Those of you who read The Awful Grace of God know that Stu Wexler and I have been digging into the conspiracy which resulted in the death of Martin Luther King Jr. for some years now, overall it’s probably a good seven years by this point. We picked up the trail from the work of the HSCA and in particular a large number of FBI investigative reports, many obtained via FOIA. In fact a considerable number of those FOIA requests required challenges and revisits with both the FBI and NARA and the information in them was not available to us until after the publication of our first book on the subject.
What we found was that – in contrast to the JFK investigation which only remained truly open ended for less than 24 hours – the FBI had conducted a far broader inquiry into leads related to Dr. King’s murder. Part of that was due to the fact that initially, dealing with multiple names and aliases, they felt that there were at least three actual participants. Of course that was in conflict with the statement from the Attorney General given immediately following the attack, claiming that it was strictly the work of one man. Years later the AG admitted that his remarks were knowingly false, designed strictly for containment purposes and to deal with the rioting that had begun to sweep the nation.
Given that it took a matter of months to isolate the FBI search to James Earl Ray, a great many leads were documented and explored at least to a minimal level, providing us with a much greater breadth of actual investigative data than we find with the JFK or RFK murders. But what we learned as a result of our work was that the breadth of that data was not internally available either within the FBI investigation or to the Justice Department at the time. It was spread among field office and individual agent reports – and most importantly, relevant names and connections were not readily visible without the sort of computerized “database mining” that is now available to us. Those techniques allowed us to locate and even question living FBI investigators and suspects in a fashion that simply had not ever been done.
My friend Stu Wexler played point in much of the field investigative work, making multiple trips to the south as well as to the archives – that work has continued since the publication of our first book and now I’m happy to announce that we have published a much deeper and more focused view of the conspiracy – and the network of individuals involved – in a new book which will be available in April.
Killing King provides the full picture of how the plots against King originated and evolved over some four years, of the sophisticated cut outs that were used to conceal the plot even from certain individuals who were tangentially involved with it, and an expanded picture of how James Earl Ray was ultimately recruited into the effort. It also explores our speculation that Ray himself may well have preempted the plan for an even more sensational, highly public murder of Dr. King – leaving him unable to actually collect the bounty money due him and with funds so limited that he actually had to rob a bank in England during his escape, simply to afford food and one more airline ticket.
The book is now available on Amazon for preorder:
And for those not familiar with our King investigative work, the following link will take you to a recent talk show discussion which I did with Jeff Bushman. There are a few minutes of general news commentary at the beginning so if you want to jump right into the MLK dialog just start a bit into the program. You will find it at: