New evidence has surfaced in the 1968 Martin Luther King murder case. It is supplied by an "insider" who claims to have been part of a "hit team" that had come out of the "Missouri Mafia" headquartered in the town of Caruthersville, a small town in the bootheel section of that state. In a yet-to-be-published book, former County Deputy Jim Green reveals his assigned role in the conspiracy, the name of the actual trigger man, and the long-suspected involvement of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI. Green also believes that he possesses the actual murder weapon, which he personally secreted away only hours after the murder.
"Jim Green is telling the truth," says Lyndon Barsten, an astute researcher of the case over the past decade. "I have no doubt whatsoever. The pieces he has supplied fit perfectly and could not have come from someone who was not there." Indeed they do fit, and it is all backed up by FBI documentation derived by Barsten through numerous FOIA requests.
On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King was gunned down on the second floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee by a single shot from a high powered rifle. Several witnesses said the shot came from the bushes on a slope from across the street. The FBI concluded that it came from the rear bathroom window of a cheap hotel, also across the street and higher up the hill.
Two weeks later the name of James Earl Ray, a fugitive escapee from the Missouri State Penitentiary, was announced to the world as the man who had killed King, escaped to Canada, and was currently in hiding somewhere across the border. After Ray was identified as the killer and long before he was captured, the FBI spent little or no time pursuing any other leads. Two months later the fugitive was caught changing planes at Heathrow Airport in London, after having left Canada and spending ten days with persons unknown in Portugal. He was attempting to board a plane to Brussels.
On March 10, 1969, James Earl Ray, with his attorney Percy Foreman, pled guilty to the murder before the court of Judge Preston Battle. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison. He recanted almost immediately and filed a motion for a trial only three days later. But before the month was out, Judge Battle was found dead in his chambers, slumped over his desk. Beneath his head were the papers of the handwritten motion from James Earl Ray. The case was closed, and Ray began his sentence in the Tennessee State Penitentiary.
The "Official" Story
The scenario released by Memphis police and the FBI and later used by the House Select Committee on Assassinations (HSCA) was that in late March of 1968, James Earl Ray had purchased a Remington 30.06 rifle from the Aeromarine Supply Store in Birmingham and had traveled with it to Memphis in a white Mustang. Here he checked into Bessie Brewer's boarding house in the 400 block of South Main Street on the afternoon of April 4th. Directly behind it was the Lorraine Motel on Mulberry Street.
At 6:00 p.m. Martin L. King stepped out of room 306 and was joined by a group of followers with whom he had been in a meeting all afternoon. He was gunned down only a minute later by a single shot from the rear bathroom window across the street.
Not one witness saw the actual firing of the shot or claimed it had come from the window. Most believed it had come from the bushes on the slope, fifty feet closer.
Still according to the official story, Ray allegedly ran out of the bathroom and down the hall to his room. Here he stuffed the rifle back into its box and included it with a bundle containing his clothes, binoculars, ammunition, a beer can with his fingerprints; and perhaps the most incriminating of all, a portable radio with his inmate number from the Missouri State Penitentiary engraved in the back side.
He ran down the stairs and out onto the street where he then dumped the bundle in the doorway of Canipe's Amusement Company next door to the rooming house. He then zoomed away in the soon-to-be-infamous white Mustang. He stayed a few days in Atlanta before moving on to Canada.
James Earl's Version
In 1987, after being imprisoned for 19 years, Ray told his side of the story in Tennessee Waltz, a book that went out of print and was later published under the title of Who Killed Martin Luther King? (The biggest loss here was original publisher Tupper Saussy's brilliant epilogue, "The Politics of Witchcraft," which exposed certain secrets that the establishment publishers preferred not to discuss. Under the new title the epilogue was eliminated.) However, he appeared be avoiding "the whole truth and nothing but the truth" in certain areas, apparently out of fear of self-incrimination - not necessarily for the murder but for some lesser crimes. It also appears that James became aware too late that he had indeed been unwittingly involved in the conspiracy to assassinate Martin Luther King.
Ray tells of his prison escape via a bread truck in April of 1967. After laying low in East St. Louis for a couple of months, he made it to Chicago where he looked up some old contacts that enabled him to purchase an old Chrysler for $100. From there he went to Detroit and crossed the border into Canada. In July, he met a man he knew only as "Raoul," who quickly began to give James money in exchange for his help with importing some kind of contraband. James said he never knew if this was guns, drugs, or what, as he never actually participated in anything more than trial runs. Raoul always seemed to remain in the "planning" stages of a smuggling operation.
Ray had a contact phone number in the Area Code of "504," where he had phoned his contact, "Raoul," many times over the months prior to the murder. However, when he tried to dial this New Orleans number on the day after the assassination, it was already disconnected.
Through Raoul, James was kept supplied with money to go to Mexico to wait for instructions and to Los Angeles to see a plastic surgeon for a "nose job," effectuating a change in his appearance. He never worked at a job in any of this time frame prior to the assassination and was obviously under the financial control of Raoul. James was traveling in a 1966 pale yellow Mustang (not white as were the others), purchased with $2,000 supplied by Raoul.
James always claimed he had acquired the names of his aliases at random from a Toronto phone book. He bought the gun in Birmingham under the name of "Harvey Lowmeyer," checked into the Memphis flophouse as "John Willard," acquired an Alabama driver's license as "Eric S. Galt," and traveled to Europe on a passport as Ramon George Sneyd. However, all four, for which he [or someone] had created I.D., looked very much like Ray. The odds of these being a random choice were just short of impossible. It also is likely that the Los Angeles plastic surgery rounding out his previously pointed nose was designed to make him look more like these men, none of whom knew they were being impersonated.
In February of 1968, Raoul sent travel funds to James in Los Angeles and ordered him back to New Orleans. From there the two drove together to Atlanta. In late March, James says that Raoul was making plans for them to drive to Miami but these plans abruptly changed around March 29th. They were now going to Memphis.
It was on or about this date that MLK had cancelled a planned speaking engagement in Miami in order to fly to Memphis and tend to the problems with the garbage strike. It now seems that Raoul had this information before anyone else.
En route they spent the first night in Birmingham. After checking into a motel, Raoul gave James a wad of money and sent him to the Aeromarine Supply Store to purchase a "deer rifle for your brother-in-law." Having little knowledge of weaponry, James bought what he thought was appropriate and returned with a .243 caliber Winchester. Raoul immediately decided he didn't like it and sent James back to the store the next morning to exchange it for another with a "larger bore."
The salesman told James, "Tell your brother-in-law that this gun will bring down any deer in Alabama!" But he did agree to exchange it for the higher priced Remington 30.06. After his incarceration, James was always certain that real purpose of this instructed return to the gun store was simply another part of the "set-up" to make sure that the salesman would not forget him.
In Memphis on April 4th, the afternoon of the murder, Raoul had suggested that James go to a movie, but James declined. After several tries at getting rid of James for awhile, Raoul finally sent him on an errand only minutes before King was shot. James said that he was going to get the worn tires changed on the Mustang but that the man at the tire store was too busy and could not get to it that day. When James returned to the flophouse/Lorraine Motel location, it was surrounded by police cars with flashing lights, and he decided it would be prudent to leave the area, as it certainly was not a place for an escaped con to hanging around.
Ray was very vague about this time frame, and it may be assumed, again, that he did not want to admit to having backed out of a planned armed robbery, which appears below. To do so might have led to too many questions about his foreknowledge of the murder about to take place and exposed his (assumed) role - that of getaway driver. We must remember that while in prison, Ray was extremely vulnerable.
It was while he was driving south on U.S. Highway 61 into Mississippi that James heard the news on the radio that Martin Luther King had been shot. He then turned east and headed back to Atlanta. James was always vague about the details of his return trip to Canada and the contacts he made there prior to his flight to Europe - often appearing to be protecting others.
In Tennessee Waltz, Ray told a chilling story of harassment and torture, describing his treatment in the Shelby County Jail, which sounded as if he were relating experiences from the Soviet Union rather than America. He was kept under floodlights 24 hours a day for eight solid months prior to his guilty plea, never knowing if it was day or night outside. His cell was "bugged," and two deputies were monitoring and recording every conversation - even those purported sacrosanct exchanges between client and attorney. Tired and weakened by the strain, Ray was finally coerced into a guilty plea by his attorney, to whom he referred for the rest of his life as "Percy Foreflusher."
New Pieces To The Puzzle
Over the years Jim Green's Federal Intelligence connections have become legendary in his hometown of Caruthersville, Missouri. "He's untouchable," or "He can't be arrested, the feds just walk him out of jail, everybody knows that." But now one must assume that the Untouchable is fast becoming anathema to his former handlers. Jim has had an attack of conscience and is talking!
"I hope to change a lie in history to the truth about that day in Memphis," says Green, 54, a reformed "bad boy" who spent the first half of his life as a teenage runaway, moonshine runner, and car thief. The last half was spent in law enforcement, raising children, teaching school, and coaching football - along with occasional undercover work. His only source of income today is a social security disability check. Since coming forward with his story, he has refused all offers of any work involving government covert action, for fear of being "set up" and/or killed.
On December 3, 1998, he spent six hours with MLK's son Dexter King, Rev. James Lawson, and William Pepper (Ray's attorney and author of Orders to Kill, a semi-accurate compilation of facts and conjecture describing the government's involvement in the King assassination).
"At this meeting, I cleared my soul telling Dexter of my involvement on the day of his father's death," says Green. "I knew there would be many more questions to come, and that's when I decided to put my story in writing."
He calls his book, Blood and Dishonor on a Badge of Honor, and when he put it up on the internet two years ago, it caught the attention of Lyndon Barsten on Minneapolis. Barsten decided to check Green's story against the known facts as well as the suppressed information uncovered by him and others over the years. He was astounded. Everything fit. Green knew details that could only have been known by someone who was there, and the FBI documentation acquired by Barsten substantiated his story. Some of these papers show that the FBI had been constantly tracking James Earl Ray and had knowledge of his whereabouts during most of the year he was an escaped convict. Both Green and Barston believe that the FBI was instrumental in Ray's "escape" from the Missouri State Penitentiary in April of 1967 for the sole purpose of setting him up as a "patsy" when the time came.
"Why else would these reports be in the record?" says Green, "And why would they have any files on an escaped con from a state prison?" Indeed. And something even more suspicious, why did the FBI not contact the Missouri authorities and have Ray picked up? He was under their thumb for some ten months. Later investigation showed that the fingerprints sent out by JeffCity for "escaped prisoner James Earl Ray" were not really his, ensuring his release if he happened to be captured as an escaped felon.
Jim Green was student at Caruthersville High when he decided that the Peace Corps would be an exciting way to see the world. At the tender age of 16, he had no way of knowing that this was a major feeding ground of the Central Intelligence Agency (he assumes that his school counselor who helped him fill out the forms did not either), but this was where the initial contact was made.
He was contacted by FBI personnel and given a thorough background check. Then a series of interesting and mysterious events began after he was accepted and was under the government's control. In a short time this led to the Missouri State Pen where he knew James Earl Ray in 1966.
"I have a good memory, but there are two weeks from this time at Jeff City that I can only remember a few hours of," Jim reflects.
Lyndon Barsten says, "The contacts and methods utilized in the murder of Dr. King bear the signature of the CIA, including the probable use of MK-Ultra mind control techniques. Parallel psychiatric irregularities at the Missouri prison system are described by James Earl Ray and Jim Green, including the shocking drugging of inmates which could render the indication of hypnosis easier or otherwise enhance its usefulness. It seems highly likely that Jim was subjected to psychological assessment and manipulation, the results of which directed back to Federal Intelligence Agencies."
A further series of events led to Jim's early release (effectuated by "Paul," the FBI Agent who became his handler) and a reunion back in Caruthersville with Butch Collier, his former partner from the moonshine running days. For the next year and a half, Jim and Butch and others ran moonshine and delivered hot cars from St. Louis to New Orleans. Both operations were under the direction of Paul, who would later show his credentials to Jim and identify himself as a FBI Agent. At first Green was concerned about this ("I had never known the feds to be crooked!"), but he was assured by others whom he trusted that Paul had the power to isolate them from any investigation. "Paul's boss is at the top," he was told. Jim took this implication to mean none other than J. Edgar Hoover.
This complicated, sometimes hard-to-follow sequence of activities in Green's life is made plainer (especially to those unfamiliar with the facts of the MLK murder case) by the frequent interjection of Lyndon Barsten's clarification of facts. But at this point, Green and his older (by six years) friend, Butch Collier, resumed their lives of crime. Not only would they hot wire and snatch individual autos from parking lots and drive them to Memphis, but they were also paid $5,000 on occasion to drive an 18-wheeler load of several cars from St. Louis to New Orleans for delivery to the Carlos Marcello mob. Green says that this was done with full knowledge and protection of the FBI.
