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Largely unseen photos and documents about James Earl Ray, the man who assassinated Martin Luther King Jr. are set to be released. It’s been 43 years since the civil rights leader’s assassination.
“FBI records, files, pictures that take you back to 1968, when Dr King was killed, and goes into detail about the man who killed him. … There’s additional crime scene photographs, notes that they took, some notes with private investigators that they had hired to run down leads and witnesses and so forth.” (VIDEO FROM WREG)
The information was found in 2007 when a new Shelby County Register in Tennessee was reorganizing the archives. The AP reports the photos were taken to prove that Ray was not being mistreated by police.
The Daily Mail reports what one chunk of Ray’s personal letters suggests about his prison stay.
“Ray seemed to know that police were censoring his letters, saying in one to his brother Jerry just a month before he pleaded guilty: ‘If you have anything to say about the case or anything else don’t write it wait until I see you or visit.’”
Ray died in prison in 1998. CNN says while the documents don’t provide new facts about the case, they are still relevant.
“The archives office says there are no earth shattering revelations but the documents do shed some more light on a dark period.”
Leatherwood: “There’s a wealth of information that’s going to be added to our online exhibit that I think many people will find very very interesting”
And Memphis Commercial Appeal questions who owns of the photos, wondering if they are indeed county property or the property of the photographer.
“[Gil] Michael, who hadn’t seen the pictures since the July 1968 night he shot them, says he wishes county officials had consulted him before making them public. … Still, Michael questions if he isn’t the legal owner of the negatives and wonders what became of them. Although county officials located numbers of prints, they haven’t found the negatives.”
The photos will be officially unveiled next week, in commemoration of the 43rd anniversary of the civil rights leader’s slaying.