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Forwarded from the A-albionic Research [Not Necessarily Endorsed]:
  http://a-albionic.com/a-albionic.htmlFrom: Ian Goddard <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: AP: Conspiracy Found in King Killing
Date: Wednesday, December 08, 1999 8:35 PM


Conspiracy Found in King Killing

By Woody Baird
Associated Press Writer
Wednesday, Dec. 8, 1999; 6:25 p.m. EST

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- A jury hearing a lawsuit filed
by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s family found
Wednesday that the civil rights leader was the
victim of a vast murder conspiracy, not a lone

The King family had sued Loyd Jowers, a retired
businessman who claimed six years ago that he paid
someone other than James Earl Ray to kill King in
Memphis in 1968. The family's lawyer claimed that the
FBI, CIA, the Mafia and the military were involved.

The family wanted the jury to find evidence of a
conspiracy and lend support to their call for a new
investigation into the killing. Prosecutors have long
said that they are convinced Ray fired the fatal shot
and that they could find no evidence anyone else was

The Kings asked for only a token amount in their
wrongful-death lawsuit. After three hours of
deliberations, the jury of six blacks and six whites
awarded the family $100 in damages.

"I'm just so happy to see that the people have
spoken," King's son Dexter said. "This is what
we've always asked for."

Ray confessed to shooting King and was sentenced to
99 years in prison. He spent the rest of his life
claiming to be innocent and trying to get a trial.
He died of liver disease last year.

Ray's guilty plea was upheld eight times by state
and federal courts. A congressional committee
concluded in 1978 that Ray was the killer but that
he may have had help before or after the assassination.
The committee did not find any government involvement.

William Pepper, the Kings' lawyer, told the jury
that Jowers, 73, was part of a conspiracy involving
the Mafia and federal agents to kill King because
of his opposition to the Vietnam War and plans for
a huge march on Washington.

In his closing argument, Pepper said the order to
kill King came from the head of organized crime in
New Orleans to a Memphis produce dealer who got
Jowers to handle the payoff and murder weapon. An
Army sniper squad was in place to shoot King if
the Mafia hit failed, Pepper claimed.

Later, the FBI, CIA, the media, Army intelligence
and state and city officials helped cover up the
assassination, said Pepper, who also represented
Ray in his efforts to get a trial. Pepper told
the jurors they could rewrite history.

Juror David Morphy said he believed the assassination
was too complex to be carried out by one person.

"We all thought it was kind of a cut-and-dried case,
with the evidence that Pepper brought forth that
there were a lot of people involved, everyone from
the CIA, military involvement in it -- Jowers was
involved in it, we felt," he said.

Lewis Garrison, Jowers' lawyer, told the jury that
while they could reasonably conclude King was the
victim of a conspiracy, his client's role was minor
at best.

In 1993, Jowers said on ABC-TV that he hired King's
killer as a favor to an underworld figure who was a
friend. He did not identify the purported killer,
but said it wasn't Ray.

Jowers, who has never repeated the claim but has
not recanted it either, was sick for much of the
trial and did not testify.

At the time of the killing, Jowers owned a small
restaurant, Jim's Grill, across the street from
The Lorraine Motel, where King was killed. On the
day of the assassination, Ray, a prison escapee
from Missouri, used an assumed name to rent a
room in a rooming house above Jim's Grill.

Garrison told the jury it was hard to believe that
"the owner of a greasy spoon and an escaped convict"
could have pulled off King's assassination.

King's widow, Coretta Scott King, testified that
her family believes Ray did not act alone.

"If we know the truth, we can be free and go on
with our lives," she said on the trial's opening day.

Shelby County prosecutor John Campbell, who has
investigated the assassination but was not involved
in the Jowers trial, said Jowers' claims have no merit.
Campbell said several of Jowers' friends and associates
said he was merely hoping to get a movie or book deal.

"We looked at this off and on for five years ... and
I've still seen nothing that would change my opinion,"
Campbell said.

Last year, Attorney General Janet Reno ordered a
limited probe by the Justice Department into two
allegations of a conspiracy in the King murder.
One was Jowers' claim; the other was a statement
by former FBI agent Donald Wilson that he found
papers in Ray's car that might support a conspiracy.

"Our review is still ongoing," Justice Department
spokeswoman Carol Florman said. She would not
comment on the Memphis case.


GODDARD'S JOURNAL: http://www.erols.com/igoddard/journal.htm

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