And Then Created a Cover-up with Help from Famed Novelists
(Or . . . How the Fallacious Meme Originally Created by William Bradford Huie Lives on Today in the Official Historical Archives of the United States of America)
The premise of my book Who REALLY Killed Martin Luther King Jr.? can be summarized thusly:
Under the authority of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, with the acquiescence and active support of Lyndon B. Johnson, the highest-level officials of the FBI – with help from select other federal, state and local entities – carried out the plan to murder Dr. King in Memphis. Then, employing three famed novelists (William Bradford Huie, Gerold Frank and George McMillan, in that order) to construct the cover-up, they placed the blame for the entire plot, and murder, on the programmed “patsy” James Earl Ray, an unwitting man who made a brief appearance at the scene of the crime – but who was already on his way out of town minutes after the time King was shot.
Moreover, as detailed within the book, William Bradford Huie was the first, most essential framer, hand-picked by Hoover himself to create a narrative that would eventually become the basis of the FBI’s “investigation”– one that conveniently pointed Lady Justice’s finger away from the real plotters and towards the unwitting patsy, James Earl Ray. There is a plethora of FBI correspondence within the Weisberg collection at the referenced website that demonstrates their continuing interest in monitoring Huie’s mission, some of which is purposely designed to invoke the appearance that the FBI generally – and Hoover specifically – distrusted him; that was only one of many signs that they left behind “just for appearances.”.” The tranche of FBI documents released in 2017 reveals how the surveillance constantly increased, such that daily updates were being sent to the “S.O.G.” in the final weeks and months before the assassination detailing how the elaborate plan to “neutralize” King was progressing (See HERE for the original plan).
Clearly, Huie’s narrative was intended from the start to become what would eventually be the basis of the FBI’s “investigation,” one that conveniently pointed Lady Justice’s finger away from the real plotters and towards the unwitting patsy, James Earl Ray. The proof of that was the extent to which Huie’s book became the “Bible” that was repeatedly cited throughout the original investigation – and again, hundreds of times by the House Select Committee (HSCA) ten years later.
The latest of Dr. William F. Pepper’s three books on this subject, The Plot to Murder Martin Luther King Jr., forms the basis of the charge, through the legally-sworn depositions he took from the son of one of the original plotters, Russell Adkins Sr. That testimony described the connections, from Hoover through his assistant Clyde Tolson, directly to the Dixie Mafia that controlled the Memphis area from which the plot to kill MLK sprang.
Further, that premise is also based upon the unusual speed with which Ray made his choice of former FBI agent Arthur Hanes as his first lawyer; and, even more importantly, how Hanes had already entered into a legal agreement with the novelist William Bradford Huie, who had been a friend of Hoover for at least two decades. That contract provided Huie full access to Ray’s confidences to his legal counsel – a very imaginative idea but one that created a huge conflict-of-interest against Ray from the start.
Researcher Mark Lane (as one of Ray’s later attorneys), even stated that he believed Huie took it upon himself to set up the arrangement, when he “immediately contacted Hanes” after Ray’s arrest and offered to pay him a “substantial sum” indirectly, through Ray, if as part of the deal he got the exclusive rights to Ray’s story. It is noteworthy to point out that both Arthur Hanes and William Bradford Huie had long associations with high-level officials of the FBI – in Huie’s case directly with J. Edgar Hoover, for at least two decades previous as detailed within the book. Lane’s thesis is expanded within my book, such that Huie is shown to have been recruited — and Hanes was selected by Huie and the FBI — even before Dr. King was murdered; Hanes was subsequently recruited by Huie in the two month period between the assassination and Ray’s capture in London.
The Weisberg digital collection includes 62 FBI files relating to Huie’s activities, as well as news clippings of his statements on his continuing research covering two more decades (see the following endnote). In many of them, it appears that Huie’s public statements were intended primarily for James Earl Ray’s eyes – because Huie knew that Ray had come to distrust him for using his “insider” knowledge indiscreetly. Though Huie thought that Ray would find some reassurance that his views were being represented in the pending first magazine article, correctly portraying him as a “patsy,” that backfired on him when Huie stated just weeks before it was published, October 16, 1968 on the Johnny Carson Tonight Show, that the plotters had paid “a lot of money” (implicitly to the “assassin” – i.e. Ray) for the killing. Ray had always insisted that he was unaware of such a plot, that he was only assisting his new acquaintance “Raoul” in smuggling work.
Huie’s comments on Carson’s show, followed by the first LOOK magazine article, were enough to cause Ray to become very upset, deciding to fire his attorney, Arthur Hanes, as a means to also rid himself from Huie as well. That was a huge mistake, because it opened the way for the entrance of Percy Foreman of Houston, an old friend of both Lyndon Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover. Johnson and Hoover then finagled H. L. Hunt to bribe Foreman with a $125,000 payment (nearly a million dollars today) to take over Ray’s “defense” and convince him to plead guilty – as further detailed below.
* * *
Had James Earl Ray been shot at the scene, as the plan intended, an entirely different cover-up would have been constructed by the three novelists, one that would have undoubtedly ended the public’s curiosity forever . But Ray threw a huge monkey wrench into the FBI’s plan when he left his position in front of Jim’s Grill to refuel his car; before he attempted to return to the scene, King had been shot, and Raul had dumped his bedcover with his rifle and other belongings in an adjacent storefront (even several minutes before the shooting). When he drove back towards the area, the police were closing the streets around the Lorraine Motel, and he skedaddled out of town. Plan A had to suddenly be thrown out and an alternate Plan B cobbled together “on the fly,” which required a major re-write of the cover-up.
That probably explains why it took several weeks for the FBI to regroup. It took two weeks, until April 19th, for them to (purportedly) figure out the real name of the person then known as Eric S. Galt, despite the fact that they had immediate access to the fingerprints on the gun, the binoculars and the transistor radio (which also contained Ray’s inmate number scratched onto its case) and other items found in the bundle outside the doorway of Canipe’s, dropped there by Ray’s phantom “handler” Raul (whose name was of course verboten by the highest level FBI officials from the get-go – and quickly dismissed within Huie’s narrative for obvious reasons). In the meantime, they were still looking for the man named “Eric Galt,” with only a sketchy physical description of the wanted man, not even an artist’s drawing.
According to the contemporaneous researcher Harold Weisberg, a Memphis police official complained two weeks after the murder about the absence of artist sketches or photos; the FBI had even denied having one, though they had prepared a composite sketch. All the “confusion” was probably the result of the concern that finding him too quickly might reveal that they had known exactly who he was from the start, having had a hand in his selection when he was still imprisoned in Jefferson City, Missouri. The police in Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham, and Los Angeles complained of numerous discrepancies in the descriptions of “Galt” and how the FBI had frozen out the local police, saying “they didn’t know what to look for.”
* * *
The three novelists would have access to the same assortment of background pieces that had undoubtedly already been gathered, focused on the presumably-dead suspect’s redneck-cum-hillbilly family. These would still be pulled off the shelf to paint him with the same broad brush: “That he was an unapologetic racist who hated all blacks, especially Martin Luther King Jr., whom he had stalked on many occasions across the South until he caught up with King in Memphis, where he shot him dead.” That meme, created during Plan A, stuck through to Plan B: Indeed, it remains the center-piece of the official narrative even today, even though none of it was true, as established by many researchers including the preeminent Dr. William F. Pepper as endorsed by members of the King family, notably Dr. King’s late widow, Coretta Scott King and Dexter King, whose opinion was featured in the New York Times article to be shown below.
To illustrate the point – that the background research seemed to be complete and “on the shelf” ready to be distributed to newspapers, magazines and broadcast media practically overnight – how likely is it that reporters could track down old school photos of Ray and, within a week, publish them, along with extensive interviews with people who knew him then? The logistics of that would require considerable time: From the point at which Ray was finally “identified” (publicly) on April 19th, to approximately April 27th –when the May 3rd edition of Life magazine (shown below) would be in the printing stage, then readied for distribution (to get them in the mail or distributed to newsstands four to five days before the printed publication date, as was the custom) a number of essential events would have had to occur: The search for Ray’s class photo(s) in rural Alton, Illinois; identifying the people who had known him decades before, then conducting the interviews with them; writing the first drafts of the articles; then dispatching them via air to the senior editors of Life magazine in New York; and finally sending them to the cover designers to create them, and getting them into the printing presses. But there was one other problem that must have caused a bit of delay: The arguably absurd idea of putting a photo on the cover that did not even show James Earl Ray’s face, only the hair on his head and one eyeball, when there was a better alternative available.
Merely making the rather provocative decision to use a photo that didn’t fully show Ray’s face – rather than one that did – must have taken some amount of deliberation on the part of senior editors, probably even the highest-level executives. Someone very high in the management hierarchy must have made that rather strange choice, given the audacity of the act – which ran the risk of belying the magazine’s intent to “frame” Ray for his mischievous childhood – with the implicit suggestion that the confusing photo portended the face of a future murderer of a world figure, despite the fact that the person highlighted by that photo was not even the person being accused.
Clearly, only someone unabashedly duplicitous, but of significant authority for policy-making decisions, could have authorized such a major act of misdirection to move the reader’s attention to the “mean kid” to Ray’s right (left in the photo above) – and away from little Jimmy, who was hiding behind some other kid in that photo. Had they used the more appropriate photo, showing Ray’s cute smiling face, the entire meme of the story about a “mean kid” would have needed to be discarded.
Furthermore, if Ray had been shot dead sitting in his Mustang as he waited for Raul, by a policeman assigned to that task (or his designated backup), the King family would have probably been among the first to accept the official story, never getting the opportunity to meet the suspect, as MLK’s son Dexter King did, declaring then that Ray was no racist and had not been the shooter who killed his father.
Had that scenario played out as scripted, no one would have been the wiser, and the case probably would have been successfully put to bed forevermore. It would have been so “obvious” as to what happened that no one would have questioned why there were so many unresolved anomalies, such as the destroyed ballistics evidence and the fact that the Memphis Police Department even destroyed their (180) files in 1978, right after it was announced that the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) would be reinvestigating the murder; that the state’s star witness, Charlie Stephens, was actually too drunk to have been credible, even if he had sobered up when put on the witness stand; or that Stephen’s common-law wife discredited his testimony by claiming the man at the scene was much smaller than the suspect, Ray – for just a few examples of the numerous – probably uncountable – contradictions as detailed within the book.
The FBI Gets a Little Help from Hoover’s Friend: William Bradford Huie
The first of these “journalists” was William Bradford Huie – a personal friend of J. Edgar Hoover for over two decades, from the 1940s – who undoubtedly expected that his mission would make him a national hero and rich beyond his wildest dreams. Especially when his original assignment – writing a story about a dead assassin – was suddenly and massively extended when it became a story about an escaped fugitive whose story he would need to get directly through him and his attorney. Betraying his promise to James Earl Ray to tell his personal story of being framed for Dr. King’s murder, Huie’s three articles in Look magazine (two in November, 1968 and the third in April, 1969) and his 1970 book He Slew the Dreamer, were written to do the opposite: To convict him in the public’s mind, falsely portraying Ray to be an unrepentant hater, stalker and murderer of the iconic civil rights leader.
Huie would be followed by two others given similar assignments, Gerold Frank and George McMillan, a few years later as a means of strengthening Huie’s myths by embellishing the original lies with even more fabricated “context.” Huie’s obvious assignment was to establish the foundation of myths for many other future authors assigned the task of firming up their “official story.”
A dozen or so other authors would follow in later decades – suggesting that efforts to protect the secrets outlived Johnson and Hoover – including Gerald Posner and Hampton Sides, and a number of others of lesser note, all seemingly determined to embellish the original lies in their equally-deluded attempts to keep the myths alive. In all of these cases it is remarkable that the authors of books blaming Ray’s racism have continued propagating that canard, with no acknowledgment of how that had been debunked by the HSCA (to be examined below) as well as the King family’s known disagreements with it.
Among all of the “popular” contaminated books there is, of course, never any mention of the research of truth-seeking (i.e. “politically incorrect”) authors such as Harold Weisberg, Mark Lane & Dick Gregory, Philip Melanson, John Avery Emison, Lyndon Barsten and Dr. William Pepper, all of whom have produced the only real truths that are anathema to the official fictional narrative.
As commissioned by the highest-level officials of the FBI – probably begun even well before Dr. King’s assassination – Huie had quickly and quietly insinuated himself into a position that would generate publishing revenue through a diabolical contractual agreement with Ray’s first attorney, Arthur Hanes, to buy Ray’s “cooperation” through a promise to pay his legal expenses. It put him in a unique position to obtain first-hand information from Ray, which he would use to write three articles for Look magazine, followed by a book. It was Ray’s naivete, in placing his trust into the hands of a man who had no interest in serving his personal interests, that caused him to make the second-worst decision of his life.
When Ray read Huie’s first article printed in Look magazine, three days before its printed publication date of November 12, 1968, he became so upset with seeing how Huie had betrayed his trust that he made what he would later say was the absolute worst decision in his entire life: In order to fire Huie, he believed he would also have to fire his attorney, Arthur Hanes, as well, to fully cut his ties to both and start over with a new attorney. Unfortunately, Percy Foreman, a long-term friend of Lyndon B. Johnson was “waiting in the wings” – fortunately for himself and the plotters who selected him – but most unfortunately for James Earl Ray.
* * *
Unbeknownst to his readers, practically everything Huie ever said about James Earl Ray, in all of his magazine articles, his books, his interviews with reporters – even in sworn testimony to a grand jury on February 7, 1969 – is replete with provable lies of every description: From small and innocuous, to degrees of medium, large and jumbo size, all highly prejudicial and a vicious assault on Ray’s constitutional rights, more completely documented within the book. Within this piece we will examine merely two of the largest of them, but they are among the most outrageously brazen of all of them –yet they are also among those most easily, and absolutely refuted, as will be demonstrated below.
The only conceivable reason Huie would set out to take on a project this large and important, one supposedly predicated upon writing a story to explain James Earl Ray’s version of events but to be purposely flipped against Ray in the end – was that it had been a special “mission” directed by J. Edgar Hoover and his henchmen. Huie had falsely portrayed it to Ray to be at least neutral in tone, and that he would be supportive of Ray’s interests and take no position to judge his testimony. Yet he ultimately contradicted all of that, in every way possible. He used numerous baseless lies to do so, and then brazenly accused Ray of being the consummate liar. It becomes clear now, retrospectively, that he had never intended to do otherwise. The sum total of his actions can only be explained by the fact that it was always his mission to do just that; it is simply not something that an honest and independent journalist – with no axe to grind as he claimed to Ray – would have undertaken. Considering the stakes involved – of such high risk that exposure would bring down the government – he must have been very highly paid for his efforts.
Their success in railroading James Earl Ray had depended upon the plotters’ ability to deny Ray a fair trial, because they knew that the case against him was weak, due to an exiguous amount of litigable evidence — virtually no forensic, ballistic or witness testimony – that might convince anyone of his guilt. Suddenly the opportunity to “fix” that problem was assured when – alerted by the 24/7 monitoring of microphones and CCTV cameras in Ray’s jail cell – they quickly moved long-time LBJ friend and Houston lawyer Percy Foreman into position as the chief defense attorney with instructions to do whatever was necessary to keep him from ever having a jury decide his fate. Foreman finally became very interested in stepping up when H.L. Hunt (both Foreman and Hunt being long-time close friends of both Lyndon Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover) sent his top aide John Curington to Houston to visit Percy with a briefcase loaded with $100 bills, stating words carefully chosen by Hunt himself:
“[I] laid it on the desk in front of him. ‘I have one hundred and twenty-five thousand reasons why James Earl Ray should plead guilty to killing Martin Luther King,’ I said. Foreman looked at me and said, ‘Well, just leave them with me, and I’ll take a look at them.’ I walked out of the room, not having been there more than a minute or two. I left the $125,000 . . . and sure enough, James Earl Ray entered a guilty plea” [four months later, after finally relenting to the inhumane prison conditions he suffered for eight months and Foreman’s constant pressure]. 
That worked, as outlined in considerable detail within my book, Who REALLY Killed Martin Luther King Jr. and further elucidated within these previous essays:
- The September, 2018 two-part blog “The Murder of Martin Luther King Jr.: How the Myths Were Created and Sustained for Fifty Years” (Part 1 and Part 2);
- The August, 2019 two-part essay “Traces of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Personal Involvement in Martin Luther King Jr.’s Assassination” beginning HERE;
- The October, 2019 blog “Did Famed Attorney / LBJ Friend Percy Foreman Blackmail Jimmy Carter?” posted HERE;
- The January, 2020 essay “UPDATE: Did Famed Attorney / LBJ Friend Percy Foreman Blackmail Jimmy Carter?” presented HERE;
- And the August, 2020 blog “Crucial New Evidence Proves That Johnson and Hoover Bribed Percy Foreman to Force James Earl Ray to Plead Guilty” as recently published HERE.
FAST FORWARD: Ten Years Later – The Formation of the HSCA
The African-American population in particular was enraged at the bombshell news in 1975-76 coming from the Church Committee of the U.S. Senate – some of which had never before been published or even rumored – that the FBI had used illegal and unconstitutional methods to “stalk” Dr. King, racing ahead of him to install bugs in his hotel rooms and tapping his telephones, among many other things to harass him. Of course, much of that was already known to Dr. King’s family, led by his widow, Coretta Scott King and many of his previous followers.
A decade after Martin Luther King’s assassination, William Bradford Huie, among many others, became alarmed that his secret mission might be exposed when Congress convened the House Select Committee on Assassinations. So frightened, in fact, that he hastily republished his original book, with a new title and a new Introduction and Epilogue. It was called Did the FBI Kill Marin Luther King?
Of course, he argued that the very idea was preposterous, that if Hoover really wanted him murdered, he would have done it while King was in the Caribbean Islands, because there, “Hoover could have arranged his death with no fear of being exposed.” Huie continued, “Whatever he was and whatever illegal action he may have arranged at presidential direction, none of his detractors has produced evidence, or even suggested prior to 1977, that Hoover ever arranged the death of anyone.” (Emphasis added). In his final paragraph of the new Epilogue, Huie fantasized that Dr. King secretly had a death wish, that he hoped to be shot when he went out on that balcony, when he wrote:
“. . . isn’t it possible he had lost his faith . . . that he, too, had concluded that he didn’t believe anything . . . and that what he was expressing was a death wish? Isn’t it possible that as he stood there on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, asking a singer to sing ‘Precious Lord, Take My Hand and Lead Me Home,’ he was welcoming what James Earl Ray was preparing to give him from the dirty bathroom in Bessie Brewer’s flophouse?”.
It must have seemed a bit “over the top” for readers to see Huie theorizing that Dr. King wished for a sniper to shoot him on that balcony. Yet rewriting his book wasn’t enough to satiate his fears, because Huie also wrote a lengthy article for Skeptic magazine’s March – April 1977 edition, claiming that his credentials “are far superior to those of any of the congressmen or any of the 170 bureaucrats who are to be profitably ‘investigating’ this case for two years. If [Ramsey] Clark, [Percy] Foreman and I can’t be believed in the Ray case, then no one can.”
Of course, few of the readers of this piece would have known that these were the same people (other than Clark, who was unwittingly dragged into the cover-up) who had orchestrated the murder and/or its cover-up. This was merely one of many articles published by people aghast that the public had come to distrust the official stories about all of the 1960s assassinations – the same people whose primary concerns were to keep the secrets secret.
* * * Absolute Proofs of Huie’s Lies * * *
The first of the following two examples of Huie’s lies was in fact disproven in 1978 by HSCA investigators, yet it was then glossed over as though the charges of racism on Ray’s part were merely inadvertent error, instead of being seized upon as positive proof of Huie’s blatant prevarications.
The second one should have been caught by those same investigators, had they done their work thoroughly, with a real investigation, but it wasn’t: That was left for me to solve, which I did in my book Who Really Killed Martin Luther King Jr.? The Case Against Lyndon B. Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover as summarized below.
#1: The Lie about James Earl Ray’s Racism
There were numerous lies put into Huie’s articles and books alleging that James Earl Ray was a racist, something that should have been proven wrong by the many facts – some of which were even unwittingly acknowledged by Huie himself within his articles and books – which belied those assertions. In fact, Ray had had a number of black friends, in and out of prison, including two of his favorite prostitutes, one of whom he even proposed to, twice.
The most blatantly brazen incident was when Huie described, in cunningly fabricated detail, how Ray had allegedly made racist comments to a Canadian woman whom Huie did not name, presuming that she would never deny it even if she read the magazine article, for fear of embarrassing herself. Ray had met her after his prison escape in the summer of 1967, in a resort north of Montreal called Greyrocks. Huie had gotten her name from Ray’s first attorney, Arthur Hanes, even though Huie – in yet another lie – claimed that Ray himself had informed him (Huie) of the story. Moreover, Ray stated that “anything I told Hanes would show up in Look magazine before the trial, courtesy of Huie, who kept nagging Hanes to nag me for details.” But according to Huie’s hallucinations, the Canadian woman supposedly said that Ray had told her, “You got to live near niggers to know ’em” and “all people who ‘know niggers’ hate them.”  This is more likely a comment Huie had gotten from one of the prisoners he interviewed, or perhaps overheard by one of his own neighbors, in Hartselle, Alabama, utter.
Ray stated that he had consistently attempted to keep the Canadian lady’s name out of any magazine articles and books and had revealed her identity only to his attorneys and investigators. But her name, Claire Keating, became known eventually as a result of her statement of denial made formally—and proactively, as soon as she realized the Huie was out to frame Ray—to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in October 1968, which stated, “He never mentioned the name Martin Luther King and never indicated any hatred towards Negroes.” (Emphasis added.) Moreover, the RCMP officer who conducted that interview said that “the subject of race never came up during her meetings with Ray.” He also stated that Keating “seemed honest and truthful throughout the interview.”
This cunningly false scheme by Huie (among numerous others) was constructed for the purpose of creating the legend of James Earl Ray as a vicious racist, a baseless charge that was more than merely inaccurate: it is now the key proof of Huie’s own devious mission.
After the American public had long before accepted the notion of Ray as a vicious racist—and when it had become too little and too late to change that perception—ten years later the HSCA finally stepped back from that original lie. In one of their few significant contributions toward discovering actual truths buried within the myths, their Final Report concluded:
During her RCMP interview, the woman said Ray never indicated any hatred of Blacks and never mentioned Dr. King in her presence. Once more, therefore, the committee’s evidence tended to pull in opposite directions . . . The committee saw a need to scrutinize closely the evidence bearing on Ray’s racial attitudes. In light of the contradictory evidence, the committee was unwilling to conclude that deep-seated hatred of Blacks was the sole or even the primary motivating factor in Ray’s decision [sic] to murder Dr. King. While the committee was satisfied that Ray’s lack of sympathy toward Blacks and the civil rights movement permitted him to undertake the assassination, it was equally convinced that the murder did not stem from racism alone. (Emphasis added.)
Though they rejected the basic premise of Ray’s “racism” they did nothing to mitigate the other related (alleged) actions of which they accused Ray: His general “hatred” of Martin Luther King Jr., nor the notion of his having “stalked” King – an issue completely debunked by the “#2 Lie” described below.
Huie went to great lengths to support a false narrative about Ray stalking King despite the fact that the two were never in the same city at the same time, with the two notable exceptions of Los Angeles – where Ray left town the day after King arrived, and a day before King left – and a few hours in Memphis, where Ray had been refueling his Mustang about the time that Dr. King was shot. That act saved Ray’s life, because on the way back to the scene and after seeing the police rushing to the scene and hearing of the shooting on his radio, he suddenly needed to get out of town — in a hurry.
There can be no question that Huie made up all the charges about Ray’s alleged racism, and the reason for that could only be that he was attempting to reframe Ray’s real persona with a false profile intended to incriminate him for Dr. King’s murder, a meme that he invented, just as his assigned role required (which undoubtedly earned him a very great financial reward).
This incident demonstrates Huie’s intrinsic dishonesty as well as the methods he used to create the false legend of James Earl Ray as a racist, and thus the prop for his further accusations of him being a stalker/murderer of Dr. King.
#2: The Lie About Martin Luther King’s Travel Plans for March 22, 1968
A brief review of Dr. King’s itinerary for that week helps to set the context for Huie’s “Second Biggest Lie.” According to King’s preeminent biographer, Taylor Branch, after leaving Los Angeles on a flight to Memphis on March 18, upon arriving there that evening, Dr. King announced to a packed crowd of supporters of the sanitation strike that he would return there on Friday, March 22: “I want to tell you that I am coming back to Memphis on Friday, to lead you in a march through the center of Memphis.”
That became a definite commitment of Dr. King’s, and it was known to anyone who read actual news stories or tuned into television broadcasts that evening, a point that Huie deftly avoided. Because William Bradford Huie framed his entire thesis around a lie – one which he clearly and undeniably invented, that Dr. King had planned to be on a road trip to the Selma, Alabama area that evening – and that it was the reason James Earl Ray had left Los Angeles on March 17th (where King remained until the next day).
His thesis failed on that point – not only because, had Ray actually wanted to “stalk” Dr. King, he would have missed a great opportunity to do that back in Los Angeles – he then posited that Ray decided instead to (purportedly) set off on a 2,400-mile trip from Los Angeles to Selma, Alabama by way of New Orleans, to conduct his first stalking exercise. But the real story was that the Selma stop was actually a spontaneous, unplanned event due to his becoming tired after the long trip to New Orleans, then – as ordered by his handler “Raul” – to proceed on to Birmingham instead for their meeting.
Huie had taken yet another liberty with his supposedly nonfiction book that was intended to reframe history forever, to make James Earl Ray out to be the stalking killer that he never was. Huie had stated that Ray was intent upon stalking Martin Luther King in Selma, yet King was not in or near Selma that evening and had never planned to be there, having returned home to Atlanta mid-day on March 21.
Huie Forgot About the FREAK MEMPHIS BLIZZARD OF MARCH 22, 1968!
As a central part of the frame-up of Ray, Huie devoted over half of Chapter 7 to “prove” that Ray had deliberately gone to Selma on March 22nd as part of his alleged stalking of King. But, as the Pulitzer Prize winning King biographer Taylor Branch reported, Reverend James Lawson called him from Memphis early in the morning of Friday, March 22, to inform him that a freak blizzard the night before had left seventeen inches of snow on the ground.
Dr. King had been scheduled to fly to Memphis that morning—not Selma—for a march in support of the strike of the sanitation workers, but he had to cancel that trip and reschedule it for the following week.
Huie falsely, maliciously, and brazenly wrote that on March 22: “Dr. King was within a few miles of Selma recruiting for the Poor People’s March,” and that this information about King’s planned trip was reported in newspapers in New Orleans on March 21, the day that James Earl Ray arrived in that city and read that newspaper. (Emphasis added.)
Huie’s presumption that he could make such a baseless assertion—when Dr. King had spent the entire day in Atlanta—rested on the fact that by the time anyone read his book (two years after the fact), no one would bother to double-check such a seemingly innocuous point. Even the early researcher Harold Weisberg missed that point, and Dr. Pepper in his most recent book accepted the assertion without objection—possibly the one significant error in his book—having not closely reexamined what he undoubtedly presumed to be a benign point, just as every other reader of Huie’s book has for the fifty years of its existence.
Yet it was anything but benign; it was clearly the result of an elaborately detailed, cunning effort to maliciously frame James Earl Ray as a stalker of Dr. King that had no basis in fact.
The exposure of this key lie is arguably the Rosetta Stone of the Martin Luther King Jr. assassination cover-up. In the critically important context that was missed by so many others, it absolutely proves that the premise of James Earl Ray being the “mad racist stalker and assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King” was a sham, then, now, and forever—for as long as it continues to stand in the official record and in the public’s mind.
