Who Is Edgar Ray Killen? Klansman, 'Mississippi Burning' Perpetrator Dies In Prison

Mississippi Burnings’ killer Killen dies in prison at 92

Mississippi Burnings’ killer Killen dies in prison at 92

Edgar Ray Killen, a 1960s Ku Klux Klan leader who was convicted decades later in the "Mississippi Burning" slayings of three civil rights workers, has died in prison at the age of 92, the state's corrections department announced.

The low maintenance evangelist and wood process administrator was 80 when a Neshoba County jury sentenced for three tallies of murder on June 21, 2005, regardless of his attestations that he was honest.

Edgar Ray Killen, who would have turned 93 on January 17, was pronounced dead Thursday at the hospital at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at 9 p.m.

No cause of death was given, prison officials said. A post-mortem examination was pending, however no treachery was suspected, the redresses' announcement said. In 2005, he was convicted of manslaughter for the 1964 deaths of Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman outside Philadelphia, Mississippi.

The events of that night in Mississippi inspired the critically acclaimed 1988 film "Mississippi Burning", starring Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe.

After their release from the county jail in Philadelphia, a Ku Klux Klan mob tailed their auto, forced it off the road and shot them to death.

The three bodies were found 44 days later, buried in a red-clay dam in rural Neshoba County.

Nineteen men, including Killen, were indicted on federal charges in the 1967 case.

Syrian Rebels Launch Counter-Attack in Idlib Province
Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an alliance led by the Nusra Front, the dominant force in Idlib, said it had already made gains. The statement also denied the army had targeted civilians or hospitals, as alleged by France .

He was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

At the time, no federal murder statutes existed, and the state of MS never brought charges.

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

Killen's government case finished with a hung jury after one hearer said she couldn't convict an evangelist.

Almost 40 years later, he was retried after the state reopened the murder investigations.

Killen, 92, was serving three consecutive 20-year terms at the facility, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Schwerner's widow, Rita Schwerner Bender, said on the day Killen was convicted that the slayings were part of a larger problem of violence in MS against black people and others who challenged the segregationist status quo. "I am convinced that during the last 52 years, investigators have done everything possible under the law to find those responsible and hold them accountable; however, we have determined that there is no likelihood of any additional convictions".

Latest News