For those of you who may be interested in the MLK assassination, a review of the new Wexler/Hancock book is up today as a story on Newsweek’s online magazine, The Daily Beast. You will find it with the MLK story on the first page.
While sad, it may be a surprise to many that by the time of his death, MLK Jr. had already been the object of not only physical violence such as being kicked and punched but that several serious plots and attempted attacks on his life had occured. The attacks ranged from actual bombing and shooting attempts in Birmingham, Alabama and St. Augustine, Florida to plans for combined shooting and bombing attacks at multiple locations in Alabama. Beyond that there were quite serious efforts to contract for shooting attacks on Dr. King at locations at sites ranging from Mississippi to Ohio. The latter contracts came from very specific groups in Georgia and Mississippi.
By 1967, the contract offers on Dr. King had escalated from $25,000 to a sum of $100,000.
It was only by sheer fortune that MLK Jr. escaped some of the actual attacks at locations where he had been staying and holding organizing meetings, such as bombings in Birmingham and a file attack on St. Augustine. Police action in L.A. prevented a major terror bombing which might have killed hundreds during his address to a large Jewish group. In Jackson, Mississippi, a contracted rifle attack was aborted because enough cash could not be delivered to the contract shooter at the last minute.
Dr. Kings’ proclivity for spontaneously altering his schedule may have saved his life on other occasions, a planned rifle attack and back up bridge bombing of his car reportedly failed simply because he decided on a different route at the last minute. And a plan, which involved the brutal murder of Ben Chester White, to lure him into a killing zone failed because he was called off to other matters and failed to respond as the plotters had hoped.
We cover all these attacks and planned attacks in detail in The Awful Grace of God, certainly Dr. King himself was aware of some of the them but certainly not all and it seems unlikely that he was aware of the very serious contracts on his life.
Director Hoover of the FBI had given orders to pass on reported threats to local law enforcement, but ordered that they not be passed to Dr. King or his staff. On at least two occasions MLK only became aware of threats from protective responses on the part of the Attorney General and the President.
For those who may be interested, we are trying to get further discussion of the MLK conspiracy going at our new blog: