PHILADELPHIA, Miss. - A reputed Ku Klux Klansman was arrested Thursday night on murder charges in the 1964 slaying of three voter-registration volunteers, one of the last unsolved mysteries from the civil rights era, officials said. Neshoba County Sheriff Larry Myers told The Associated Press that the man, Edgar Ray Killen, 79, an ordained Baptist minister, was arrested at his home without incident. The arrest followed a grand jury meeting Thursday that apparently included testimony from people believed to have knowledge about the killings of Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney, which were dramatized in the 1988 movie “Mississippi Burning.” Myers said Killen was being held on three counts of murder. “We went ahead and got him because he was high profile and we knew where he was,” the sheriff said. Chaney, a 21-year-old black man, was from Meridian, Miss. Goodman, 20, and Schwerner, 24, were from New York. They were among hundreds of Freedom Summer volunteers, most of them white college students, who came to Mississippi in 1964 to educate blacks and help them to vote. The bodies of the three, beaten and shot to death, were found later in an earthen dam. Killen was one of 19 men arrested on Dec. 4, 1964. The jury was unable to reach a verdict at his federal trial in 1967, and he was never retried."
Friday, January 07, 2005
The Moderate Voice: Inexorable Justice: Reputed Klansman Arrested in 1964 Civil Rights Worker Slaying: "Justice may take decades...but many times it's inescapable. And today it seemed like one of those days in Philadelphia, Mississippi -- a Mississippi not the same as it was 41 years ago: