Quantcast i24NEWS - 'Mississippi Burning' killer and KKK leader dies in prison

'Mississippi Burning' killer and KKK leader dies in prison

Supporters of the Ku Klux Klan hold a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on July 8, 2017 to protest the planned removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee, who oversaw Confederate forces in the US Civil War
The 92-year-old Ku Klux Klan member was serving a prison sentence of 60 years

A Ku Klux Klan leader convicted in the infamous killings of three civil rights workers memorialized in the film "Mississippi Burning," has died in prison, officials said Friday. 

Edgar Ray Killen was serving a 60-year prison sentence for spearheading the 1964 slayings of the men who were in the southern US state as part of a drive to register black voters.

The case galvanized public opinion against segregation and helped lead to the passage of the Civil Rights Act. It also inspired the Oscar-winning 1988 film "Mississippi Burning." 

Officials said the 92-year-old Killen died late Thursday.

"The cause and manner of death are pending an autopsy. However, no foul play is suspected," the Mississippi Department of Corrections said in a statement. 

Killen was accused of orchestrating the shocking murders of the three political workers -- two white men and one black man.  

James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner initially went missing after being arrested by local police and then released.

The sheriff's deputy who arrested them informed Klansmen of their detainment, and Killen then orchestrated a KKK mob to attack the men.

The three men were initially considered missing, and the FBI joined in the search to find them.  

Weeks later, their buried bodies were discovered at a farm, shot at point-blank range. Chaney, the only African American among them, had been badly beaten. 

Killen had escaped punishment for almost four decades, his initial trial ending in a hung jury. 


8Previous articleExam shows Trump in 'excellent health': White House
8Next articleUS Jewish groups slam Trump's 'shithole' comment as 'shameful'