Taking a break from discussing eco-friendly clothing today to look at a serious event in civil rights history.
In June of 1964, three civil rights workers were in Mississippi helping black residents register to vote when they were murdered and left 15 feet beneath an earthen dam.
Though 18 men stood trial for violating the civil rights of the victims, in 1967, and seven were convicted, it’s hard to say how many were complicit in killing the three men. Only one man has been convicted of that crime, and that wasn’t until 2005, when Neshoba County sentenced reputed Ku Klux Klan member Edgar Ray Killen to 60 years in prison. Others who conspired to kill the three men have remained at large in the small town of Philadelphia, Mississippi and neighboring communities for 45 years.
One of the key suspects was Billy Wayne Posey, who died last Thursday at 73. Federal prosecutors say they were still investigating the murders, and that they will continue to do so. In 2000, Posey told investigators that there were “a lot of persons involved in the murders that did not go to jail,” but he did not identify them.
For a couple of not-terrible movies (if my 20-year-old memories of them are accurate) about the ’64 murders, check out Alan Parker’s Mississippi Burning (1988) and Murder in Mississippi (1990), a made-for-TV movie co-written by the ever-prolific Ben Stein.