establish that the 
issue is not whether government operatives were involved in the 
King assassination but rather how high up the chain of command 
the conspiracy ran.

The Lone Gunman

In late March 1968, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. came to 
Memphis to support the city's striking sanitation workers who 
were predominantly black. He led a march of 6000 protesters which 
disintegrated into violence between police and demonstrators, 
giving conservative forces the opportunity to scorn King's 
doctrine of nonviolent political struggle. Determined to prove 
the sanitation workers' protest could be peaceful, King returned 
to Memphis on April 3rd to lead a second march.

On April 4, a few minutes before 6 p.m., Dr. King walked out on 
the balcony outside his second-floor room at the Lorraine Motel. 
He was scheduled to attend a dinner at the local Reverend Billy 
Kyles's house and was bantering with his chauffeur down in the 
parking lot below. At 6:01 p.m. there was a shot. A high-velocity 
dum-dum bullet hit Dr. King in the neck, severing his spinal 
column and leaving a massive exit hole. One hour later, in St. 
Joseph's Hospital in Memphis, King died.

Public suspicions over the investigation of Dr. King's death 
surfaced almost immediately. In 1968 there was already a growing 
body of opinion at odds with the official explanation that Lee 
Harvey Oswald had been the lone assassin of John F. Kennedy. In 
Memphis, King too had been shot with a high-velocity rifle, 
ostensibly from a window. Moreover, like Dallas, the 
assassination had taken place under the noses of the authorities 
in broad daylight.

Soon after his murder, questions surrounding the assassination of 
King began to emerge. How had so many police arrived so quickly 
on the scene - within moments of the shot being fired - yet 
failed to spot the assassin either arriving or departing? Who, in 
an apparent attempt to distract police radio control, had 
broadcast a hoax car chase involving a Mustang on citizens band 
radio less than half an hour after the police radio announced the 
suspect car to be a white Mustang? If, as the police claimed, the 
shot had come from the bathroom window, why did at least three 
people claim to have seen a gunman in the bushes across the 

The official scenario of how Ray shot King is as follows: Ray was 
supposed to have checked into a rooming house on Main Street, the 
back of which faces the Lorraine Motel; established a sniper's 
post in the bathroom; shot Martin Luther King; panicked and 
dropped his belongings on the sidewalk as he fled the rooming 
house, leaving the rifle to be discovered with his fingerprints 
on it; and then raced out of Memphis in a white Mustang.

Suspicions of conspiracy in the murder of King did not diminish 
with the capture of Ray, though officials continued to maintain 
he was a lone assassin. On the contrary, expectations of major 
revelations at Ray's forthcoming trial were very high. But these 
expectations were never gratified. The public was kept ignorant 
of many anomalies and peculiarities in the case, some of which 
were even ignored by investigators.

The most prominent of these inconsistencies in the state's case 
was the self-contradictory and inconsistent testimony of its 
chief witness, Charlie Stephens. Stephens, who the state claims 
saw Ray emerging from the bathroom, did not recognize Ray in a 
photo he was shown shortly after the assassination. The state 
also failed to mention that Stephens was an alcoholic and was 
drunk the afternoon of the King murder.

Why Did Ray Plead Guilty?

It has never been established where the idea of Ray's guilty plea 
originated but certain facts stand out. Ray's lawyers in the 
original trial were Hugh Stanton Sr., the Shelby County Public 
Defender and Percy Foreman. It is interesting to note that 
earlier Stanton had acted as lawyer to Charlie Stephens - the 
prosecution's chief witness. No one in the judicial system, 
however, saw his acting as Ray's attorney as a conflict of 

In December 1967, Foreman proposed to prosecutor Phil Canale that 
Ray could be convinced to plead guilty in exchange for a slightly 
reduced sentence and no death penalty. Canale was favorable to 
the idea and consulted with the King family lawyer, Harry Wachtel 
(former Governor of Tennessee), officials at the Justice 
Department, and finally the Attorney General. Everyone agreed 
that the guilty plea was a splendid idea. It was Foreman's job to 
convince Ray. [10. Interview with Phil Canale, Memphis, 
Tennessee, June 1989; interview with Dr. William Pepper, Memphis, 
Tennessee, June 1989.]

Ray would have none of it. And it took more than two months for 
him to cave in, despite all manner of tactics employed to 
pressure him and his family into agreeing. Foreman even assured 
Ray in a letter that there was a 100% chance he would be found 
guilty and a 99% chance of the electric chair (even though the 
state's case was very weak and no one had gone to the chair in 
Tennessee in more than a decade). Ray also discovered he could 
not change his lawyer again and that Foreman was doing nothing to 
develop a defense. Finally Ray somehow believed that if he 
pleaded guilty he could dismiss Foreman, demand a new lawyer, and 
receive a new trial. [11. {Ibid}.]

The so-called trial took place suddenly on March 10, 1968 and 
following a lengthy list of charges the state would have tried to 
prove, Ray pleaded guilty as arranged and was sentenced to 99 
years. He immediately petitioned for a new trial, which was 
denied, and has been petitioning on every conceivable ground ever 
since, also to no avail.

In 1974, however, Ray succeeded in prying from the state an 
evidentiary hearing. The hearing was to determine whether Ray had 
enough grounds for a new trial based on his being negligently 
represented by attorney Percy Foreman. Harold Weisberg, a veteran 
of the John Kennedy case and a writer, was taken on as an 
investigator on Ray's legal team.

Major Inconsistencies in the State's Evidence

Weisberg's investigation was a searching and vigorous one. 
Although he differs with many experts in his conclusions - he 
believes Ray to be totally innocent, a fall guy or "patsy" - many 
of his arguments about the weakness of the official case and the 
existence of a conspiracy remain persuasive to this day. Through 
his relentless pursuit of FBI documentation under the Freedom of 
Information Act, Weisberg found many documents which revealed 
numerous irregularities in the Bureau's investigation. Among 
other inconsistencies, the state's examination of the alleged 
murder weapon is very revealing.

An internal FBI report on the bullet which killed King said that 
it was too mangled to compare against the rifle that allegedly 
fired it. The report states that "... its deformation and absence 
of clear cut marks precluded a positive determination." Yet the 
evidence presented at Ray's "trial" gave the impression that the 
"death slug" was proven to have been fired from the rifle. [12. 
Internal FBI ballistics report, released under the Freedom of 
Information Act, dated April 17, 1968.]

Weisberg consulted with a ballistics expert who examined the 
bullet and concluded that there were indeed sufficient markings 
on it to make test-fire comparisons. The ballistics expert is 
adamant about the fact the FBI could and should have carried out 
such tests. [13. Herbert McDonnell, the ballistics expert who 
made this claim, is regarded as a leading authority. He presented 
these views in an interview conducted June 1989, Memphis, 

One of Weisberg's most powerful arguments concerns the crime 
scene itself. How, he wonders, did the assassin, who would have 
had to stand in a bathtub to fire at King, manage to take a 
single shot, run from the bathroom into the bedroom, bundle up 
the rifle and a bizarre collection of personal belongings into a 
blanket (ensuring that the belongings but not the bathroom or the 
bedroom had his fingerprints on them), run the length of the 
rooming house, down a flight of stairs, dump the bundle in the 
street, walk calmly to his waiting Mustang and drive away within 
the one to two minutes it took uniformed officers to reach the 
same location?

Official records as to precisely what took place on the street 
outside the rooming house - Main Street, one block west of the 
motel - in those critical minutes, are astonishingly chaotic.

At Ray's trial in 1969, testimony was given by Inspector N.E. 
Zachary of the Memphis Police Department that he found the rifle 
and the bundle first. By the time of the 1974 evidentiary 
hearings (after various books had researched the question), the 
state conceded that another officer, Sheriff's Deputy Bud 
Ghormley was first to discover the bundle.

Yet Ghormley, in turn, has been contradicted by Sheriff's Deputy 
Vernon Dollahite. Dollahite, now chief of detectives, insisted 
that he was the first onto Main Street and first to see the 
bundle. Dollahite has been consistent in his story from the 
beginning. After one of his early FBI interviews, they calculated 
that the time he took from the shot being fired to his arrival on 
Main Street was 1 minute 57 seconds.

The extraordinary factor in Dollahite's testimony is that though 
alert for anything unusual as he raced around the corner onto 
Main Street, he not only missed the Mustang pulling away, he did 
not even see the bundle with the rifle in it. Only after he had 
entered Jim's Grill beneath the rooming house, told everyone to 
stay put, and come out again, did he spot it lying in a doorway a 
few yards away. He and the FBI agreed that whomever was about to 
dump the bundle had probably seen him coming, hidden behind the 
staircase door until he had gone into the grill, then run onto 
the street throwing down the bundle while Deputy Dollahite was 

There is an obvious problem with this scenario. How could Ray run 
out of the doorway, throw down the incriminating bundle, and then 
manage to climb into a white Mustang and drive off unnoticed 
within the seconds it took Dollahite to emerge from Jim's Grill 
just feet away?

The judge at the evidentiary hearing took more than a year to 
conclude that Ray had no grounds for a retrial. The defendant's 
guilt or innocence was immaterial to the issue at hand, he said.

Spying on King

By 1977, with the revelations by the Church Committee of major 
abuses by U.S. intelligence agencies, public opinion about the 
political assassinations of the 1960s had reached such heights 
that Congress was forced into forming the House Select Committee 
on Assassinations to investigate the murders of John F. Kennedy 
and Martin Luther King Jr.

Beset with political problems and threats to its funding, the 
HSCA nonetheless did manage to address, if inconclusively and 
frequently inadequately, the majority of the issues and points 
raised by critics of the official story in the King case. Its 
final report dated March 29, 1979 concluded that James Earl Ray 
was indeed guilty of killing Martin Luther King Jr. but there had 
been co-conspirators after all. An informant's report in the 
FBI's St. Louis office, previously overlooked, led to the 
discovery that a $50,000 bounty for the death of Martin Luther 
King Jr. had been offered in that city in 1967. [14. Final Report 
of the U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on 
Assassination (hereafter referred to as the {HSCA Report}) (New 
York: Bantam, 1979).]

However, blaming the King assassination on a conspiracy of St. 
Louis organized crime figures, with Ray acting as the killer, 
leaves many disturbing questions unanswered. One of these 
questions is, how could Ray simply walk into a predominantly 
black section of Memphis teeming with police, informants, and 
undercover agents, shoot King and then leave unmolested? The 
extent of the police surveillance on King was remarkable and the 
notion that Ray shot King and escaped undetected is even more 
remarkable. Recently, the true nature and extraordinary extent of 
the official presence in Memphis in April 1968 became clear.

Retired Memphis police officer Sam Evans confirmed that King's 
chauffeur and the manager of the Lorraine Motel were paid police 
informants. It is also known that Marrell McCoullough, one of the 
first to reach King's fallen body, although ostensibly a member 
of the radical black group, the Invaders, was in fact an 
undercover agent of the Memphis Police Department. [15. This was 
not revealed by investigators in 1968 but was acknowledged by the 
HSCA after writers like Mark Lane and Dick Gregory had drawn 
attention to it. See Mark Lane and Dick Gregory, {Codename Zorro: 
The Murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.} (New York: Pocketbooks, 

The so-called Intelligence Unit of the Memphis Police Department 
(MPD) had been planting bugs and agents at all the strategy 
meetings of the sanitation workers and the Invaders. 
Nevertheless, they continue to deny having had any source, human 
or electronic, at the heart of the Southern Christian Leadership 
Conference (SCLC) (the group King headed) that day. A senior 
police officer claimed that military intelligence and the U.S. 
Secret Service had also deployed agents throughout Memphis. [16. 
Interview with investigative journalist Wayne Chastin in June 

It is now known that a member of the SCLC and leaders of the 
local NAACP were in the pay of the FBI. And another figure close 
to the SCLC - Jay Richard Kennedy - had been reporting his fears 
of communist control over King to the CIA. [17. This information 
was revealed in documents released under the Freedom of 
Information Act and published by David Garrow in {The FBI and 
Martin Luther King, Jr.} (New York: Penguin, 1983). It was also 
discussed by Kennedy for the first time on camera in an interview 
conducted in June 1989.]

Despite the presence of numerous people engaged in the 
surveillance of King, apparently not one of them spotted the 
assassin arriving, shooting Dr. King, or escaping the scene.

Given that the Memphis Police Department had in the past provided 
extensive security for Dr. King on previous visits and was aware 
of the vulnerability of the Lorraine Motel, it seems incredible 
that a contingent of police bodyguards assigned to King on his 
arrival should have been removed the day of the shooting, 
apparently without the knowledge of the police chief, Frank 

Just two hours before the assassination the MPD's patrolling "TAC 
Units," each comprising three cars, were pulled back five blocks 
from the vicinity of the Lorraine Motel. Police chief Holloman 
claimed that he did not know of that decision until afterwards. 
Inspector Sam Evans, who was in charge of the units, denied that 
they were pulled back, even though it is now an acknowledged 
matter of public record. [18. This point of fact was established 
in the HSCA investigation. However, when interviewed in June 
1989, Sam Evans continued to deny it.]

Furthermore, immediately after the shooting, no "All Points 
Bulletin" was issued which might have ensured that the major 
escape routes out of Memphis were sealed. No satisfactory 
explanation has ever been provided for that failure.

In another bizarre incident, on the day of the assassination, an 
erroneous message was delivered by a Secret Service agent to the 
Memphis Police headquarters stating that there had been a death 
threat against a black police detective. The detective, Ed 
Redditt, was stationed at a surveillance post next to the 
Lorraine Motel. Shortly after the first message, a corrected 
message arrived saying that the threat was a hoax but the police 
intelligence officer who received it nevertheless, went to where 
Detective Redditt was stationed and ordered him to go home. This 
was two hours before the assassination. Why did the intelligence 
officer send Redditt home even though he knew the threat to be 
false? When we approached the officer, who has now left the 
police force, he refused to be interviewed. [19. See G. Frank, 
{An American Death} (New York: Doubleday, 1972).]

Some of these circumstances are explained by the police as a 
series of coincidences, errors, and oversights. Some are not 
explained at all. While the HSCA's final report fell short of 
accusing the police of complicity in the assassination, it 
lambasted the Memphis Police Department for incompetence and 
latent racism.

Perhaps the HSCA's final conclusion would have been different if 
it had obtained undoctored intelligence reports from the Memphis 
Police Department. While doing research for his book "The Murkin 
Conspiracy," Philip Melanson, obtained an MPD intelligence report 
regarding the King assassination. When he compared it to the same 
report published by the HSCA, he found that all the footnotes and 
most of the references to undercover police agents in Memphis had 
been deleted from the HSCA version. Numerous paragraphs were 
missing and certain sentences were rewritten to play up the 
violent nature of Memphis civil rights activists and strikers. 
[20. {Op. cit.}, n. 4, p. 80.] Why didn't the HSCA get the 
originals? When confronted with this discrepancy, Representative 
Louis Stokes (Dem.-Ohio), the former Chair of the HSCA, admitted 
that he did not know that the Memphis Police Department had 
provided the Committee with altered documents. [21. Interview 
with Representative Louis Stokes, Washington, D.C., June 1989.]

The Role of the FBI

It is also enlightening to look at FBI actions both prior to and 
after the King assassination. Former Atlanta FBI agent Arthur 
Murtagh has given some indication of the prevailing mood at the 
Bureau in King's home city.

Murtagh related in an interview that "Me and a colleague were 
checking out for the day when the news came over the radio that 
Dr. King had been shot. My colleague leapt up, clapped his hands 
and said `Goddamn, we got him! We finally got him.'" When asked 
if he was sure of this statement Murtagh was adamant that his 
colleague said "we," not "they." [22. Interview with Arthur 
Murtagh, June 1989.]

