Tuesday, 05 October 2021 04:26

Cotton Coated Conspiracy, by John Roberts?

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Jim DiEugenio reviews the pseudonymously-authored new book, Cotton Coated Conspiracy, exposing it as an accusatory and sensationalist volume that accepts dubious accounts with little scrutiny and subverts and hides prominent exculpatory evidence in the James Earl Ray case.

What is one to make of authors who accuse men like Mark Lane and William Pepper of being cover up artists yet refuse to reveal their true identities? Which is why the question mark appears above, because that is what the book Cotton Coated Conspiracy does concerning the Martin Luther King case.

This book may—or may not—have been written by three people. The name on the cover of the book, denoting the author, is John Roberts. Yet, the two characters who actually do the investigating of the King case in the text are named Randall Stephens and Marcus Holmes. But very early, in the Introduction, it is declared that these are all pseudonyms. Beyond that, they are composites, which means they are composed of a “conglomeration of several private researchers.” (p. xiii) And further “neither are those names the genuine titles of anyone who worked on this project.” When pictures appear depicting someone who is part of the research effort, their face is blocked out.

In other words, we do not know who wrote the book, which is an important point since, as noted above, it is an accusatory and sensationalist volume. So much so that this is why the aliases may have been used: to prevent legal action.

The ostensible subject of the book is the assassination of King in Memphis in April 1968, but the book is not really about the figure of Martin Luther King. In fact, one will learn very little, if anything, about the man from this book. And I will later attempt to explain why I believe that, whoever wrote the book, did that bit of foreshortening.

This book is really about John McFerren and the small town he lived in called Somerville, Tennessee. As anyone can discover, McFerren was a noted civil rights leader in Fayette and Haywood counties. He was instrumental in organizing voting drives and in getting schools integrated. He also helped organize Tent City. This was needed because many of the whites in the area began to evict African Americans due to these integration efforts. (Click here and here)

McFerren owned a business in Somerville. At the time of King’s murder, he had been married to his wife Viola since 1950. The business owner/activist, died in April 2020.


The book proper begins in 2015. Holmes is handing over research materials on the King case to Stephens. Holmes—or whatever his name is—does this since his parole is being revoked and he is going to prison. (p.6) His research refers to the role of Fayette county Tennessee in the death of King. I did not realize it at the time, but this is a key statement. Because, as we will see, the book really centers on the small town of Somerville, outside of Memphis, and its supposed role in King’s murder.

Another revealing part of the book occurs just a few pages later, when Stephens says he will rely only on “hard documentation” and will remain objective. Since it did not matter to him if Ray was or was not guilty. (p. 9)

The reason the above turns out to be puzzling is that, when the book is completed, its pretty clear that the main witness is McFerren. The authors begin with him and they end with him. It is his statements to Stephens and Holmes that rule all they do. The rather loose way they handle the question of whether or not Ray is guilty is but one indication of this. Because in any real inquiry, that particular question would seem to be paramount. Yet, in Cotton Coated Conspiracy, it isn’t.

McFerren was born in Somerville in 1924. He dropped out of high school and worked as a quail hunter. (pp. 21–22) John served in World War II for the US Army. In 1950, he married his wife Viola Harris and they worked on a farm for eight years. As noted in this book, the immediate geographic area is deemed crucial. Therefore, the Burton Dodson case is dealt with, since it was a key event in McFerren’s life. Dodson was an African-American farmer who was accused of assaulting a white resident. The county sheriff organized the equivalent of a vigilante force to surround Dodson’s home, but the accused man was fired upon as he escaped. He fired back and one of his shots may have fatally wounded a deputy; or it may have been friendly fire. (p. 23)

Dodson fled to East St. Louis and lived there under an assumed name for 18 years. In 1958, he was uncovered and returned to Fayette. He was defended by African-American lawyer James Estes. That trial was held in the county courthouse in Somerville. Since McFerren was a friend of Estes, he and his brother-in-law Harpman Jameson attended the trial. Since only registered voters could serve on juries, the verdict was predetermined. The all-white panel found Dodson guilty.

Because of that result, Estes managed to get a verbal agreement and the Fayette County Civic and Welfare League (FCCWL) was formed. This created one of the first voter registration drives in the rural south. With help from Washington—both under the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations—white resistance to the voter registration drive was overcome. The white power structure now used two other devices: economic embargo and eviction. The former—for example the cancelling of bank loans—led to the latter. McFerren, who had expanded his business into a combination gas station and grocery store, was deprived of his fuel supplies. The Justice Department filed charges against many local businesses.

