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History > 20th century > USA > Civil rights era > White supremacist violence > Ku Klux Klan > Edgar Ray Killen    1925-2017




 Mr. Killen [ left ]

with the Neshoba County deputy sheriff Cecil Price

in October 1967 in Meridian, Miss.,

where they awaited verdicts in the murders.


According to testimony,

Sheriff Price had notified Mr. Killen

that he was holding the three men,

allowing time for Mr. Killen

to gather fellow Klansmen to trap them.


Credit Jack Thornell/Associated Press


Edgar Ray Killen, Convicted in ’64 Killings of Rights Workers, Dies at 92


JAN. 12, 2018
















Edgar Ray Killen    1925-2017


former Klansman

who was sentenced

to a 60-year

prison term

in 2005

for arranging

the murders

of three young

civil rights workers


Philadelphia, Miss.,

in 1964

during the Freedom

Summer drive

to register

Southern black voters




Mr. Killen

was convicted

of state manslaughter


41 years to the day

after James Earl Chaney, 21,

a black man

from Meridian, Miss.,

and two white New Yorkers,

Andrew Goodman, 20,

and Michael Schwerner, 24,


in a death trap set

by a local deputy sheriff

and a gang of his fellow

Ku Klux Klansmen.


He was prosecuted

in one of the South’s

major “atonement” trials,

in which

the Mississippi authorities

revisited civil rights-era



He was convicted

of a crime that galvanized

the civil rights movement,


the town of Philadelphia

as an outpost of terror

and inspired

the 1988 Hollywood movie

“Mississippi Burning,”


Mr. Killen

was a founding member

of the Klan

in the Philadelphia area

and its chief recruiter,

according to the F.B.I.


He had been

among 18 men

tried in 1967

on federal charges

of conspiring

to violate

the civil rights

of Mr. Chaney,

Mr. Goodman

and Mr. Schwerner.
















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