For years, through its COINTELPRO operations, the FBI had been 
spying on, bugging, falsifying letters, and sowing discontent 
among the leadership of the SCLC in an attempt to discredit and 
"neutralize" Dr. King. [23. See Garrow, {op. cit.}, n. 17; also 
see HSCA report.]

Suddenly, after the King assassination, the FBI began what was 
called the greatest, most expensive inquiry in Bureau history - 
the hunt for King's killer. All the technical and human resources 
of Hoover's FBI focused on the bundle of evidence conveniently 
left at the crime scene - a bundle which only pointed to one man 
- Eric Galt, a.k.a. John Willard, a.k.a. Paul Bridgman, a.k.a. 
George Sneyd, whose real name is James Earl Ray. At the same 
time, white racist groups braced themselves for an FBI assault, 
but to their astonishment no one asked them any questions. "It 
was strange," recalled white supremacist J.B. Stoner, "[It was] 
almost as if they knew they didn't have to look this way." [24. 
Interview with J.B. Stoner, Atlanta Georgia, April 1989.]

The HSCA, like the Justice Department which had already conducted 
an investigation into the FBI's handling of the King 
assassination, found no evidence of a coverup. In the end, the 
Committee did conclude that the Bureau had contributed to a moral 
climate conducive to the murder of Dr. King, but it stopped short 
of accusing the Bureau of actual involvement in the killing. [25. 
{Op. cit.}, n. 14.]

Evidence nonetheless exists suggesting that elements within the 
FBI may have played a significant role in the political 
assassination. Consider, for instance, Myron Billett's story.

In early 1968, Myron Billett was the trusted chauffeur of Mafia 
chief Sam Giancana. Giancana asked Billett to drive him, and 
fellow mobster Carlos Gambino, to a meeting at a motel in upstate 
New York. Other major Mafia figures from New York were there as 
well as three men who were introduced as representatives from the 
CIA and FBI. There were a number of subjects on the agenda, 
including Castro's Cuba. [26. Interview with Myron Billett, 
Columbus Ohio, June 1989.]

According to Billett, one of the government agents offered the 
mobsters a million dollars for the assassination of Martin Luther 
King Jr. Billett stated that Sam Giancana replied, "Hell no, not 
after you screwed up the Kennedy deal like that." As far as 
Billett knows, no one took up the offer.

Billett relayed this information in an interview conducted just 
weeks before he died of emphysema. Given his condition, there 
appears to be no particular reason for him to lie. While his 
allegations are mentioned in the HSCA's final report, it makes no 
judgement as to their validity - the HSCA report simply states 
that is was unable to corroborate his story.

There is another instance in which FBI agents were heard 
discussing bounties and the recruitment of professionals to kill 
King. In September 1965, Clifton Baird, a Louisville, Kentucky 
policeman was informed by fellow officer Arlie Blair of a 
$500,000 offer to kill Dr. King. Louisville was the home of 
King's brother, the Reverend A.D. King. Baird said he overheard 
other police officers and several FBI officers discussing the 
contract. The next day, Baird tape-recorded Blair referring to 
the contract again. Later, the HSCA heard the tape and verified 
its authenticity. [27. {Op. cit.}, n. 14.]

FBI agent William Duncan, liaison with the Louisville Police, 
admitted that the discussion had taken place and named two other 
agents who would confirm it. But he also claimed the offer was 
initiated as a joke by police Sergeant William Baker. Both of the 
other FBI agents denied any knowledge of the conversation and 
Baker had died. The HSCA ran out of leads. [28. {Ibid.}]

There are also witnesses afraid to discuss what really happened 
on the day of the assassination due to continuing harassment and 
intimidation. For example, ever since a black Tennessee grocery 
store owner named John McFerren first told his story, he has been 
threatened, burgled, beaten up, and shot at. Now he is very 
reluctant to tell it again.