But the evictions were effective. Therefore, the FCCWL set up a tent city five miles south of Somerville. Finally, in 1962, the Justice Department—through illustrious civil rights specialist John Doar—got a consent decree that stopped landowners from using economic pressure to discourage African Americans from voting. (pp. 27–39; also click here)


In no book on the King case that I have read has any author gone into the Dodson case and never at this length. But since the book is so exclusively focused on McFerren, the authors feel justified in doing so. Starting off his business in 1960, McFerren expanded his gas station into a grocery store, café, maintenance garage, and laundromat. (p. 32) Befitting his starring stature, there are a few pictures of the construct in the book.

McFerren later found out that certain African-Americans in prominent positions in the civil rights movement were working both sides of the street. This included famed civil rights photographer Ernest Withers and local NAACP president Allen Yancey Jr., a McFerren neighbor. Both were FBI informants. (pp. 42–43)

The authors now turn to April 8, 1968, four days after King’s assassination. The scene is the Peabody Hotel in Memphis. Rev. Sydney Braxton had talked to McFerren about the King murder. Braxton then arranged a meeting with Memphis police officers and an FBI agent. This owed to the fact that McFerren dealt with a man named Frank Liberto for the produce in his store. Liberto was the chief owner of LL&L Produce Company in Memphis. About a week before the King assassination, Liberto had said something like, “They ought to shoot the son-of-a-bitch.” Liberto then asked McFerren what he thought of “King and his mess.” McFerren simply replied that, “I tend to my own business.” (pp. 45–46)

The following Thursday—his regular day to drive in from outside Somerville to pick up his produce—was April 4th. McFerren said that he walked into the warehouse unnoticed. LIberto was on the phone. He said to the other party, “Kill the sonofabitch on the balcony and get the job done. You will get your $5,000.” The second owner, a thin white man with a scar, noticed he was there and asked him what he wanted. McFerren said he was just picking up his usual produce. A call came in that this second man picked up. He gave the phone to Liberto, and Liberto said, “Don’t come out here. Go to New Orleans and get your money. You know my brother.” (p. 47) McFerren then paid for his items and left.

On April 6th, his wife showed McFerren a hand-drawn sketch of the suspected killer from The Commercial Appeal, the major newspaper in Memphis. John thought this man was a former employee of Liberto who he recalled from the summer of 1967. John described him as a cross between an Indian, Cuban, Mexican, or Puerto Rican. He had a very yellow complexion and had “jungle rot” on his neck. He was about 5’ 9”, slender, and was about 25 years old. (p. 48)

The FBI interviewed McFerren again on April 18th. In this report, done by two agents named Fitzpatrick and Sloan, what McFerren said is pretty much the same as in the first interview. The only major difference was that, at the conclusion of this one, the agents showed the witness a set of six pictures and asked him to pick out the man he thought had the “jungle rot” on his neck. The report said that after being prompted by the agents about the name and photo of Eric Starvo Galt being the FBI’s chief suspect, John tentatively picked him out. (p. 53) McFerren disagreed. (p. 58) He said he picked the Galt photo out without being prompted. (Galt was one of the aliases for Ray; it’s the one he used most in the USA)

From here, the book shifts to the capture of Ray in England, his extradition to Memphis, and the legal proceedings against him. At this point, the reviewer began to have some real trepidations about the path ahead. First, its apparent that the authors—whoever they are—want to go with the orthodoxy that Ray was a racist. Author John Avery Emison shows that such was not the case. There is no credible evidence for this and the evidence that has been produced has been made by rather suspect writers. (The Martin Luther King Congressional Cover Up, pp. 72, 73, 84, 88)

Cotton Coated Conspiracy actually refers to Ray’s four-minute Q&A before Judge Preston Battle as a “confession.” The book leaves out two pertinent facts. First, during his Q&A with the judge, Ray made it clear to Battle that he did not agree with the theories of Ramsey Clark, J. Edgar Hoover, and the local attorney general, Phil Canale, about the conspiracy. (William Pepper, Orders to Kill, p. 46) Since they advocated no plot and Ray as the sole killer, it’s pretty obvious what Ray was implying. But secondly, a crucial part of the transcript was later forged. When Judge Battle asked the defendant if any pressure had been used to make him plead guilty, Ray actually replied with a question: “Now what did you say?” (Emison, p. 156) This is on the genuine transcript. An altered transcript states that Ray’s reply was “No. No one in any way.” Emison proves this fakery in a number of ways, including the fact that the typescript on the altered version does not match. These are two crucial points that undermine the contention about Ray’s “confession.”

The authors note that, after his guilty plea and within 72 hours, Ray quickly switched and wished to plead innocent. They write that Ray was “claiming” he had been coerced into pleading guilty by his new lawyer Percy Foreman. (p. 56) The use of the word “claiming” is really inexcusable. These are not “claims.” Emison proves that Foreman used every trick in the book to get Ray to plead guilty. This included threatening to bring in his family as members of the conspiracy and also bribery. (Emison, pp. 151–53)


The reason I think the book lets Foreman off the hook is in order to somehow support McFerren’s alleged identification of Ray at Liberto’s. But anyone familiar with the KIng case would understand that the description by McFerren does not match Ray. Ray did not look Indian, Cuban, or Puerto Rican, was not yellow-complected, and did not exhibit “jungle rot” on his neck. Also, why on earth would Liberto—who the book sees as a very major figure in the plot—hire someone who had worked for him in public? Further, the Commercial Appeal sketch does not look like Ray. It actually resembles Richard Nixon. (See Appendix) That sketch does not resemble Ray, because it is based upon the memory of a man who, in all probability, never saw Ray on the day of the assassination.

Charles Stephens’ identification was also used in England to extradite Ray back to the USA. (Harold Weisberg, Martin Luther King: The Assassination, pp. 24–25) Today, using Charles Stephens in the MLK case is the equivalent of using Howard Brennan in the JFK case. When you do this one forfeits credibility. Let me explain why.

On the day of the assassination, Stephens was in the boarding house Ray stayed at. That night he told the police he could not give a description of the man coming out of the bathroom, since he did not get a good look at him. Further, he added that he could not see the man’s eyes. This statement was actually signed by Stephens the evening of the murder. (Emison, p. 43)

The testimony of the manager of Bessie’s Boarding House was that Ray, under the name Willard, checked in at about 3:00–3:10 on the day of the assassination. (Mark Lane and Dick Gregory, Code Name Zorro, eBook edition, p. 164) The first stories circulating in the press were that Ray/Willard had left a fingerprint in his room and a palmprint in the communal bathroom; from where the authorities said, he fired a rifle and killed King. Neither of these items of evidence were mentioned in the stipulation of evidence that Foreman agreed to in court. (ibid, p. 163) When Mark Lane interviewed Mr. Stephens about a week after the murder, the witness described the man he saw in the hallway as small, quite short. Ray was not short, he was 5’ 10”.

As the reader can see, Charles Stephens was an erratic witness. The more he talked in public the more dubious his story got. Therefore, the authorities placed him in detention with a $10,000 bond. The witness did not like being held. Stephens secured a lawyer in order to get released. Afterwards, police were around him most of the time. (Lane and Gregory, pp. 164–65)

There was another problem with Mr. Stephens. He had a serious alcohol problem. In fact, his wife Grace said he could not have seen anyone go down the hallway, since he was dead drunk on his bed. Her statement was supported by cab driver James McCraw, who was supposed to pick Stephens up that day. But when McCraw got to his client’s room, Stephens was too drunk to walk. But further, the cab driver placed this encounter at about 2–5 minutes before King’s assassination. (Lane and Gregory, p. 166) Grace said the man she saw had an army jacket on and salt and pepper hair. That was not Ray either.

Because her identification did not match Ray, the authorities placed Grace in a sanitarium. (ibid, p. 167) When you have to place one witness in detention and the other in an asylum due to their descriptions, how good is your case? But it gets worse. In 1974, Mr. Stephens filed an action to collect $185,000 in reward money that had been offered by three sources, since his testimony had been the chief evidence to place King’s killer behind bars. During this later hearing, as author Philip Melanson describes it, Charlie’s story was altered in at least three ways to make him seem more certain about the identification. (Melanson, The Martin Luther King Assassination, pp. 95–96)

Try and find the above information about Charles Stephens in Cotton Coated Conspiracy.


This is a serious problem with McFerren’s story. But the anonymous authors of this book don’t see it that way. In spite of all the above—and much more exculpatory evidence they do not mention—they maintain that McFerren is correct about Ray. For a large part of the book, they use this dispute over Ray between McFerren and authors Bill Pepper and Mark Lane, to create one of the most eyebrow arching conspiracy theories this reviewer has ever encountered.

