CRJ 5150 Term Paper

Submitted By Simplyme414
Words: 3414
Pages: 14

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., well renowned preeminent civil rights leader, would begin leading an abundance of non violent demonstrations to end racial segregation. Starting from the southern parts of Selma, Alabama and ending Memphis Tennessee. During these demonstrations Dr. King would speak elaborately on issues of racial segregation, Dr. Martin Luther King was unaware that during his last three civil rights speeches that he was being pursued by his would be assassin James Earl Ray. It was reported that Ray pursued Dr. King to Selma, Alabama on March 21, 1968, April 1, 1968 and on the final day of April 4, 1968. The day before his untimely death on April 3, 1968 Dr. King spoke to his supporters about the threats on his life, King told the crowd “But it really doesn’t matter to me now,” because I’ve been to the mountain top! Like anybody I would like to live…a long life…But I’m concerned about that now…I’ve seen the promise land”[1]. Dr. King knew that there were people out to get him, whom did not approve of his fight against civil rights. A couple of years prior to that, in 1966 at a protest for housing discrimination in Chicago, King, was hit by a rock in his head [4]. Could that message have gave his assassin a more eased piece of mind, knowing that Dr. King was not afraid to die could the message have been a conscious reliever for the cold blooded killer James Earl Ray. On April 3, 1968, Dr. King’s overnight lodging room was located at The Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee this would be his first overnight stay at the Lorraine [2].When King usually stays at the hotel it was only for day meetings, he would usually reside at another hotel for overnight stays in Memphis. Though Dr. King was confirmed to be in room 202 according to Olivia Hayes, whom at that time was the wife Walter Bailey the owner of the Lorraine Hotel, there was a last minute room change [2]. The room was supposedly changed by an unknown man. The man insisted that King be moved to room 306. The room change was requested by a man described to be about six feet tall, Indian appearance and built like a football player, also claiming to be an SCLS “advance man” [2]. On April 4, 1968, James Earl Ray convicted felon would rent a room under the assumed name “John Willard”, the room was located at the 422 ½ South Main and was directly across from the Lorraine Hotel. It was reported that Ray had purchased a rifle and a pair of binoculars [2]. Ray was said to allegedly leave the hotel quickly after the shooting leaving a bag that contained binoculars, a Remington rifle, and a transistor radio with a prisoner serial number [2]. There are several reasons surrounding the death and who actually killed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr...It could have been a conspiracy, an order or just a cold blooded assignation. It was said that James Earl Ray’s brothers, John and Jerry Ray and a man named John Kauffmann met at the Grapevine Tavern located in St. Louis, and was known to be the establishment where Kauffmann would hold meetings of the American Party and owned by John and Carol Ray, the sister- in- law of the Ray brothers. Kauffmann one of the alleged conspirators, was said to offer $50,000 dollars to anyone who would kill Dr. King Jr. [2]. John Sutherland a wealthy businessman and an associate of Kauffmann’s, also noted as an alleged conspirator and racists, also was named to be part of the conspiracy to kill King. It was also implied that money and racism were tangled as motives for the offer [1]. It was said that John Ray was in frequent involvement with the personnel for the George Wallace presidential campaign, and by the Grapevine Tavern being on the same block as the headquarters; it was visited often by the association. These meetings should have been documented or recorded since they were of such important and serious matter. It should have been investigated to search and seize all documents if any that where located at the