On the afternoon of the assassination, McFerren was at a Memphis 
produce store when he overheard the store's manager say on the 
phone "Get him on the balcony, you can pick up the money from my 
brother in New Orleans and don't call me here again." The man on 
the phone was Frank Liberto. His brother, Sal, who lived in New 
Orleans, was associated with Mafia kingpin Carlos Marcello. As 
incredible as it seems, the FBI did not pursue McFerren's 
allegation after they initially questioned Liberto and he denied 
it. [29. Interview with John McFerren, Memphis, Tennessee, June 
1989. It should be noted that because McFerren is terrified of 
retribution, he refuses to be interviewed on camera.]

These connections, and other evidence that members of the Mob 
were involved in the assassination, were discovered by 
investigative reporter Bill Sartor. While doing research for a 
book, Sartor had gone undercover and infiltrated the peripheries 
of both the Memphis and the New Orleans Mafia. Sartor died 
mysteriously in Texas as he was completing his first draft and 
two autopsies failed to reveal the cause of death.

There are other Memphis locals, particularly in the vicinity of 
the Lorraine Motel and Jim's Grill, who are still afraid to talk 
or who have suddenly changed their original stories. At least one 
of them is still visited from time to time by a man reminding him 
to stay silent. There is also the allegation that someone posing 
as an advance security person appeared at the Lorraine Motel two 
days before the assassination and ordered Dr. King's room changed 
from the ground floor to the first. Finally there was the known 
presence in Memphis on the day of the assassination as well as a 
week after, of a notorious anti-Castro mercenary and CIA contract 
employee. Years later, when questioned about why he was in 
Memphis on the day of the assassination, he admitted "it was my 
business to be there."

The CIA and False Identities

It is not disputed that the CIA took a very active interest in 
Martin Luther King Jr. Documents released under the Freedom of 
Information Act reveal an extensive and ongoing CIA scrutiny of 
the thoughts, actions, and associates of the civil rights leader 
throughout the 1960s. One of those reporting back to the CIA was 
Jay R. Kennedy, a writer and broadcaster prominent in the civil 
rights movement. Kennedy fervently believed that King's 
opposition to the war in Vietnam was orchestrated by Peking-line 
communist agents.

There are other compelling questions about the complicity of the 
CIA in the King assassination. For example, although James Earl 
Ray never visited Toronto before April 1968, he used four 
identities belonging to individuals living within a few miles of 
each other in that city. Each of the four bears a rough physical 
resemblance to Ray. Of these the most elaborate alias was that of 
Eric Galt, a name Ray used extensively through the period before 
the assassination. Only on April 4th, the day of the 
assassination, did he abandon Galt's name and begin to use the 
other three. [30. Interview with Ray, {op. cit.}, n. 9.]

The Galt alias was not merely the result of a fraudulently 
obtained birth certificate - it was the wholesale usurping of the 
real Eric Galt's history and physical identity. Evidence shows 
that James Earl Ray had travelled in the same U.S. cities as the 
Canadian Eric Galt, had access to Galt's signature, and even 
inquired into emigrating to southern Africa - a place where Eric 
Galt had relatives. [31. See William Bradford Huie, {He Slew the 
Dragon} (New York: Delacorte Press, 1970).] Moreover Ray has 
scars on his forehead and his hand, as does the real Eric Galt. 
Two months before the assassination Ray had plastic surgery on 
his nose. Galt revealed that he, too, had had plastic surgery on 
his nose.

Eric Galt is, moreover, an expert marksman.

The question arises: How could Ray or his co-conspirators acquire 
such a detailed profile of this alter ego? According to Eric 
Galt, there is only one place where all the pertinent information 
is collected together - his highly classified security clearance 
file in the Union Carbide factory in Toronto, where, in the mid-
1960s, he was working on a top secret U.S. defense project. [32. 
Interview with Eric Galt, Toronto Canada, June 1989.]

Fletcher Prouty, a former Pentagon colonel and author of "The 
Secret Team," was responsible for providing military support for 
CIA covert operations in the early 1960s. Prouty finds these 
revelations highly significant: [33. Interview with Fletcher 
Prouty, Alexandria, Va, June 1989.] "The Royal Canadian Mounted 
Police (RCMP) [which at that time included the Canadian 
equivalent of the CIA] would have compiled this file and besides 
them and Union Carbide, the only people with access to it would 
have been U.S. intelligence."