Because this is not all that McFerren was claiming. McFerren had a network of informants that he organized due to the civil rights strife in and around Somerville. He would secretly tape some of these informants. He kept the tapes and let certain people hear them, like Pepper. The authors of this book also heard them. The book summarizes some of these tapes. Evidently McFerren sometimes spoke about some of this information in declarative form on the tapes. From these recordings, McFerren stated in an affidavit that his informants gleaned information that the Mayor of Somerville collected money from local businessmen to pay for King’s assassination. That the mayor made two trips to London, one before and one after the murder. And that the mayor harbored Ray two days before the assassination. (pp. 80–81) If you are wondering who the mayor was, his name was Isaac Perkins Yancey. He served in that office from 1940–78. He has a park named after him with a plaque in it.

The anonymous authors of the book are so intent to back up McFerren that they do not even note that this story clashes with what their witness said about Liberto. If one recalls, Liberto told the man on the phone he would get paid by his brother in New Orleans. Did the guy get paid twice? After all, only one shot killed King.

Also, in looking up Somerville, it had a population of about 1,800 people in the sixties. So we are to believe that a town a bit bigger than Andy Griffith’s Mayberry pulled off the King assassination? With, as we shall see, the extraordinary military presence in Memphis at the time? Whether or not Yancey went to London, we know how Ray got there after the assassination. In one of the most intriguing chapters of Phil Melanson’s book, he describes the remarkable research he did on Ray after the alleged assassin fled America and ended up in Toronto.

Ray was using the name of Ramon Sneyd in Toronto. Evading the FBI manhunt, he had fled there and was renting a room in late April and early May. (Melanson, p. 52–53) Early in his stay, he had ordered a passport and round trip ticket for London. He left his landlady’s phone number, and both items were ready for him on April 26th. But Ray, who was being searched for worldwide on the charge of murder, did not pick them up then. Both items stayed at the travel agency for almost a week, until May 2nd.

On that day, at about noon, a tall, husky man arrived at his landlady’s door. (Melanson, p. 56) The man had an envelope in his hand with a typed name on it. He asked the landlady, “Is Mr. Sneyd in?” Ray, who usually wasn’t, was that day. When the woman went up to his room to tell him someone was there with a letter, Ray nodded and came downstairs. As Melanson notes, this is interesting. Under his circumstances, Ray should have jumped out the window and ran to his car. Instead he came downstairs and started talking to the man. This suggests that Ray knew he was coming. (ibid, p. 58) After this, he went to pick up his ticket and passport. Most would logically infer there was money in the envelope.

Melanson tracked the man down in 1984. It was not Liberto or Yancey. This man told Phil that he refused to testify for fear of his life. As Melanson notes, it is shocking that the HSCA did not do what he did (i.e. locate the man). They should have done a full-court inquiry into the entire episode. (Melanson, p. 59)

The point is: this is how Ray got to London. And there are no indications that Mayor Yancey was part of it. But again, as with the drunken Charles Stephens, there is no mention of Melanson’s fine and important work in Toronto in Cotton Coated Conspiracy.


Let us take two other points from McFerren’s oh so valuable recordings. First there is the idea that Yancey housed Ray two days prior to King’s assassination. (p. 113) Again, on its face, is this not ridiculous? The mayor of a small town would be seen in his house with the guy about to be accused of killing King in 48 hours? The other problem is that Ray was in Mississippi before he arrived in Memphis. And Harold Weisberg confirmed his stay at the DeSoto Motel on the night of April 2nd. (Pepper, Orders to Kill, p. 77) Other McFerren material states that Ray’s auto was seen on a car lot owned by Yancey. There is no information included in the book as to how this was known to be Ray’s white Mustang, of which there must have been thousands of at that time. (p. 145)

In other words, there are many problems with McFerren’s evidence. And the authors seem to feign blindness about them. This allows them to launch the second part of their rather bizarre conspiracy theory. Which seems to suggest that everyone who heard this McFerren evidence was somehow in league to conceal what the authors think was the true plot to kill King: the one with Somerville and Yancey as the nexus. This wide ranging and, at times, interactive, ongoing, decades-long conspiracy, includes the following persons and agencies:

  1. Mark Lane (pp. 178–79)
  2. William Pepper (throughout)
  3. Donald Rumsfeld (p. 157)
  4. John Mitchell (p. 158)
  5. Journalist Ted Poston (p. 159)
  6. Author Robert Hamburger (pp. 159–62)
  7. The Department of Justice (pp. 162, 172–74)
  8. The HSCA (p. 167)

What was the basis for this remarkable ongoing synergistic subversion? None of these people or parties wrote about McFerren’s tapes. It never seems to occur to the authors that maybe the individuals involved discerned some of the problems this reviewer noted above. Nosiree. The circumstances are cast in the darkest light. What the anonymous authors do with Lane and Pepper is kind of wild.

