Martin Luther King Jr. was undoubtedly one of the greatest civil rights leaders in history and his assassination a tragedy. Was James Earl Ray, responsible for the death of this great man? Or, is the answer to the question, “who killed Martin Luther King Jr.?” more complex? Below are 5 things that make you question the FBI’s involvement surrounding the death of MLK.
1.The unfired bullets in the gun, didn’t match the bullet that killed MLK.
The bullets found in Ray’s gun were of a different metal than the one which killed MLK.
2. MLK was on around the clock surveillance by the FBI
According to a former FBI special agent, Arthur Murtagh, MLK was considered a threat to the countries stability, in the eyes of the FBI. For this reason he was kept on around the clock surveillance on the pretence that he had communist ties. According to Murtagh his “every move” was documented for at least 8 years prior to his assassination. Yet, there is a lack of information surrounding the days before his death.
3.The FBI had sent MLK a letter that was designed to convince him to commit suicide
4.James Earl Ray maintained his innocence
The official report states that the man responsible for the death of Martin Luther King is James Earl Ray, who acted alone. Once arrested, Ray intended to enter a plea of not guilty, but was advised by multiple lawyers that if he were to enter that plead he would most likely get the chair. In order to get a plea bargain that would allow him to avoid getting the death sentence he decided to change his plea to guilty. Twenty years after his conviction he maintained his innocence.
5.Key witness statement unreliable, other witnesses went missing
Grace Walden who was a resident of the building from where the shot originated, states that she saw a man exiting the building with a long case (presumably the case the gun was found in), and that man was not James earl Ray. She was later committed to a psychiatric hospital where she was held for over 10 years for no known medical reason. She believes she was held there because of what her testimony would do to the case against James Earl Ray.
In James Earl Ray’s statement he provides an alibi, stating that he had gone to a nearby Esso gas station to have a flat repaired during the time of the shooting. Ray’s private investigator later returned to the gas station for answers only to find that the owner, who had been working the day of the assassinated, had been murdered.
During the trial Charles Stephens (Grace Walden’s common law spouse) had testified as a witness stating that he had seen Ray exiting the building moments after the shot was fired. However Stephen’s ability to accurately identify Ray, due to severe intoxication was called into question, but it was decided by the courts that he was “sober enough” for his testimony to be used. Years after the trial, during an interview with CBS, Stephens was shown a picture of James Earl Ray and stated that the man in the picture was not the same man he saw fleeing the building the day MLK was assassinated.