The 50 th anniversary of Martin Luther King's death has been covered extensively by the media in Britain. We have had recollections from those who there in Memphis on 4 April 1968, documentaries and news reports. I read very moving account at the weekend that have a virtual minute by minute description of events up to and after his murder.
The one thing missing from all the tributes was the questions of his death. We all know he was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel, and that James Earl Ray was arrested and charged with his murder. The question is, was that the full story? Was James Earl Ray the assassin? King always knew that death was never far behind him, and his " Mountain Top" speech seems almost like a who man foresaw his own death.
Like the assassination of John F Kennedy in 1963, there are still questions that have not been answered about the assassination.
King may not have known was that he was being watched by military intelligence. Why?
There were US Army snipers based in Memphis.Why?
Why was King's police bodyguard told that he would not be needed on 4 April 1968?
Police investigators who examined the "flophouse" where Ray was alleged to have fire at King, declared that he could not have shot King from that point. Ray himself initially pleaded guilty, therefore avoiding a trial. He later recanted his confession. King's children and his widow Coretta, believed that there was a conspiracy and not the act of a lone gunman.
Where is the FBI in all this? J Edgar Hoover hated King and tried his best to disrupt the civil rights movement. King was under constant electronic surveillance. The full extent of what the Bureau did up to and including the events in Memphis is still unclear. Did Hoover know of a conspiracy or did he assist one? King was a marked man by 1968, especially as he campaigned for the poor and against the war in Vietnam. A lot of America wanted him to shut up and were not too fussy about method.
We constantly hear about the Kennedy Assassination files and the records still classified. It's about time there was a similar movement for more light to be shed on Martin Luther King's murder. Powerful white men wanted him dead. It's important to remember that while we pay tributes and wallow in nostalgia.