Their idea is that, since Lane was already involved with Ray’s defense, he brought Pepper on board as his assistant in 1977. This is not in agreement with what Pepper writes in his book. The lawyer says that, after King’s funeral, he got away from the American political scene. The way he got back in was not through Lane, but Ralph Abernathy. Abernathy had been King’s second in command at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. They knew each other from their mutual relationship with King. Abernathy called Pepper in late 1977 and said he had grown suspicious about the verdict in the case and thought they should both listen to Ray’s story in person. (Pepper, pp. 51–52) But before they talked to Ray, Pepper wanted to read up on everything in print up to that time. Unless he was allowed to prepare, he would not go through with the interview. Pepper made that demand clear to first Abernathy, and then Lane, who was Ray’s attorney at the time. In fact, Pepper did study everything he could, because the Ray interview did not take place until mid-October of 1978. (Pepper, p. 67) This was only about two months before the HSCA was disbanded.

Which pretty much vitiates another premise of the book. This one proffers that Lane and Pepper worked together to prove Ray’s innocence and “infiltrate the federal government’s ‘76 through ‘78 King investigation.” (p. 178) According to Pepper, he had no real opinion about the case until after he interviewed Ray in late 1978, which, as noted, was just about near the end of the HSCA, pretty late to be infiltrating that body. But anyone familiar with what happened to that committee once Chief Counsel Robert Blakey took over would know that such an operation would be just about impossible for outside reserchers to do, because Blakey’s inquiry was done in secret. And every employee had to sign non-disclosure agreements about any information they were in receipt of from the executive intelligence agencies. As most people know, Blakey did not care for people like Lane or Harold Weisberg. In fact, it appears that the HSCA made an attempt to discredit Lane in public with the help of the New York Times. (James Earl Ray, Tennesse Waltz, pp. 193–97; Gallery, July 1979)

But it’s too mild to say the authors have it out for Pepper. I have rarely seen such a personal attack rendered on someone involved in this kind of alternative research. He is characterized as a publicity seeker, and that is just the beginning. I don’t even want to mention what else they say, since I could find no back up for it in cyberspace, or elsewhere. As an example of his publicity seeking, they note that in 1989 Pepper served as a consultant and talking head on a documentary entitled Inside Story: Who Killed Martin Luther King. What the authors leave out is that Phil Melanson also consulted on this program. (Melanson, p. 161)

But the book simply glosses over Pepper’s two stellar achievements in the King field. In an extraordinarily detailed and realistic mock trial for Thames and HBO television, Pepper won an acquittal for Ray. In Pepper’s book, Orders to Kill, the author describes all the work he went through to gather the evidence to win that case. (see Chapter 18) This and the 1995 release of Pepper’s book allowed an opportunity to reopen a criminal case for Ray. Pepper came close to doing just that with the help of Judge Joe Brown in Memphis. When they were on the eve of achieving a trial—and proving Ray innocent—the legal and political establishment crashed in on Brown. (see The Assassinations, edited by James DiEugenio and Lisa Pease, pp. 449–78)

Even though it was aborted, this was an epochal event that received national attention. One of the accused assassins of the sixties was going to get a real trial. He was going to be represented by a skilled and knowledgeable attorney before a judge who would allow fair play and new evidence. But as with the examples of Jim Garrison and the HSCA’s first chief counsel, Richard Sprague, the Establishment was not going to let this occur. In the above reference, Probe Magazine took about 30 pages describing the extraordinary actions taken to snuff out a real trial. These consumed the better part of a year—from the summer of 1997 to the spring of 1998. Cotton Coated Conspiracy deals with all of this, which made national news, in less than two paragraphs. (p. 109)

But that is not the worst part. The worst part is this, in the miniscule space alloted, the spin is toward the two men who did much to crush any criminal reopening: local Attorney General Bill Gibbons and assistant DA John Campbell. Incredibly, I could find no mention of Judge Joe Brown, which, considering the fact that Brown was featured on ABC NIghtline at that time, is a real magic act.