The question of how Ray came to acquire these identities provided 
the original link to Jules Ron Kimble, the man who has confessed 
to us that he aided Ray in the assassination.

Who is Raoul?

Ray claims that the mysterious "Raoul" hired him to carry out 
assignments in Montreal in late July 1967. This sparked an 
interest in {Toronto Star} reporter Andre Salwyn, who sought 
corroboration to this claim after Ray's arrest. Salwyn conducted 
an exhaustive search of the neighborhood in which Ray had 
allegedly been seen drinking with an American stranger. He found 
that there had indeed been a man with similar characteristics to 
Ray's description of Raoul living there at different times during 
the previous year. He was known as Jules "Ricco" Kimble and was 
said by his girlfriend to have had a car with rifles in the trunk 
and a radio tuned into the police band. Salwyn checked phone 
records and discovered that Kimble regularly contacted numbers in 
New Orleans. [34. Salwyn testified before the House Select 
Committee on Assassinations; see also, Melanson, {op. cit.}, n. 
4, p. 44.]

But the phone numbers disappeared, and Salwyn was never allowed 
to pursue the story. The HSCA did manage to come across Kimble 
ten years later and they investigated. They  found an FBI file on 
him; and a CIA file; and an RCMP file.

Joe Oster, a Louisiana state investigator, conducted extensive 
surveillance of Kimble in 1967, and claims that there is a week 
in July 1967 when nobody can account for Kimble's whereabouts. 
[35. {Op. cit.}, n. 6.] This is the period in which Ray claims to 
have met "Raoul" in Montreal.

When interviewed in 1967, Kimble claimed to have been a low-level 
CIA courier and pilot. [36. Statement to Garrison, {op. cit.}, n. 
7.] When we talked to him from prison, Kimble confirmed that he 
had worked for the CIA as well as organized crime and also made 
the following allegations: [37. {Op. cit.}, n. 1.]

+ He claims that the HSCA did know all about his role in the 
assassination (more even than he could remember), producing 
documents, photographs, and files which proved his association 
with James Earl Ray, an association he then admitted. However, 
all files relating to the HSCA investigation have been sealed for 
50 years.

+ Kimble also stated that on the orders of a Louisiana FBI agent, 
he flew James Earl Ray from Atlanta to Montreal in July 1967 
where Ray was provided with an identities package by a CIA 
specialist in Mont Royal, Montreal. An ex-CIA agent with 
knowledge of Agency operations in Canada in the 1960s recently 
confirmed in an off-the-record interview that there was an Agency 
"asset" specializing in "identities" in Montreal in 1967. His 
name was Raoul Maora.

+ Kimble said that he then accompanied Ray to a CIA training camp 
in Three Rivers, Canada where Ray was taught to shoot. It was 
there that the two men were seen together by Kimble's former 

+ At the same time, an assassination team was assembled to kill 
King. Kimble claims that he flew two snipers into Memphis using a 
West Memphis airfield belonging to a CIA front company. He said 
that the only involvement that Ray had in the assassination was 
to serve as a decoy.

+ Finally, Jules Kimble stated that elements of the Memphis 
Police Department did cooperate in the assassination but that the 
actual operation was coordinated by a high-ranking intelligence 
official based in Atlanta.

What is the validity of Kimble's assertions? The evidence 
presented here, and the many questions it raises, suggests one 
thing: Those responsible for the murder of Martin Luther King Jr. 
have yet to be caught and convicted of this political 
assassination. There is strong evidence that shows agents within 
the U.S. intelligence apparatus could have played a major role in 
King's murder. If that is the case, then the U.S. government 
could be guilty of not only covering up details of the 
assassination, but of the murder itself. The only way to answer 
these questions is through a complete and thorough investigation. 
The documents from the HSCA should be unsealed and a new probe 
begun. It is long past time for that to happen.

----End of article-----------------------------------------------

-* Don Allen *-  InterNet: dona@bilver.UUCP  // Amiga..for the best of us.
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UFO's in the GOVT getting us ready for OCTOBER of 1992?