If you have read Stu and my works on the conspiracy which murdered Dr. King, you are well aware that one of the points of convergence for much of the most violent racist (and anti-Semitic) attacks in the south was J.B. Stoner. Stoner was behind the bombings of synagogues across the south, including attacks in Florida, Atlanta, Alabama and Tennessee. He routinely used surrogates to do the actual attacks, and in some instances actually marketed those services, including in one documented instance offering the murder of a number of Civil Rights leaders, with MLK high on the list.
We discuss Stoner’s networks at length in The Awful Grace of God, and his use of the National States Rights Party as a cover for much more covert violence. In Killing King we elaborate on his connections to the White Knights of Mississippi, the sponsors of the ultimate MLK bounty, as well to the fund raising in Atlanta which finally assembled the large amount of cash needed to support that offer.
The connections between Stoner, James Earl Ray and Ray’s brother have long been of interest, especially because of Stoner’s involvement as a defense attorney for Ray and his brother’s employment as a personal security guard for Stoner himself. Both came after the assassination but there has been considerable suspicion that it didn’t happen by sheer circumstance.
Other investigators have been interested in that possibility, and recently Betsy Phillips, a Nashville based reporter, has written about what appears to have been a secret Tennessee investigation into the King assassination. It was an investigation which the state governor appears to have tried to stop – possibly with some concerns that it might turn up some embarrassing leads pointing beyond James Earl Ray and to a larger conspiracy.
The Phillips article can be found at the following link and in addition to highlighting the Tennessee investigation, it raises a point about Stoner’s connection to the Ray family that might explain a great many things – including James Earl Ray’s strange summer interlude in the deep south in 1967, which placed him within blocks of Stoner’s NSRP headquarters.