How the Lyndon B. Johnson Democrat Government Killed Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Ronny Koch

Jan 23, 2022, 7:55:03 PM1/23/22
Before scoffing at this headline, you should know that in 1999,
in Memphis, Tennessee, more than three decades after MLK's
death, a jury found local, state, and federal government
agencies guilty of conspiring to assassinate the Nobel Peace
Prize winner and civil rights leader. The same media you would
expect to cover such a monumental decision was absent at the
trial, because those news organizations were part of that

William F. Pepper, who was James Earl Ray's first attorney,
called over 70 witnesses to the stand to testify on every aspect
of the assassination. The panel, which consisted of an even mix
of both black and white jurors, took only an hour of
deliberation to find Loyd Jowers and other defendants guilty. If
you're skeptical of any factual claims made here, click here for
a full transcript, broken into individual sections. Read the
testimonies yourself if you don't want to take my word for it.

It really isn't that radical a thing to expect this government
to kill someone who threatened their authority and had the power
to organize millions to protest it. When MLK was killed on April
4, 1968, he was speaking to sanitation workers in Memphis, who
were organizing to fight poverty wages and ruthless working
conditions. He was an outspoken critic of the government's war
in Vietnam, and his power to organize threatened the moneyed
corporate interests who were profiting from the war. At the time
of his death, he was gearing up for the Poor People's Campaign,
an effort to get people to camp out on the National Mall to
demand anti-poverty legislation – essentially the first
inception of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The government
perceived him as a threat, and had him killed. James Earl Ray
was the designated fall guy, and a complicit media, taking its
cues from a government in fear of MLK, helped sell the
"official" story of the assassination. Here's how they did it.

The Setup

The defendant in the 1999 civil trial, Loyd Jowers, had been a
Memphis PD officer in the 1940s. He owned a restaurant called
Jim's Grill, a staging ground to orchestrate MLK's assassination
underneath the rooming house where the corporate media alleges
James Earl Ray shot Dr. King. During the trial, William Pepper,
the plaintiff's attorney, played a tape of an incriminating 1998
conversation between Jowers, UN Ambassador Andrew Young, and
Dexter King, MLK's son. Young testified that Jowers told them he
"wanted to get right with God before he died, wanted to confess
it and be free of it."

On the tape, Jowers mentions that those present at the meetings
included MPD officer Marrell McCollough, Earl Clark, an MPD
lieutenant and known as the department's best marksman, another
MPD officer, and two men who were unknown to Jowers but whom he
assumed to be representatives of federal agencies. While Dr.
King was in Memphis, he was under open or eye-to-eye federal
surveillance by the 111th Military Intelligence Group based at
Fort McPherson in Atlanta, Georgia. Memphis PD intelligence
officer Eli Arkin even admitted to having the group in his own
office. During his last visit to Memphis in late March of 1968,
MLK was under covert surveillance, meaning his room at the
Rivermont was bugged and wired. Even if he went out to the
balcony to speak, his words were recorded via relay. William
Pepper alleges in his closing argument during King v. Jowers
that such covert surveillance was usually done by the Army
Security Agency, implying the involvement of at least two
federal agencies.

Jowers also gave an interview to Sam Donaldson on "Prime Time
Live" in 1993. The transcript of the interview was read during
the trial, and it was revealed that Jowers openly talked about
being asked by produce warehouse owner Frank Liberto to help
with MLK's murder. Liberto had mafia connections, and sent a
courier with $100,000 to Jowers, who owned a local restaurant,
with instructions to hold the money at his restaurant.

John McFerren owned a store in Memphis and was making a pickup
at Liberto's warehouse at 5:15 p.m. on April 4th, roughly 45
minutes before the assassination. McFerren testified that he
overheard Liberto tell someone over the phone, "Shoot the son of
a bitch on the balcony." Other witnesses who testified included
café owner Lavada Addison, who was friends with Liberto in the
1970s. She recalled him confiding to her that he "had Martin
Luther King killed." Addison's son, Nathan Whitlock, also
testified. He asked Liberto if he killed MLK, and he responded,
"I didn't kill the nigger but I had it done." When Whitlock
pressed him about James Earl Ray, Liberto replied, "He wasn't
nothing but a troublemaker from Missouri. He was a front man ...
a setup man."

The back door of Loyd Jowers' establishment led to a thick crop
of bushes across the street from the Lorraine Motel balcony
where Dr. King was shot. On the taped confession to Andrew Young
and Dexter King, Jowers says after he heard the shot, Lt. Earl
Clark, who is now deceased, laid a smoking rifle at the rear of
his restaurant. Jowers then disassembled the rifle, wrapped it
in a tablecloth and prepared it for disposal.

The corporate media says it was James Earl Ray who shot MLK, and
he did it from the 2nd floor bathroom window of the rooming
house across the street from the Lorraine Motel. The official
account alleges the murder weapon was dropped in a bundle and
abandoned at Dan Canipe's storefront just before he made his
getaway. But even those authorities and media admit that the
bullet that tore through MLK's throat didn't have the same
metallurgical composition as the bullets in the rifle left
behind by James Earl Ray. And Judge Joe Brown, a weapons expert
called to testify by Pepper in the 1999 trial, said the rifle
allegedly used by James Earl Ray had a scope that was never
sighted in, meaning that the weapon in question would have fired
far to the left and far below the target.

The actual murder weapon was disposed of by taxi driver James
McCraw, a friend of Jowers. William Hamblin testified in King v.
Jowers that McCraw told him this story over a 15-year period
whenever he got drunk. McCraw repeatedly told Hamblin that he
threw the rifle over the Memphis-Arkansas bridge, meaning that
the rifle is at the bottom of the Mississippi river to this day.
And according to Hamblin's testimony, Canipe said he saw the
bundle dropped in front of his store before the actual shooting

The Conspiracy

To make Dr. King vulnerable, plans had to be made to remove him
from his security detail and anyone sympathetic who could be a
witness or interfere with the killing. Two black firefighters,
Floyd Newsum and Norvell Wallace, who were working at Fire
Station #2 across the street from the Lorraine Motel, were each
transferred to different fire stations. Newsum was a civil
rights activist and witnessed MLK's last speech to the striking
Memphis sanitation workers, "I Have Seen the Mountaintop,"
before getting the call about his transfer. Newsum testified
that he wasn't needed at his new assignment, and that his
transfer meant that Fire Station #2 would be out of commission
unless someone else was sent there in his stead. Newsum talked
about having to make a series of inquiries before finally
learning that his reassignment had been ordered by the Memphis
Police Department. Wallace testified that to that very day,
while the official explanation was a vague death threat, he
hadn't once received a satisfactory answer as to why he was
suddenly reassigned.

Ed Redditt, a black MPD detective who was assigned to MLK's
security detail, was also removed from the scene an hour before
the shooting and sent home, and the only reason given was a
vague death threat. Jerry Williams, another black MPD detective,
was usually tasked with assembling a security team of black
police officers for Dr. King. But he testified that on the night
of the assassination, he wasn't assigned to form that team.

There was a Black Panther-inspired group called The Invaders,
who were staying at the Lorraine Motel to help MLK organize a
planned march with the striking garbage workers. The Invaders
were ordered to leave the motel after getting into an argument
with members of MLK's entourage. The origins of the argument are
unclear, though several sources affirm that The Invaders had
been infiltrated by Marrell McCollough of the MPD, who later
went on to work for the CIA. And finally, the Tact 10 police
escort of several MPD cars that accompanied Dr. King's security
detail were pulled back the day before the shooting by Inspector
Evans. With all possible obstacles out of the way, MLK was all
alone just before the assassination.

The Cover-Up

Around 7 a.m. on April 5, the morning after the shooting, MPD
Inspector Sam Evans called Public Works Administrator Maynard
Stiles and told him to have a crew destroy the crop of bushes
adjacent to the rooming house above Loyd Jowers' restaurant.
This is particularly odd coming from a policeman, since the
bushes were in a crime scene area, and crime scene areas are
normally roped off, not to be disturbed. The official narrative
of a sniper in the bathroom at the rooming house was then
reinforced, since a sniper firing from an empty clearing would
be far more visible than one hidden behind a thick crop of

Normally, when a major political figure is murdered, all
possible witnesses are questioned and asked to make statements.
But Memphis PD neglected to conduct even a basic house-to-house
investigation. Olivia Catling, a resident of nearby Mulberry
Street just a block away from the shooting, testified that she
saw a man leave an alley next to the rooming house across from
the Lorraine, climb into a Green 1965 Chevrolet, and speed away,
burning rubber right in front of several police cars without any
interference. There was also no questioning of Captain Weiden, a
Memphis firefighter at the fire station closest to the Lorraine,
the same one from which Floyd Newsum had been transferred just a
day before.