("At this time of my life, the only thing that made me nervous was Paul. His being an agent of the FBI didn't fit into my little world at the time. Also, I didn't like it because it seemed like Paul was running the show and he was an outsider! I guess, at that young age, I just did what I was told. This must be why eighteen-year-olds are chosen to fight wars. Most men with experience will ask `Why are we here,' and most teenagers will just follow orders.")
April 4, 1968
Jim Green's story fills in more blanks with logical answers to the previously unanswered questions. His assignment, for which he was to be paid $10,000, was to kill James Earl Ray. "On the night of April 3rd," Green says, "Paul met us in our room. He had a small package which he laid on the bed, he told us "there's $5,000 in that package for you and five more when the job is done, once James Earl Ray is killed on the fourth."
Indicative of the compartmentalization of each participant in this textbook CIA assassination, Green says that he was not even aware of the total operation of which he had been a part until he was back home in Caruthersville watching the Ten O'clock News with his father. He would only be following orders and believes that he was chosen for this segment because he had spent time at JeffCity with Ray and knew what he looked like.
Jim and his partner, Butch Collier, stalked Ray in the early afternoon after they found him at Jim's Cafe -exactly where they had been told they would find him. Later Jim climbed to his assigned rooftop position of a dilapidated three story office building in the next block south of Bessie Brewer's rooming house on Main Street at around 3:30 p.m., armed with a .357 caliber rifle. His instructions were to shoot James Earl Ray "after five o'clock" and only in the event that John Talley, a Memphis Police Detective, failed.
The planners did not want to face another Oswald/Tippet-type snafu as in Dallas.
James Earl Ray was in the rooming house, and Green observed him come and go three or four times during the next two hours. On one of these occasions, Ray came outside and stood by the Mustang for several minutes before going back upstairs.
This coincides with Ray's story that Raoul kept attempting to get James away from the area. It also telegraphs again that Ray was purposefully not telling the whole story, apparently being careful not to jeopardize his position of "innocent and framed" by admitting planned criminal activity. Green's next segment shows us the real plan already in motion to set up Ray. The man that Green knew as Paul, the FBI Special Agent, was the same person Ray knew as Raoul, who had kept him on a leash for eight months - from Montreal to Memphis.
When Ray left the flophouse the final time, at a few minutes before six (King would be shot at 6:01), Green knew the instructions from Paul/Raoul had been for Ray to first rob Jim's Grill at gunpoint and hurry south on Main Street to the Arcade Restaurant. The phony ploy was that they were getting ready to travel and would need some quick cash. However, James must have become suspicious. When he came out on the street, he did not commit the armed robbery nor continue walking down the sidewalk as instructed but climbed into the Mustang (James' car was not white, as reported by police and the news media, but a pale yellow) and calmly drove north away from the scene. He never returned. By this time Butch Collier was stationed in the bushes in back of the boarding house and directly across the street from the Lorraine Motel.
It was a fortuitous intuition on the part of Ray. Lingering in the next block was Memphis Police Detective John Talley, whose assignment was to kill Ray. He was carrying the standard police issue .357 Magnum revolver. Jim Green was on the roof of the building across the street and armed with the.357 rifle in the event Talley missed or was killed by Ray. Green was the backup in case anything went wrong. The caliber would match.
Remember Dallas in 1963 Re.Oswald and Officer Tippett. Again this is straight from the textbook of "Assassinations 101." After the patsy is dead, anything can be leaked to the press to demonize him, as it was in both these cases, even while each was still alive.
But when Ray was "spooked" and drove away in the pale yellow Mustang, it threw a monkey wrench into the conspirator's plans.
However, there was a second Mustang that still remained parked on Main Street. This one was white and belonged to Joe R. Tipton but was brought to Memphis by Jim Green and Butch Collier. They had also brought several rifles, which were still in the trunk. Green's instructions were to stay on the rooftop until Collier arrived in the parking area at the rear to pick him up. At 6:01 p.m., he heard the shot, and only moments later saw Paul and Butch emerge one behind the other from the stairway of the flophouse onto the street. He saw Paul dump the bundle of evidence into the doorway of Canipe's Amusement Company, while Butch was jumping into the driver's seat of the white Mustang, and watched as they sped north on Main Street. Paul/Raoul and the Memphis Police utilized a third Mustang, also white, as a diversion.
