Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Roy Moore: FBI agent who pursued Ku Klux Klan killers

Nothing in Moore’s career could have prepared him for the challenge of protecting civil rights workers in the South. Born in Oregon in 1914, his early life was spent about as far from the Deep South as was possible for an American child. As a young man he served in the Marine Corps, before joining the FBI in 1938 as a clerk. In 1940 he became an agent, progressing quickly through the ranks.

By 1960, Moore had been promoted to the “number one man” in charge of training and inspection at FBI headquarters. From there he was dispatched to the hottest spots in the Southern civil rights movement, ending up in Birmingham and then Mississippi. Here, Moore became determined to break the Ku Klux Klan. He offered one informant 25000, which led to the discovery of the corpses. His team found that 25 people had been involved in the plot, including two Neshoba County officers.

But local law enforcement agencies refused to co-operate. In 1966, Martin Luther King spoke at a rally in Neshoba County and complained that “the murderers of Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner are no doubt within the range of my voice”. A voice from a group of white men replied: “Ya damn right. We’re right here behind you.”

In 1967, governor Paul Johnson jnr — who opposed the Klan — agreed with Moore that the FBI agents should give their evidence to the federal government rather than to the Neshoba County authorities. The federal government tried 19 men for violation of civil rights. An all-white jury found seven men guilty. The suspected mastermind, Edgar Killen, was found not guilty.
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I found SOV COMM files that pull up under Roy Moore and Roy K. Moore.

Link to search Name Files

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