MLK Assassination: Was James Earl Ray Innocent?
WANTED: By the KKK
King was at the forefront of the civil rights movement and was instrumental in getting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed. He received the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end discrimination. He is perhaps best known for his "I Have a Dream" speech which he gave in front of the Lincoln Memorial in August of 1963. For all these reasons and more, white supremacist groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, were sure to want him dead.
WANTED: By the Rich
After the victory of the Civil Rights Act, King did not rest on his laurels. His next step was to abolish poverty and end the gross inequality that was already prevalent in American society. In 1968, he was planning a Poor People's Campaign march on Washington. He was also heavily involved in the environmental justice movement which claimed that the rich got the resources while the poor got the pollution. Though LBJ's Great Society tried to end racial discrimination, it didn't set out to end income discrimination.
POSSIBLE SUSPECT: "Raul"?
One of the shadowy figures lurking in the background of as the assassination conspiracy is a man simply known as Raul. Former FBI agent Donald Wilson said he found a piece of paper in Ray's abandoned vehicle with the name Raul written on it. This evidence was only brought to light in the 1998 inquiry. Ray told investigators that Raul was involved in a smuggling operation and asked Ray to buy a rifle and check into a certain boarding house, which Ray did, no questions asked. Ray then gave the rifle he bought to Raul and never saw him again.
In another version of Ray's story, he was waiting in a car for Raul. He heard shots and then Raul ran out of a building and got into the car and the two men drove away together. In 1994, Ray identified the man he thought was Raul in a photo. This man, however, was investigated and cleared of any charges. Was Raul someone else?
POSSIBLE SUSPECT: Lloyd Jowers?
The testimony of Lloyd Jowers strengthens the case against the shadowy Raul. Jowers came forward in 1993, saying that a Mafia-connected produce dealer, Frank Liberto, came to him with $100,000 and asked him to keep it for the hitman hired to kill King. The man who showed up with a rifle to collect wasn't Ray, but the mysterious Raul...