The fact that Huie went to such great lengths to make this shrewdly fallacious point, based entirely on his portrayal of James Earl Ray in a false and deviously biased manner—one that completely reframed his persona as the opposite of what it was—could only mean that he had been assigned that duty as his primary objective, a key point in his overall mission.
Axiomatically—with the absence of any other realistic motive—this is conclusive proof that Huie’s entire mission had to have been conceived by the same powerful forces in Washington that had worked for at least ten years to neutralize King; it is a track record they had created and unwittingly documented themselves, which finally self-exposes their evil intent, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Thanks to digital archives and the Internet, anyone with a computer can now ascertain that the only mention of Dr. King in the New Orleans Times-Picayune (the morning newspaper Huie cited which he postulated that Ray had read) on Thursday, March 21, 1968, was an article on page 58, headlined “Negroes Plan Capital March: Army of Poor Will Move in April.” It was an AP article by John Pearce, datelined Jackson, Mississippi, about the planned “Poor People’s Campaign” in Washington the following month, which made no mention whatsoever of any plans for Dr. King being in or around Selma, Alabama, the next day, (it is reproduced in the endnote). It did mention that “King wound up a two-day speechmaking tour [March 19–20] of Mississippi with a rally in a Masonic temple near the campus of all-Negro Jackson State College.”
Huie cannot be excused for this error, as if it had been an inadvertent mistake: To concoct the lie he had to deliberately reconstruct Ray’s journey across the country, even positing that Ray knew when he left Los Angeles that he was headed towards Selma—somehow “knowing” King’s intent to be there even before either Ray or King left L.A., and despite the fact that Ray did not plan to go there at all, since he had been ordered by Raul to get to New Orleans; once he arrived there, he was told to proceed to Birmingham and only stopped in Selma to get a night’s sleep. He obviously knew it was not true, yet he knowingly used it as the keystone to the wall of deceit he built to complete his FBI-ordained mission.
It was a calculated deceit to purposely reframe the most innocuous event of Ray’s journey across the South, when he became so tired after driving six hours in stormy weather (following his four-day drive from Los Angeles to New Orleans) that he spontaneously decided to stop and get some rest at the closest motel since he did not have to meet Raul until noon the next day in Birmingham — about two hours from Selma.
Huie maliciously took that opportunity to reframe the Selma sleepover—exploiting the name of the infamous town to satisfy his nefarious plot—to be the centerpiece of the entire trip from Los Angeles to Atlanta. Then he used it to build his “stalking” theme – from there, he attempted to deviously assert that Ray subsequently continued his stalking of King to Atlanta — however, when examined closely, that part is still another lie, since they were never in Atlanta, or any other city, at the same time until he went to Memphis.
These two purposely deceptive acts of Huie are representative of the dozens – probably hundreds, if time and space permitted a complete destruction of his shameful account – of his series of lies and conclusively prove the assertion that his books were written to provide the foundation for all other aspects of the FBI’s, and, in broader scope, the Department of Justice’s, extensive efforts to keep the cover-up secret. The worst part of this sad saga is that the HSCA “investigators” — as the FBI, and certain of the officials running the House Committee — had originally done when they actually used Huie’s completely fabricated account as the basis of their investigations, as noted by the many dozens of citations made in the HSCA Report to his ignominious tome.
In the overall sadistic treatment the FBI had employed to “neutralize” Dr. King for nearly a decade, the subsequent cover-up of the Memphis operation — created by a master novelist who sold whatever was left of his “integrity” — was the long-planned, final coup de grâce, successfully ending any possibility of justice being administered to the men whose acts not only included Martin Luther King’s murder, but the plot to pin the blame for their treachery on still another “lone nut malcontent.”
Dexter King’s Conclusion from 23 Years Ago was Correct: Then and Now
There are undoubtedly compelling reasons why – ever since the death of Coretta Scott King — the King family no longer discusses their opinions on the murder of Martin Luther King Jr.: Obviously, their own safety demands it.
* * *
The patterns established by Lyndon B. Johnson, J. Edgar Hoover and the entire upper echelon of the FBI did not end when they left the scene. Their imprint has proved to be an indelible stain that has reappeared multiple times in practically every decade since, and must be completely eradicated if there is any hope of keeping any element of democracy alive within the Republic known as the United States of America.
 Lane, Mark, Murder in Memphis, p. 159
 See Weisberg Collection, Hood College, Frederick Maryland (Subject Index “H” Files / William Bradford Huie, Item http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%20Subject%20Index%20Files/H%20Disk/Huie%20William%20Bradford/Item%2041.pdf
 Weisberg, Harold, Frame-up, pp. 249–251
 See the summary of these deeds in my book Who Really Killed Martin Luther King Jr.? pp. 38; 270-272; 187-195; 320
 See Murkin Conspiracy File, Weisberg Collection, Subject Files, Huie, William Bradford, Item #01, Hood College (p. 6)
This testimony pertains to how Huie stated the bald-faced lie that the Canadian lady who had met Ray in July, 1967 in Quebec made racist comments to her, to be examined below, under “Absolute Proofs of Huie’s Lies, #1: The Lie about James Earl Ray’s Racism” That was one of many lies he made in this interview, the transcript of which is 24 pages long.
The entire interview can be reviewed at this link: http://jfk.hood.edu/Collection/Weisberg%20Subject%20Index%20Files/H%20Disk/Huie%20William%20Bradford/Item%2001.pdf
 Curington, John, Motive & Opportunity, 2018 (Kindle Part IV, Loc. 1864).
 Huie, William Bradford, Did the FBI Kill Martin Luther King? p. 213-215
 Ray, James Earl, Who Killed Martin Luther King? The True Story by the Alleged Assassin. pp. 117, 126
 Huie, William Bradford, He Slew the Dreamer, p. 45
 Ibid., p. 65
 Emison, John Avery, The Martin Luther King Congressional Cover-Up: The Railroading of James Earl Ray. pp. 81-82 (Ref. HSCA MLK Hearings, vol. IV, p. 117)
 HSCA Report, pp. 328–330 (See: http://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/select-committee-report/part-2b.html).
 Though there were so many lies in Huie’s articles and book it’s difficult to rank them, this one lay dormant for fifty years before I first documented it in Who Really Murdered Martin Luther King?
 Branch, Taylor. At Canaan’s Edge: America in the King Years 1965–68, p. 719
 Ibid., p. 722
 Huie, p. 104
 Weisberg, Harold, Frame-up, pp. 60; 189
 Pepper, The Plot to Kill Martin Luther King Jr., p. 31
 Pearce, John, “Negroes Plan Capital March: Army of Poor Will Move in April,” The New Orleans Times-Picayune, (AP) 3-21-68 Section 2, page 29 (p. 58 on digital copy):
9 thoughts on “How Hoover’s FBI Murdered Martin Luther King Jr.”
Thanks for all your hard work digging out the truth about American history in general and Lyndon Johnson in particular. In my view you are America’s premier historian, and one of the few who actually deserve the title.
i have not read your book on the king assassination yet, but have a few observations of my own. I think it likely that King was shot with a Colt 656 sniper rifle, a weapon exclusive to Army Special Forces. This conclusion is based on the famous photograph of King lying on the Lorraine Motel balcony while the maids sit oblivious on the stairs some 50 feet away. If a high powered rifle had just boomed out, these folks would not be so relaxed- unless the rifle was equipped with a silencer. The testimony of one of the witnesses, who described the sound of the bullet passing near him- he would never have heard it unless the rifle was suppressed. I was a Federally licensed class 2 manufacturer for years, and worked extensively with suppressed rifles. We would often test their efficacy by standing downrange and shooting past each other. You don’t hear the bullet unless the rifle is equipped with a suppressor because the sound of the shot drowns it out.
In 1968 there were almost no silencers in America. They had once been common, but the National Firearms Act of 1934 put a $200 tax on what had been a $7 item. All untaxed silencers became contraband. Thus it came to be that only the armed forces had suppressed weapons in 1968. The Colt 656 was a modified version of the M-16, purpose built to take the Sionics suppressor. It was the best assassination rifle in 1968 by a considerable margin and the logical choice for the job.
If a large caliber weapon had been used for the job, the bullet would have certainly passed through King’s body and impacted the wall of the motel. That there was no bullet strike on the wall almost guarantees that a small caliber soft point bullet was used. The Colt 656 fires the 223 round, a small caliber high velocity projectile.
Thanks for your reply, and the kind words.
Your comment would also explain why the bullet that was sent to the FBI for analysis came back mangled, cut into three pieces and had never been matched to the gun that supposedly fired it. Here is what Judge Joe Brown, a weapons expert himself (who was supposed to preside over one of his appeals (until the Tennessee Appellant Court took him off the case, fearing his decision might not conform to their objective of denying him a fair trial) had to say about about that point, in 1974 I believe:
“Metallurgical analysis excludes the bullet taken from the body of Dr. King from coming from the cartridge case they say was fired in that rifle. That bullet was originally sent to the FBI [lab] intact. What came back was fragments –but there was a piece of the intact bullet. In the last four years that photograph, which was marked into evidence, is missing. A number of items were removed from this case. There was one incident where [Brown’s own] court had to send one of its bailiffs to physically stop an individual from removing the bullet fragments from the courthouse.”
Loved reading thhis thanks