Memphis PD and the FBI also suppressed the statements of Ray
Hendricks and William Reed, who said they saw James Earl Ray's
white mustang parked in front of Jowers' restaurant, before
seeing it again driving away as they crossed another street.
Ray's alibi was that he had driven away from the scene to fix a
tire, and these two statements that affirmed his alibi were
withheld from Ray's guilty plea jury.

The jury present at Ray's guilty plea hearing also wasn't
informed about the bullet that killed MLK having different
striations and markings than the other bullets kept as evidence,
nor that the bullet couldn't be positively matched as coming
from the alleged murder weapon. Three days after entering the
guilty plea, James Earl Ray unsuccessfully attempted to retract
it and demand a trial. Incredibly, James Earl Ray turned down
two separate bribes, one of which was recorded by his brother
Jerry Ray, where he was offered $220,000 by writer William
Bradford Huey and the guarantee of a full pardon if he would
just agree to have the story "Why I Killed Martin Luther King"
written on his behalf.

The Deception

One of the 70 witnesses that William F. Pepper called to testify
in King v. Jowers was Bill Schaap, a practicing attorney with
particular experience in military law, with bar credentials in
New York, Chicago, and DC. Schaap testified at great length
about how the government, through the FBI and the CIA, puts
people in key positions on editorial boards at influential
papers like the New York Times and Washington Post. He describes
that although these editorial board members and news directors
at cable news outlets may be liberal in their politics, they
always take the government's side in national security-related
stories. Before you write that off as conspiracy theory,
remember how people like Bill Keller at the New York Times, as
well as the Washington Post editorial board, all cheerfully led
the march to war in Iraq ten years ago.

Another King v. Jowers witness was Earl Caldwell, a New York
Times reporter who was sent to Memphis by an editor named Claude
Sitton. Caldwell testified that the orders from his editor were
to "nail Dr. King." In the publication's effort to sell the
story of James Earl Ray as the murderer, the Times cited an
investigation into how Ray got the money for his Mustang, rifle,
and the long road trip to Tennessee from California. The Times
said that according to their own findings as well as the
findings of federal agencies, Ray got the money by robbing a
bank in his hometown of Alton, Illinois. In Pepper's closing
argument, he says that when he or Jerry Ray talked to the chief
of police in Alton, along with the bank president of the branch
that was allegedly robbed, neither said they had been approached
by the New York Times, or by the FBI. Essentially, the Times
fabricated the entire story in order to sell a false narrative
that there was no government intervention and that James Earl
Ray was a lone wolf.

So for the following 31 years after King's death, nobody dared
to question the constant reiteration of James Earl Ray as the
murderer of Martin Luther King. Even 13 years after a jury found
the government complicit in a conspiracy to murder the civil
rights leader, the complicit media continues to propagate the
false narrative they sold us three decades ago and vociferously
shout down any alternative theories as to what happened as
"conspiracy theory," framing those putting forth such theories
as wackjobs undeserving of any credibility. It's strikingly
similar to how the Washington Post defended their warmongering
in a recent editorial commenting on the invasion of Iraq, and
had one of their reporters defend the media's leading of the
charge into Iraq.

As we remember Dr. King and the important work he did, we should
also reject the official account of his death as loudly as the
government and media shout down anyone who tries to contradict
their lies. As Edward R. Murrow said, "Most truths are so naked
that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a
little bit."

Lyndon Baines Johnson 1963... "These Negroes, they're getting
pretty uppity these days and that's a problem for us since
they've got something now they never had before, the political
pull to back up their uppityness. Now we've got to do something
about this, we've got to give them a little something, just
enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference...
I'll have them niggers voting Democratic for the next two
hundred years".

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