Martin Luther King: 50 Years



April marks 50 years since the Assassination of Dr Martin Luther King, and today more about his assassination can be told, revealing the link between his death and the FBI’s COINTELPRO Program.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, rose to national attention in 1955 by leading a boycott of the racial segregation of the public transit system in Montgomery, Alabama. Seeing the boycott through to a victory in the Supreme Court, where segregated buses were ruled unconstitutional, Dr. King, still just 28 years old, became in 1957 the leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Leading nonviolent protests in Birmingham in 1963, King was arrested and penned his “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” outlining his strategy of nonviolent opposition to racism and cementing his place as the leader of the national civil rights movement.

But by 1967, that movement was fracturing. Many activists were becoming restless and were enticed away from King’s nonviolent strategy by fiery speakers like Malcolm X who were advocating violent revolution. The Vietnam war had become a key focus for political activists, and a point of division for those in the civil rights movement, with many seeing opposition to the war as a distraction from the movement and its goals.

Up to that point Dr. King had made passing references to the war, but he had never connected the anti-war effort to his civil rights advocacy. That changed in January, 1967, when Ramparts Magazine published “The Children of Vietnam” by William F. Pepper, a freelance correspondent who spent six weeks in the country documenting the effects of the war.

‘I Have A Dream’ Speech


The interview created opposition from the entrenched powers of government, the intelligence agencies and the military-industrial complex that was to be Dr King’s undoing. They saw the merging of the civil rights movement with the anti-war movement and King’s promise of a poor people’s march on Washington in 1968 as a threat to their very existence.

A threat that had to be dealt with.


This is the story of the assassination of Dr. King as it has come to be known by the public:

In 1967, James Earl Ray, a convicted felon serving 20 years for armed robbery, escaped from Missouri State Penitentiary by jumping in the back of a bread truck. Fueled by his hatred of black people in general and Martin Luther King in particular, Ray hatched a cold, calculating plot to assassinate the civil rights icon. After some quick facial reconstruction surgery that the escaped felon somehow managed to procure with funds of unknown origin, Ray headed for Alabama, where he stalked King. Learning that King would be going to Memphis on April 1, 1968, Ray followed along, checking into a rooming house right across from the Lorraine Motel where Dr. King was staying.

On the afternoon of April 4, 1968, Ray staked out the hotel, waiting patiently with the Remington Model 760 Gamemaster rifle he had purchased for the occasion. King came out onto the balcony of his second-floor room at around 6 PM and at precisely 6:01 PM Ray aimed and fired, shooting King in the head.



Final Moments….

Ray fled the rooming house, dumping a bundle of equipment—including his rifle and binoculars—nearby. He escaped just before police arrived and, just like in 1967, once again managed to evade the police dragnet that was deployed to find King’s killer. Driving to Atlanta, Ray then fled to Canada, where he stayed for over a month, even acquiring a passport under another alias, Ramon George Sneyd. Fleeing to London, Ray was eventually nabbed at Heathrow Airport trying to board a plane to Brussels on his false Canadian passport.

Pleading guilty to the killing of Dr. King, Ray was sentenced to 99 years in prison.

This is the story we have been told about the assassination, and it is the story that most of the public knows.

But it is just that, a story. Most do not know that Ray never actually confessed to the killing, or that the decades-long legal struggle to prove his innocence led to a 1999 civil trial where a jury determined that Ray did not, in fact, fire a shot that day, and that instead Dr. King was assassinated as part of a criminal conspiracy.

So who was involved in this conspiracy? If James Earl Ray was not the killer of Martin Luther King, who was?


As early as December 1963, the FBI had been holding meetings dedicated to the question of how the Bureau could “neutralize” him, and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover—who detested King and had set up the COINTELPRO program to demonize, disrupt and discredit the leaders of the civil rights movement— had just days earlier called King “the most notorious liar in the country.” And, unknown at the time but revealed in recent years, Hoover had just days earlier drafted a letter to William C. Sullivan, the agent in charge of COINTELPRO, opining that King’s “exposure is long overdue”.

The official story relies on a picture of James Earl Ray as an arch criminal mastermind, determined to kill Martin Luther King and capable of accomplishing that task with precision. But in reality, Ray was more of a bumbling burglar than a calculating killer.

Dr. William F. Pepper, who became Ray’s attorney after meeting with him in prison in the late 1970s and later went on to represent the King family in a civil suit and write the definitive book on the case, “The Plot to Kill King,” explains that the FBI, had profiled Ray and identified him as a scapegoat.

The FBI bribed the Prison Warden where Ray was imprisoned for a petty Burglary with $25,000 delivered from FBI Director Hoover to his right-hand man, Clyde Tolson, who then paid the Prison Warden with assistance from the Mafia…After Ray was released, unknown to him, all his movements were manipulated by his FBI Handlers until his arrest for the murder.

After decades of investigation, Dr. Pepper has uncovered the real man he believes pulled the trigger that day…Memphis Police Department Rifleman, Frank Strausse who acted as part of a Criminal Conspiracy.


The cover up of the assassination was as meticulously planned as the event itself.

The scene of the crime was immediately cordoned off, and the convenient bundle of incriminating evidence was found in the nearby shop doorway. One witness even indicated the bundle had been dropped before the shot was fired.

Soon, police had followed a trail to Ray’s rifle, to his various aliases, to his fake passport, and eventually, to London’s Heathrow Airport where he was caught trying to board a plane to Brussels.

The history books, to the extent they cover this at all, now merely note that Ray Pled guilty to the killing and consider the case closed.

But in reality, Ray’s guilty plea was done under duress from a deeply conflicted Attorney, and Ray himself maintained that he was not the killer for his entire life.


Half a century later, key pieces of the MLK assassination puzzle have been lost to the sands of time. But the picture that has emerged through the tireless efforts of those who have dedicated their lives to the truth is unmistakable. James Earl Ray was not a lone killer acting on the spur of the moment.

He was one cog in a much larger plot, one that involved the federal government, military intelligence, local mafia and local officials. A plot that converged on one point: Memphis, April 4, 1968.

The details of that plot, including hundreds of pages of elaboration and hundreds more pages of depositions, testimony and evidence have been compiled by Dr. Pepper in “The Plot to Kill King: The Truth Behind the Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.”

We leave you with the last speech Martin Luther King gave, the night before he was killed in which he likened himself to Moses being taken to the Mountaintop to see the Promised Land even though he would not live to enter it…24 Hours later he was dead.

Our featured Documentary off the week which can be viewed off the Home Page is on the hidden story of the King Assassination.

For the full Article summarized here, please visit The Corbett Report @

‘Mountaintop’ Final Speech



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