Since the attempt at a criminal reopening was crushed, the last alternative left was a civil trial. This unfolded in Memphis in November and December of 1999. There was a conscious effort by the MSM not to deal with this trial at all. It was supposed to be broadcast, but those plans were cancelled. Court TV—today True TV—had sent a team there to prepare for the television coverage, but they were recalled. The only print journalist there for each day of the proceeding was Probe Magazine’s Jim Douglass. The local reporter for The Commercial Appeal, Marc Perrusquia, was not allowed to attend. He waited each day for Jim to emerge to get the details of what happened.


There were two things that set off a light in my head about this book. The first was the failure to deal in any real way with the civil tiral. They belittle it as a “highly choreographed courtroom spectacle.” (pp. 120–21). In The Assassinations, Douglass took 17 pages to describe the two week long proceeding that resulted in a verdict in favor of the King family. In this reviewer’s opinion, The Assassinations is worth reading just for that essay.

The other point that lit a fuse came near the end. Suddenly, when the authors say they are getting close to really solving the case, they give up. (p. 339) Whoever it is writing the book—this time under the alias of Randall Stephens—decides it would be too much dangerous work to do.

Retroactively, these two parts of the book combined for a moment of recognition. I began to understand why the figure of King is always very distant in the background and only mentioned as a civil rights leader. King’s transformation in 1967–68 into a strong opponent of the Vietnam War—caused by Pepper’s pictorial essay in Ramparts—is barely mentioned. I also could find little about King’s growing criticism over the distribution of wealth. It was these stances that were the likely cause of a military intelligence program against King. In April of 1968, the 111th Military Intelligence Group was in Memphis. Some of them were in plain clothes. (Emison, p. 114)

This aspect is gone into even more detail by Pepper. (Orders to Kill, pp. 439–41) Carthel Weeden was the captain at Fire Station 2, overlooking the Lorraine Motel. At noon that day, he allowed two officers to access the roof of the station in order to take photo surveillance of King. (ibid, p. 459) At the civil trial, former CIA agent Jack Terrell said that he knew of an Army sniper team that was practicing for an assassination. When they were ready, they were being transported to Memphis on April 4th. That mission was suddenly cancelled in transport. (DiEugenio and Pease, p. 503) One of the jurors at the civil trial said that the testimony of Terrell had a large impact on him.

It apparently had no impact on the anonymous authors. As with this, and in MSM style, all the other things that Pepper brought out so saliently at both trials is apparently not worth mentioning. For example, the FBI’s propaganda effort to get King’s entourage moved to the Lorraine Motel and the mysterious personage who then changed his room there from an inside courtyard room to an external one facing the street. The fact that King had a special protective detail in Memphis and that unit was called off for this visit. Its chief testified at the trial that he would never have allowed King to stay at the Lorraine. Phil Melanson’s important discovery that four tactical units of police cars were pulled back from the Lorraine area that day is somehow bypassed. Yet, this allowed whoever the assassination team was to more easily escape.

Although the book mentions the bundle that Ray allegedly dropped in front of a novelty store after the assassination, they leave out a key fact. Ray’s original attorney, Arthur Hanes Jr., interviewed the owner of the novelty story, one Guy Canipe. That package, which included a rifle, unfired bullets, and a radio with Ray’s prison identification number on it, was crucial evidence against Ray. Hanes testified at the civil trial that Canipe was going to testify that the bundle was dropped in the doorway,

…by a man headed south down Main Street on foot and that his happened at about ten minutes before the shot was fired. (emphasis added)

How could a book on the King case not have room for that kind of exculpatory evidence? But one could ask the same thing about why a King book would not mention the name of Raul, the mysterious gunrunner who had all the earmarks of being Ray’s CIA handler at the time of King’s murder. Many have questioned whether or not Raul existed. Turns out he did and there was tangible proof of it. Don Wilson was an FBI agent in 1968. He was sent to retrieve the car Ray had abandoned in Atlanta one week after the murder. When he opened the door, an envelope fell from the car. Several pieces of paper slipped out. On two of them, the name “Raul” was written, surrounded by other pieces of information. (DiEugenio and Pease, p. 479)

Somehow, none of this matters to the authors of this book, whoever they may be. I leave it to the reader to decide which plot is more credible and cohesive and explains all the circumstances that occurred that day: Pepper’s or Somerville’s.

Last modified on Tuesday, 05 October 2021 15:51
James DiEugenio

One of the most respected researchers and writers on the political assassinations of the 1960s, Jim DiEugenio is the author of two books, Destiny Betrayed (1992/2012) and The JFK Assassination: The Evidence Today (2018), co-author of The Assassinations, and co-edited Probe Magazine (1993-2000).   See "About Us" for a fuller bio.

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