Who Killed Martin Luther King? An American Murder Mystery

Part One: Enemy of the State

“The white Mustang is shooting at the blue Pontiac following him,” barked the Memphis police dispatcher on the evening of April 4, 1968. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., barely clung to life in the St. Joseph’s emergency room after the sniper’s shot, but the suspect, believed to be leaving town in a white Mustang, had been intercepted by civilians who were now in harrowing pursuit. Squad cars were scrambled to join the high-speed chase underway. “On the way to Raleigh, north on Jackson. North on Jackson toward Raleigh, a blue Pontiac occupied by three white males,” reported the dispatcher, who, in a wild stroke of luck, was receiving news of the chase in real-time from the Pontiac itself, the driver relaying to police the precise position and path of the speeding Mustang over the squawk and static of citizens band radio.

Just moments before the shot. Left to right: Hosea, Jesse, Martin and Ralph
FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover
“Suicide letter” sent to King by the FBI, drafted by the third-ranking FBI official under Hoover, William Sullivan
Dexter King meets James Earl Ray
View from the room where King was staying. The bathroom window of where Ray was rooming is directly above the brushy area behind Jim’s Grill.
The “they” in this quatrain is understood to be the US government, also charged with trafficking cocaine during Iran-Contra in the second line.

Writer — bylines at Salon, Alternet, McSweeney’s, Flagpole Magazine