Suddenly the FBI's folly of the utter stupidity of the alleged assassin (Ray) dumping his own incriminating evidence on the street begins to take shape. Paul intended to drop it in the back seat of the pale yellow Mustang - Ray's - thinking that James Earl had followed instructions and was down the street getting killed. Then the FBI would have had its open and shut case. (Ray is dead and here is the "murder" weapon found in his car.) But when Paul/Raoul is suddenly confronted with the current situation of no Ray car available, he frustratingly drops the bundle in the first handy place, and he and Butch hightail it up the street in the white Mustang. Jim Green watched all this unfold from his secluded rooftop position.
Butch Collier had just killed Martin Luther King with one shot from the bushes on the slope across the street from the Lorraine Motel. He then ran up the rear stairs to the second floor and back down the front stairs to Main Street. By this time, Paul had run down the hall from the upstairs bathroom (where he had watched the shooting) carrying the "plant" rifle purchased in Birmingham by Ray in hand. (Paul was seen by other tenants who later said this person was not Ray.) He then stuffed it in the bag with the other "evidence" and was down the front stairwell only seconds behind Collier.
Jim Green watched as Butch drove two blocks up the street before pausing to drop off Paul at a parked Memphis Police Department squad car. A couple of minutes later, Butch was tooting the horn of the Mustang in the parking lot behind Jim's three-story perch. Jim came down to join his confederate, stashed his rifle in the trunk with the others, and the two men headed for the Mississippi River Bridge toward Arkansas.
Jim tells of hauling several guns to Memphis in the trunk of the Mustang on April 2nd, following the instructions of Paul. Butch had removed the one of his choice for the King murder earlier the next day, but the other weapons were still in the trunk. In Collier's haste to escape the murder scene, he had not bothered to open the trunk but had quickly thrown the murder weapon onto the floor behind the front seat as he and Paul jumped into the Mustang.
When Collier and Green crossed the river into Arkansas, they took an immediate turn onto the frontage road and headed back down to the riverside. They hurriedly opened the trunk and dumped the cache of weapons into the water. Headed up U. S. 61 and halfway home an hour later, Jim peered into the back seat and noticed the rifle on the floor. When he called his partner's attention to it, Butch realized that they had failed to dump the most important evidence of all.
"Well !@#$," said Collier, we can't drop it here on the side of the highway. What do we do with it?' Jim pondered a moment and said, "Never mind. I know a friend who will take care of it with no questions asked."
Green delivered the rifle the next morning to his trusted but unnamed friend in Caruthersville, who kept it for 29 years. When he decided to write his book, Green retrieved it and has had it stashed in a safe place in another state ever since. The rifle has now been tested for ballistics and the results are pending.
While James Earl Ray was running from the FBI in April, May, and June, he had no way of knowing that he was also being pursued by Jim Green and Butch Collier as well - although he may have suspected it. On April 6th, the shooters were called together for a meeting at the Climax Bar in Caruthersville with Paul some others. Jim Green describes the situation:
We were told we had "some serious problems" to deal with. "First you have to find Ray and kill him, in order that nothing can lead back to the government or us," Paul said. "We're all in this together, and if one of us goes down, we all go down." He told us that his orders came from the top. "Roachie will kill us before he or his boss will get involved." Paul seemed more serious than ever.
Later, I figured out who Roachie was: Cartha Deloach, the number three man [in the FBI] behind Hoover and Tolson. . . Butch and I told them what we did with the rifles but forgot to mention the 30.06 that I have to this day. . . Everybody in that room that day is dead except for Paul and me.
(In those days Green and Collier always used as their "life insurance policy" the bluff that they had the rifle and various tapes and records that would go public if anything happened to them. It wasn't true, but it worked. Collier died about ten years ago of cancer.)
For the next few weeks Green and Collier went to several places, toting unregistered Rossi .38 pistols made in Brazil, in their quest to kill Ray. Paul always seemed to have a line on Ray's whereabouts, and the two hunters came closest to their prey in Toronto. Paul had sent them to a hotel where they learned that James Earl had checked out only two hours earlier. They searched several other places for two other aliases under which Paul knew Ray to be traveling and hiding, but they could not locate him. Green says that it was obvious to Butch and him at the time that Paul had ongoing intelligence being fed to him by either the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or the Toronto City Police.
