Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Olen Burrage dies at 82; suspect in slayings of Mississippi civil rights workers

Olen Burrage, KKK, farmer -- Mississippi -- dies

Olen Burrage dies at 82; suspect in slayings of Mississippi civil rights workers

Burrage was acquitted in the deaths of 3 men whose bodies were found buried under a dam on his property in 1964. The case led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

Reported March 24, 2013|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Olen Burrage, a farmer and Ku Klux Klan member who owned the Mississippi land where the bullet-riddled bodies of three civil rights workers were found buried in the 1960s, has died. He was 82.
Burrage, who was acquitted on civil rights charges related to the murders, died March 15 at a medical center in Meridian, Miss., the McClain-Hays Funeral Home announced. The cause was not released.

LINK -- http://www.latimes.com/membership/

Interesting links in the Mississisppi Sovereignty Commission files --




"Swift Moving FBi Agents Arrest 21 Across the State"

"2 Neshoba Officals Return to Law Duty"

Lots more in Mississippi Sovereignty Files under under Olen Burrage, Olen L. Burrage, Olen Lovell Burrage

Search here:


Mississippi Burning Background (from Wikipedia)

"The Mississippi Civil Rights Workers Murders involve the lynching of James Earl ChaneyAndrew Goodman, and Michael "Mickey" Schwerner by white Mississippiansduring the American Civil Rights Movement.
On the night of June 21–22, 1964, Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner were threatened, intimidated, beaten, shot, and buried by members of the Mississippi White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, the Neshoba County's Sheriff Office and the Philadelphia Police Department located in Philadelphia, Mississippi. After the largest and most televised search at the time, their bodies were found 44 days later in an earthen dam near the murder site.
Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner's murders sparked national outrage and spurred the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965African Americans and other minorities in Mississippi, as throughout the former Confederacy, lived under racial segregation and Jim Crow laws, and had been essentially disfranchised since the passage of the state constitution of 1890.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation referred to this investigation as Mississippi Burning or MIBURN. Due to the conspiracy's sophistication and complexity, the MIBURN case is renowned as one of the Bureau's greatest accomplishments." (Wikipedia --  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mississippi_civil_rights_workers'_murders )

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Who was Otto F. Otepka and Why Did Mississippi Sovereignty Commission Keep a File?

Beginning in 1957, Otto F. Otepka served as Deputy Director of the State Department Office of Security. This meant that Otepka was in charge of granting security clearances for all State Department personnel. A cadre of people worked under his supervision. From this position of considerable responsibility, Otepka was plunged into a nightmare universe of harassment and surveillance. He was reassigned and removed to a position from which he could no longer reveal inconvenient truths. Yet he had done nothing wrong. It is an extraordinary tale of a career government officer being framed from within the government, his only sin the scrupulous manner in which he performed his duties.

Now, why would there be a small file of clippings about this man in Sovereignty Files? His story has recently been tied to the assassination of JFK -- but this comes years later, as researchers like Joan Mellen do this work on John F. Kennedy's demise.

Here's is a Sovereignty Commission Link


There's a couple more files you can pull up, too.

And here is a link to a free online book about this man by author Joan Mellen. You might take a look; it's quite fascinating. For myself, it helped answer a question of why one of Kennedy's closest friends and cohorts turned on Jim Garrison, making it so rough for him to convict Clay Shaw.

Link to online book --