Did Memphis Police, the Mafia and YIKES! the U.S. Army Conspire in the Assassination of MLK?

I’m just asking? Is it possible that the Memphis police in April 1968 were complicit in the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and/or that U.S. Army snipers were positioned as back-up in case the real killer missed? Is it possible James Earl Ray confessed to killing King but didn’t do it? Is it possible Ray was not at the scene at the time of the murder? Apparently, the King family believes all of the foregoing is possible. They sued Loyd Jowers in civil court, and won – not that it makes any difference today. They asked for damages of $100 – monetary remuneration was not the point.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

The overwhelming evidence of government complicity introduced and agreed as comprehensively valid by the jury includes the 111th Military Intelligence Group were sent to Dr. King’s location, and that the usual police protection was pulled away just before the assassination. Military Intelligence set-up photographers on a roof of a fire station with a clear view to Dr. King’s balcony. 20th Special Forces Group had an 8-man sniper team at the assassination location on that day. Memphis police ordered the scene where multiple witnesses reported as the source of shooting cut down of their bushes that would have hid a sniper team. Along with sanitizing a crime scene, police abandoned investigative procedure to interview witnesses who lived by the scene of the shooting. Source: The Examiner

The above comes, I believe, from the transcript of the Jowers trial where it is stated that the 111th Military Intelligence Group had King under surveillance. The transcript also claims the “Army Security Agency” was involved, King’s rooms were bugged, etc. There was “Raul” who James Earl Ray said was his controller – never identified, but others believe he existed and was a part of a plot.

Then there were photographers. Remember those photographers that Captain Weeden talked about. They were on the roof of the fire station. He put them there. Who were they? They were a psychological operations team, and they were there and they photographed everything throughout that day.

That means, ladies and gentlemen, that there is a film of everything that happened, photographs of everything that happened buried somewhere. We tried long and hard to unearth it unsuccessfully, but it is there and it is hidden, as it was hidden from this jury it is hidden from the American people. Maybe the media one day will let you know that it exists. But it is there. They took those photographs. They were what is known as a psychological operations team, and we know who the two members of that team were.

Or is this about attorney Bill Pepper researching, writing and promoting a book, then serving as the King family attorney for King Family v Jowers and Other Unknown Co-Conspirators.

For a quarter of a century, Bill Pepper conducted an independent investigation of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. He opened his files to our family, encouraged us to speak with the witnesses, and represented our family in the civil trial against the conspirators. The jury affirmed his findings, providing our family with a long-sought sense of closure and peace, which had been denied by official disinformation and cover-ups. Now the findings of his exhaustive investigation and additional revelations from the trial are presented in the pages of this important book. We recommend it highly to everyone who seeks the truth about Dr. King’s assassination. — Coretta Scott King, Dr. King’s wife.

The thesis is: King was, at the time of his murder, an internationally known figure and he was against the Vietnam War, and planning to be very vocal about it, to incude a 500,000 person sit-in in Washington, D.C. One year to the day before his murder, on April 4, 1967, King gave his speech, Beyond Vietnam: A time to Break Silence, at New York’s Riverside Church. And so ‘they’ murdered him is the gist of the story.  Or maybe our government thought he was a communist??? Listen to the speech or read the transcript here.

According to various sources, in the 1999 trial of Jowers and “unknown co-conspirators, Jowers who owned a restaurant close to Dr. King’s motel, testified that James Earl Ray was a scapegoat, that Memphis Police and other government agencies were involved, and Memphis Police Officer Lt. Earl Clark fired the shot that killed King. According to King’s son, Dexter King, he believes Clark is the killer, that “credible witnesses” named members of the “Special Forces” as involved although took no action, because the fatal shot hit its mark.

Jowers appeared on ABC’s Prime Time Live in 1993 and told his story (New York Times May 23, 2000 – the day Jowers died of lung cancer):

Mr. Jowers ran a cafe on the ground floor of a rooming house from which prosecutors say a sniper fired the shot that killed Dr. King on April 4, 1968….

In an ABC television interview in 1993, Mr. Jowers said he had received $100,000 from a Memphis produce merchant, Frank Liberto, to arrange Dr. King’s murder. Mr. Liberto had died by the time of the interview, in which Mr. Jowers said that he had hired the assassin and that it was not Mr. Ray.

In December, Mr. Jowers and ”unknown conspirators” were found liable in a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by Dr. King’s family. The jury awarded $100 to the Kings, who had asked for only token damages. Mr. Jowers was sick for much of the trial and did not testify.

The Shelby County prosecutor, John Campbell, who has investigated the assassination, has said Mr. Jowers’s claims were without merit. Mr. Campbell has quoted several of Mr. Jowers’s associates as saying he hoped to get a movie or book deal.

Los Angeles Times May 24,2000 announcing the death of Jowers:

Last year Jowers was declared liable in King’s death for having allegedly hired a Memphis police officer as part of a vast conspiracy to assassinate King. In finding that government agencies and unnamed others also were involved, the jury in the wrongful death case essentially accepted the plaintiffs’ argument that James Earl Ray was innocent.

The day Dr. King arrived in Memphis, was he really taken to a motel other than the one where he regularly stayed there, and were his usual bodyguards not with him that day?

King’s family, haunted by doubts that Ray had acted alone, exulted in the conspiracy verdict against Jowers and others and believed that it vindicated their three-year effort to revive the investigation into the murder.

But others said the trial, which was unusual in several respects, failed to resolve lingering questions over one of the nation’s most agonizing slayings.

Jowers owned Jim’s Grill, a restaurant on the ground floor of a rooming house from which prosecutors said the fatal shot was fired. In 1993 he told reporter Sam Donaldson on the ABC news program “PrimeTime Live” that he was part of a conspiracy to murder King and that he hired someone to do the killing.

He never named the accused shooter, although his lawyer argued that the assassin was not Ray. Jowers claimed he hired King’s killer as a favor to a Mafia friend named Frank Liberto…

Inconsistencies between Jowers’ story and that of other witnesses questioned over the years were not presented to the jury, including conflicting statements by Jowers on the race of the assassin he claimed to have hired.

After the trial, Gerald Posner, who wrote a 1998 book concluding that Ray was King’s killer, said the Memphis trial would be “a footnote, at best” in the tangled history of the King case.

Earl Clark, the Memphis Police Department Lieutenant named as the gunman by Jowers, died in 1987.

In the video on The Examiner website, you will hear that Jowers, on the day before the murder, was given a rifle to “hold” by a man named “Raul.” The rifle was picked up the morning of the murder and returned to him after the murder to destroy, which Jowers said he did, although the weapon was reportedly found in a doorway on South Main Street in Memphis by Memphis police. Ray later claimed that Raul was his controller. Read additional information on other witness testimony here.

This article by Jim Douglass who covered the Jowers trial makes these points: Two Black firemen from the fire station across the street from Dr. King’s motel were transferred to another station on the day of the murder, leaving their service spots uncovered that day. One of the firemen said he was told that he was transferred at the request of the Memphis Police. Along with the two firemen, a Black Memphis police officer, Ed Reddit, was removed from duty at the same fire station. There is interesting testimony from the man who owned the Lorraine Motel about a request that he change King’s room.

Bailey [owner of Lorraine Motel] explained that the night before King’s arrival he had received a call “from a member of Dr. King’s group in Atlanta.” The caller (whom Bailey said he knew but referred to only by the pronoun “he”) wanted the motel owner to change King’s room. Bailey said he was adamantly opposed to moving King, as instructed, from an inner court room behind the motel office (which had better security) to an outside balcony room exposed to public view.

“If they had listened to me,” Bailey said, “this wouldn’t have happened.”

There is intriguing testimony in Douglass’ article about Olivia Catling, who saw a man run from the motel and escaped in a car, with police allowing him to do so. She said the man was not James Earl Ray. Ray had a long criminal record, had spent time in Leavenworth, had several aliases, and was apprehended in London.

James Orange was a friend of Dr. King and served with him in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) saw “smoke” coming from the brush area on the opposite side of the street from the Lorraine Motel:

“I also remember then turning my attention back to the balcony and seeing Marrell McCollough up on the balcony kneeling over Dr. King, looking as though he was checking Dr. King for life signs.

“I also noticed, quite early the next morning around 8 or 9 o’clock, that all of the bushes and brush on the hill were cut down and cleaned up. It was as though the entire area of the bushes from behind the rooming house had been cleared…

“I will always remember the puff of white smoke and the cut brush and having never been given a satisfactory explanation.

“When I tried to tell the police at the scene as best I saw they told me to be quiet and to get out of the way.

The back of Jowers’ Jim’s Grill opened onto those bushes. Jowers testified that Raul brought the rifle to him “in a box.” The mafia connection was alleged to be Frank Liberto, a produce dealer.

The above is from Orange’s 1993 affidavit. He said Marrell McCollough who was kneeling next to the wounded Dr. King, was with a “local community organizing group” and he later learned that he was an undercover agent for the Memphis Police Department who Orange said in 1993, now worked for the CIA. Sam Donaldson also identified McCollough as later working for the CIA.

I am not a conspiracy nut. I didn’t know a lot about Dr. King’s murder and when Facebook friend, Kathleen Coad O’Brien pointed me to the Examiner article, it tweaked my interest and took my breath away at the mention of the U.S. Army being involved. I hope none of this is true. I hope this is a rude and terrible attempt by those who hate our military, to accuse them. I hope James Earl Ray was the basketcase that did this terrible thing on his own, but…even he said he had a handler. I cannot vouch for this site, but it has information about ‘Raul,’ and photos of the area around the crime scene. If you’ve followed this story, let me know what you think, and if you have a minute, take the MLK Quiz.