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June 13, 2005

Accused murderer of civil rights workers goes on trial 41 years later

From FoxNews:

The murders of James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner helped focus the nation's attention on the struggle to register black voters in the segregated South. Chaney was a black Mississippian. Goodman and Schwerner were white Northerners.

They disappeared the night of June 21, 1964, when they were run off an isolated road nine miles south of Philadelphia. They were beaten and shot to death and their bodies were found 44 days later, buried in an earthen dam several miles to the west.

The case became symbolized by photos of the burned hulk of the civil rights workers' station wagon after it was dragged from the swamp where it was ditched after the killings — and of the smirking Klansmen who went on trial in 1967, not on state murder charges but on federal charges of violating the workers' civil rights.

Killen, now 80, is the only person ever indicted on murder charges in the notorious case that was depicted in the 1988 movie "Mississippi Burning." His indictment in January came more than five years after the investigation was reopened. He walked free in 1967 after one juror reportedly said she couldn't vote to convict a preacher.

I've referred to this case here and here (more photos).

Posted by Danny Carlton at June 13, 2005 07:59 AM

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I guess a juror today would have a much less difficult time voting to convict a preacher...

Posted by: Jason Dollar at June 13, 2005 01:49 PM

this is a wicket moveie had to watch it in school

Posted by: colin at December 12, 2005 09:03 AM

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