"Ramon George Sneyd" soon acquired his passport and made his way to Europe, never knowing how close he came to being murdered on the run - ironically by the same faction that had murdered Martin Luther King and pinned the crime on Ray.
Green subsequently served a short time in jail for some previous infractions but had his very early release aided by Paul. Two years later, Green met with Missouri Attorney General John Danforth and about a half dozen others, including Paul, at a Sikeston, Missouri motel. It was a secret investigation in an attempt to oust the county sheriff and expose his corruption - which eventually succeeded. But Green's performance, with the correct double-talk, exposed nothing, and for this he was later rewarded with a deputy's job in the new administration. He later moved on to federal undercover work in Memphis.
During one seven-month period in the mid-70s, the Memphis group got 265 convictions and failed only once when a mistrial was declared. Green says, "I know first-hand that the police will testify in whatever way they have to in order to get a conviction or further their careers."
For now exposing the corruption of the courts and the FBI, Jim Green is certain that he will be called a liar. "But the same people," he is quick to point out, "who will attempt to discredit me today will have to be the same ones who in the 1970s said that I was the most honest, reliable, and trustworthy witness. If I am a liar, then all the cases I testified at should be appealed and thrown out and the records set straight."
As mentioned, Jim Green's revelations fit too many pieces (confirmed with the FBI's own documents) to have been contrived from his imagination. He had told it to one official long before James Earl Ray told his story in Tennessee Waltz, which Green did not read until 1998, after he had begun his own book.
Jim Green had attempted to "clear his soul" as far back as 1973, when he told journalist Kay Black of the Memphis Press Scimiter the same story printed here with only slightly fewer details. It was never published but frightened Ms. Black enough for her to report it to law enforcement authorities. This led to Green's appearance in front of the HSCA in 1976. There his testimony was obliterated from the record and never made public. So much for government inquiries.
One of James Earl Ray's brothers has now come forward with information corroborating the FBI's cooperation in James' escape as well as the Chicago mob's participation in the assassination, under the direction of Sam Giancano. John Ray admits that it was he who picked up his brother after his 1967 "escape" in the bread truck and drove him to a safe house in East St. Louis.
Lyndon Barston's detailed research shows powerful evidence implicating the FBI with complicity in a CIA plot.
1] In late 1964, the FBI had tried to get Dr. King to commit suicide prior to his departing to Europe to claim his Nobel Peace Prize. This was accomplished by sending an alleged surveillance tape of Dr. King in an extra-marital sexual relation to the SCLC with a letter warning that all would become public if Dr. King didn't kill himself prior to his collecting his Nobel Prize.
2] Lab work relating to the murder of Dr. King at FBI Headquarters was dreadfully inadequate. The Remington 30.06 rifle purchased by Ray in Birmingham and deposited at the scene of the crime was not even swabbed to see if it had been fired! Today it still remains as the "official" murder weapon of the MURKIN case. Yet, for some reason, this test was run on even the rifle James Earl Ray had returned to Aeromarine Supply in Birmingham in exchange for the Remington prior to the murder!
3] Atlanta FBI informant, J. C. Hardin, is documented in the MURKIN file as contacting James Earl Ray in Los Angeles just prior to Ray's packing up and heading east to Atlanta and Memphis.
4] On the 29th of March, the FBI, through its "friendly" press contacts, placed Dr. King in the open and insecure Lorraine Motel by criticizing him in the press for patronizing "white owned Hotels."
5] Journalist Louis Lomax who later died in a mysterious car crash, was investigating Dr. King's death when visited by two FBI men who instructed him to abruptly end the series of fruitful articles he was producing for the N. A. N. A. Louis Lomax, described as being "no good" in an FBI memo (HQ 44-38861-3196); was a highly respected journalist. It was Lomax who uncovered the deception of the false fingerprints sent out by JeffCity for escaped prisoner James Earl Ray. This strongly suggests the duplicity of both state and federal agencies in the ploy.
The Intelligence Community's relationship with the mob and union racketeers, as described by Jim Green, is highly documented in the post-World War II era. Chicago mob boss Sam Giancana often described the CIA and his organization as "two sides of the same coin."
March 24, 1998: CBS News' 48 HOURS broadcasts "Orders To Kill," a scathing attack on Dr. William F. Pepper, for eighteen years the attorney of James Earl Ray. In 1995, Pepper had released his book by that name, and it is his assertion that his client, James Earl Ray, was a patsy, manipulated to cover-up the real events surrounding Dr. King's death. A hit team, Pepper claims, murdered Dr. King at the request of the Intelligence Agencies of the Federal government. On camera, in his Memphis hotel room only days before, Dr. Pepper is notified of the arrest of his new witness.
