Who Killed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ?
Dr Martin Luther King was an enigmatic and striking personality of the Black Rights era. His assassination and sudden death was met with shock and disbelief by the world on April 4, 1968. His assailant is believed to be a petty criminal named James Earl Ray. My readings indicate that Mr. Ray was a high school dropout who confessed to pulling the trigger of the rifle that struck down Dr. King from where Dr. King stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. Dr. King was in the area trying to settle a garbage workers strike at the time of his death.
Evidence slowly mounted against James Early Ray, who in 1967 was a fugitive from a Memphis prison. The most damning of these evidences was a rifle that he admitted to buying and bore his fingerprints. A international manhunt soon began after James Earl Ray skipped the country. He was apprehended on June 8, 1968 at the London Heathrow Airport. He confessed to the crime and was sentenced to 99 years in prison on March 1968. He tried to escape in 1977 but was recaptured 3 days after his escape.
He retracted his statement and tried to float a conspiracy theory about the assassination. He published a book in 1992 about his theories entitled “Who Killed Martin Luther King Jr.?: The True Story by the Alleged Assassin”. He mentioned a “Raoul” as the real triggerman. In 1997, a new set of forensic testing was done on the rifle used in an attempt to exonerate Mr. Ray. The results were inconclusive. No retrial was set as he could not present any new evidence nor produce “Raoul” to clear his name.
He died from complications of Cirrhosis on April 23, 1998 at the Columbia Nashville Memorial Hospital while serving his sentence under the custody of the Tennessee Department of Correction.
Cable News Network. (1998). James Earl Ray, Convicted King Assassin, Dies. CNN Interactive: U.S. News Story Page. April 23, 1998. Retrieved July 26, 2007 from http://www.cnn.com/US/9804/23/ray.obit/