History > 20th century > USA > Civil rights era > James Earl Ray 1928-1998
Police mugshot of James Earl Ray,
assassin of Dr Martin Luther King Jr,
arrested for armed robbery in 1952
an escaped American convict, was arrested in London
and was charged with the murder of Martin Luther King Jr,
the leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
In April 1967, Ray had escaped from Missouri State Penitentiary
where he had been serving a 20 year sentence for armed robbery.
Martin Luther King was shot dead on 4 April 1968 in Memphis
and Ray was soon identified as the chief suspect.
Ray was traced to London
where he had been staying in an Earls Court hotel
James Earl Ray arrested - pictures from the past
Saturday 8 June 2013 12.14 BST
James Earl Ray, right, spoke with his lawyer, Mark Lane,
before testifying before the House Assassinations Committee in 1978.
Ray was convicted of assassinating
the Rev. Martin Luther King, the civil rights leader,
in Memphis on April 4, 1968.
Ray died in prison on April 23, 1998.
Credit Associated Press
Mark Lane, Early Kennedy Assassination Conspiracy Theorist, Dies at 89
By KEITH SCHNEIDER NYT MAY 12, 2016
James Earl Ray 1928-1998
(James Earl Ray)
pleaded guilty to the killing
and was sentenced
to 99 years in prison
for the murder
to escape the electric chair,
but three days
after his jail sentence began
he withdrew his confession.
His case was taken up
by the King family,
which has campaigned
for a new investigation
into the assassination
in the belief
that it may have been plotted
by senior officials
in the US Government.
The King family
issued a statement
over the death of Ray
and renewed its call
for a fresh inquiry.
Ray was known
to have a fanatical hatred
of black people.
Even while serving
his sentence in Missouri,
he rejected a move
to an open farm prison
where conditions were better
on the grounds he could not live
with black inmates.
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89372294 - April 4, 2008
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=89372291 - April 4, 2008
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=104047 - February 5, 1997
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