(The witness, James Cooper Green, was actually a participant on that bloody day thirty years before. As with most domestic Intelligence operations Jim's job, to murder James Earl Ray after 5:00 p.m. on April 4th, was to be performed on a "need to know" basis. Jim Green was not to be privy to the day's full operations, only his part. He would not learn that Dr. King was killed until he watched the news at ten o' clock that night.)
Jim Green never talks to the 48 HOURS team. After arriving in Memphis in March of 1998 for the specific purpose of going on camera, he is arrested under suspicious circumstances by the DEA and held for ten days on flimsy charges that would later be dropped, long after the CBS team has left town. The DEA report of Jim's arrest describes Task Force surveillance of a room near his in the Memphis Holiday Inn Express. A "possible methamphetamine lab" is operating out of room 165. Seemingly without reason, the DEA runs a check on the Florida plates of the truck owned by the guests in room 163, James and Linda Green. The investigation report states " registration on the Florida plate came back James (redacted) Green ". As with nearly all of the Federal Government's involvement in this case, a seemingly routine document is a lie. The Green's truck was registered to Linda Green, Jim's wife, and was in her name only. The only way the feds could have known Jim was in that car would be if he were under surveillance for another reason.
The same incestuous Memphis power structure that had prevented James Earl Ray from getting a real trial also makes certain Jim Green remains in a cell until the 48 HOURS team leaves town. A routine $5,000 bond set by Judge Joe Brown would be increased tenfold within hours after the arrest.
Within the 48 HOURS presentation, Dan Rather reports that on the fourth of April in 1968 Jim Green was "in Federal prison." However, that too is a lie. His own records show that he was not sentenced until three months later, and his official record was expunged in 1988. Therefore, any existing records of Jim's imprisonment in April '68 are a recent fabrication and of dubious origin.
There was far more reason to believe that the real purpose for the arrest was that the Federal Agents were looking for physical evidence Jim had preserved since April 4, 1968. They suspected he would be bringing some of it to Memphis for the filming of the TV show. The most important and damning evidence Jim has protected is one of two 30:06 rifles left in one of the duplicate Ray Mustangs, a rifle that has a high likelihood of being linked through ballistics to the slug that took Martin Luther King's life. However, the instigators of this surreptitious kidnapping, while succeeding in preventing Jim's story from being aired, came up empty in a search for evidence. He did not bring the rifle with him.
For nearly a quarter of a century Jim Green has remained silent about his participation in government assassination and abuse. His only breaking of this code was his 1977 testimony before the House Select Committee on Assassinations. When that testimony is made public in 2029, it will reveal that Black Congressman Louis Stokes of Ohio badgered Jim into silence at those hearings.
Even Linda Green, Jim's wife, was protected from the truth until the their children were grown. In 1998, to provide documentation of what he was to reveal, Jim handed Linda a copy of James Earl Ray's autobiography. In Tennessee Waltz (pg. 73-74) Ray weaves a vividly detailed description of two strangers trailing him in Memphis hours before the King murder. Jim pointed to the description of a thirty-ish man in a navy peacoat and questioned, "Who's that, Linda?"
"Butch Collier", was Linda's response. There was no doubt from Ray's vivid recollections that she recognized one of the men trailing James Earl Ray. For the past quarter century she had been married to the other.
Later, documents within the FBI's own investigative file would validate what Jim was claiming: that forces within the Federal Government directed the murder of Dr. King through racketeering union-associated-operatives who, in turn, hired locals in Jim's home town of Caruthersville, Missouri.
Jim's amazing memory for details would prove invaluable. Phone call conversations written up in the FBI's own MURKIN (FBI acronym for Murder of King case) investigation files suddenly begin to make sense. Jim's description of two fake James Earl Ray Ford Mustangs finds credibility in the FBI's own documents. In addition, the long-held suspicion that Ray was allowed to escape from prison in 1967 gains validity when FOIA requests by researcher Lyndon Barsten show that the FBI was tracking Ray for eleven months prior to the King assassination in Memphis.
and Dishonor on a Badge of Honor will be published later this year.
Limited copies of Tennessee Waltz by James Earl Ray are still available