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Martin Luther King assassination conspiracies

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Like the Kennedy assassination, conspiracy theories have been mentioned by prominent figures regarding the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Proponents[edit]

According to Reverend Jesse Jackson, "I have always believed that the government was part of a conspiracy, either directly or indirectly, to assassinate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," he wrote in the foreword to James Earl Ray's autobiography Who Killed Martin Luther King Jr.?

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young also believes the government was responsible for King's death. "I've always thought the FBI might be involved in some way," he said. "You have to remember this was a time when the politics of assassination was acceptable in this country. It was during the period just before Allende's murder. I think it's naïve to assume these institutions were not capable of doing the same thing at home or to say each of these deaths (King and the two Kennedys) was an isolated incident by 'a single assassin.' It was government policy."

Even Dr. King's family believes that Martin was killed as the result of a conspiracy involving government officials. Dexter King met with the man convicted of killing his father and later said he believed Ray was not the shooter.

Unlike the Kennedy assassination, there is less debate on how the assassination happened, such as the number of shots fired or from where. [1]

Is there any evidence of a conspiracy?[edit]

Conspiracy theorists often base their accusations on the assassin's contradictory confessions: Ray plead guilty to the murder in return for a guarantee from Tennessee authorities not to seek the death penalty. However, once he was sentenced to 99 years, Ray began saying he had not acted alone.

Ray's attorney, Jack Kershaw, also convinced Ray to take a polygraph test as part of an interview with Playboy. The magazine said that the test results showed "that Ray did, in fact, kill Martin Luther King Jr. and that he did so alone." [2]

Civil suit[edit]

A jury in a 1999 civil suit brought by the family of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. decided that a retired Memphis cafe owner was part of a conspiracy in the 1968 killing of Dr. King. The family was awarded $100 which was donated to charity. [3]

References[edit]