The Murder of Martin Luther King Jr. – PART 2 — How the Myths Were Created and Sustained for Fifty Years

The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.

~Martin Luther King Jr.

In Part 1 of this two-part series, we examined how Time magazine, in two major articles in its January 26, 1976 edition, sought to reinforce a series of lies which were posited by the early author William Bradford Huie in his series of three articles in Look magazine (in November, 1968 and April, 1969) and again in his 1970 book, “He Slew the Dreamer.” The Time articles also portrayed the alleged assassin’s shot as an “easy hit” from a very comfortable sniper’s lair, through a deceitful artist’s drawing that changed the direction of the shot, such that the illustration showed it to be opposite of that which would have been required. But that was merely one of many such incidents in a very long series of similar actions taken to completely reframe the purported crime scene and the people and events related to it in order to support a contrived account specially designed to incriminate the designated “patsy.”  In fact, the first one (which Huie’s articles and book would repeat) was published in the immediate aftermath of Martin Luther King’s assassination.

The Time articles, including the artist’s deceptive, “mirror-image” rendering of the purported sniper aiming a rifle in the opposite direction of Dr. King’s actual position on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, were noted within my book, Who REALLY Killed Martin Luther King Jr.?: The Case Against Lyndon B. Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover, however that diagram was not republished there, as it was in the first part of this series. 

Neither was the deceptive front cover of the Life magazine edition that was published less than one month after the murder of Dr. King, on May 3, 1968 (“The Revealing Story of a Mean Kid”). That was just after the purported assassin was finally identified, and when the world-wide hunt for him had just begun.  So, in both cases, these two articles present new, graphical evidence of essential points that augment the narrative of the book.

That Life magazine edition included this grainy, front-cover photo that showed only the top half of James Earl Ray’s ten-year-old face, taken in 1938. Despite all the evidence presented that the FBI had known all along that Ray would be their “suspect,” it had taken them over two weeks to announce that they had identified him as the person behind the alias, “Eric S. Galt.” The reason it took them so long to “connect the dots” was because of Ray’s insubordination, when he took off in his Mustang fifteen minutes before Dr. King was murdered to refill his gas tank and his (unsuccessful) attempt to get his spare tire repaired.  Had he waited in the front of Jim’s Grill, as his handler, Raul, had commanded, he would have been shot dead just moments after Dr. King had been killed and the efforts to have erstwhile “journalists” create Ray’s meme as a vicious Southern racist would have been related to stories about a dead man.  Ray’s actions caused the FBI to have to pull “Plan B” off the shelf and make revisions on the fly, as Ray escaped first to Atlanta, then to Toronto, London, Lisbon and back to London, where he was finally arrested on June 8, 1968.  In the meantime, without a dead body to point to, it became necessary to “prove” that the man who had used two different aliases in the days before King’s murder was actually an escaped prisoner named James Earl Ray.  For some reason, his fingerprints all over the alleged murder weapon and other items purportedly left behind–mysteriously dropped in front of a store on Main Street, as though he wanted to be caught–took over two weeks for the FBI to connect to him.

Given that the magazine was actually published three to four days before its printed publication date, only about ten days were left between the day he was finally identified (April 19th) and the publication of the article.  During that period of time, as the editor, William A. McWhirter, and the team of five reporters obtained the photos and worked on meeting a deadline for the article, they had already found time to begin taking what appears to be a pre-established path to convict Ray of Dr. King’s murder—long before he had seen the inside of a courthouse, never mind a jailhouse.  Given the shortness of that timeline–and the evidence presented that proves the FBI had set Ray up many months before–it is a reasonable presumption that those photos were already in the FBI’s files.  They had gone to great lengths well before King’s murder to “frame” a man who was supposed to be the dead assassin, not one on the run, whom they would now have to scramble to find, arrest and arrange to “convict” by tormenting him into waiving his rights to a trial.

For some reason, the senior editors at Life decided to ignore a class photo that showed Ray’s complete, smiling face (and the open eyes of the boy in front of him, which were not open in the photo they did select).  The reason, clearly, was because the better photo was not congruent with the title of the article they decided to write, about how Ray was a “Mean Kid.”  Knowing also that readers’ eyes would quickly connect to the mean-looking kid standing next to Ray, who appeared in the center of the cover’s photo, it can be presumed that such confusion was expected (ergo, planned and anticipated, not to put too fine a point on it).

Moreover, the front cover, except for the red background behind the “Life” nameplate and an arrow pointing to Ray’s partially-hidden face, was printed in black and shades of grey, with white lettering, despite the fact that the back cover (going through the same print run) contained four-color artwork. It was the dark red arrow pointing to Ray—that did not contrast well with the black background, instead of using either white or yellow colors—which suggests that they were attempting to use the other boy’s expression in lieu of showing Ray’s friendly smile.

Furthermore, the text within the article went to great lengths to describe Ray as “a character shaped by a mean life,” listing an assortment of contrived “facts” that were intended to support that narrative.  One such point was the assertion that Ray’s father had died in the 1940s due to an addiction to hard liquor, which purportedly caused James to become an anti-social “loner.”  This was arguably the worst of the lies, proven by the fact that his father was still very much alive in May, 1968, and in fact lived seventeen more years, until April, 1985, finally dying of natural causes at the age of 86.


The lies about Ray being “anti-social” have been categorically debunked within my book; that point came directly from the people who got to know James during his nearly one-year period spent traveling around the North American continent, in Canada, Mexico and through the U.S. from Chicago, Atlanta, Birmingham, New Orleans and Los Angeles, all of whom claimed that he was rather normal, even a Canadian lady who was described—by Huie, of all people—as “beautiful,” a well-educated, and very intelligent lady, who must have thought he was reasonably “normal” since she quickly became intimate with him.  

The deceitful patterns established within this very first, in-depth Life article were repeated over and over again, further developed by Huie (1968-70), and in 1972 by author Gerold Frank and in 1976 by George McMillan, all of whom had lengthy connections to both the CIA and FBI and in fact, had been recruited by the highest-level officials who worked directly for Hoover and his senior deputy Clyde Tolson: Cartha “Deke” DeLoach and William Sullivan.  Even after Hoover’s reign ended with his death in 1972, and Tolson’s demise in 1975, followed by the enigmatic death of Sullivan in 1977, just before he was scheduled to testify to the House Select Committee on Assassinations, there were numerous additional books written to reinforce the same deceits in practically every ensuing decade.

It was the consistency of the lies—planted originally in the Life magazine article in the immediate aftermath of the assassination and repeated over and again in a succession of magazine articles and books for five decades, as first developed by those early, highly compromised authors—that proves they were originally created and consistently repeated for many decades, through actions emanating from  the executive suites of the FBI headquarters.

Within my book, I have documented the methods used by William Bradford Huie in the creation of his many lies and shown that his purpose was to use them as a basis to support his fabricated charge that James Earl Ray was a racist, ergo, a hater of Dr. King, who thus became a stalker and subsequently his murderer.

The FBI’s craftiness in spreading lies and deceits through magazine articles and books by pre-selected popular authors has now been documented as never before; the officially-sanctioned myths have finally been categorically debunked, for the first time ever. That deconstruction begins with the newspaper sources he cited—old newspaper articles that did not state what he said they stated—as the basis of his charges, have been put under a virtual microscope, conclusively proving that his accusations of Ray’s criminality were actually his own fabrications.

For forty-nine years, no one had thought to do that, undoubtedly because the task of finding those old newspapers was too dauting, especially during the first three decades. Yet now, anyone who wishes to do that for themselves—thanks to the Internet—can do so quite easily, following the links provided within the book.  Mr. Huie undoubtedly went to his grave thinking that, as the years wore on, his secrets and lies would become safer with time, never dreaming the exact opposite would allow the world to witness the exposure of his world-class deceits.

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