Monday, October 8, 2007

`The Lorraine Motel Murder'

The shot came from the bushes
And not from the rooming house
And on the Lorraine Motel balcony
A Movement was wiped out.

In April nineteen sixty-eight, in Memphis, Tennessee
A Civil Rights leader was the victim of a conspiracy
They murdered him at the Lorraine Motel and blamed it all on a patsy
And hid the gun inside Jim’s Grill before tossing it in the Mississippi.

Two sharpshooters of the Memphis police hid in the brush at 5:45
They soon were joined by the Jim’s Grill owner who knelt down by their side
Shortly after six, the Civil Rights leader walked out of Room 306
The police sharpshooter took careful aim, and from 200 feet the leader was hit.

The shooter gave the murder weapon to the owner of Jim’s Grill
Who ran inside the cafĂ©’ he owned and hid the gun used in the kill
The police sharpshooters made their escape and one jumped into a police car
The one who shot ran the other way, through an alley and into a cellar.

The back-up Alpha sharpshooters were ordered to withdraw
Their expertise was not needed and to Camp Shelby they returned
The Memphis Police, the FBI and the media then covered up the crime
And a Memphis police undercover agent quickly knelt by the slain leader’s side.

The Lorraine Motel Murder protest folk song was written only a few years ago, after I read a book by William Pepper, titled An Act of State: The Execution of Martin Luther King. During the 1990s, I also wrote a number of column items and an article about the 1968 MLK assassination that were originally published in the now-defunct Lower East Side alternative weekly, Downtown.

The Big Media’s official version of the April 4, 1968 elimination of Martin Luther King in Memphis, Tenn. is that the [now-deceased] imprisoned James Earl Ray shot King from a rooming house bathroom at 6:01 p.m. while King stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. Yet A Case Of Conspiracy by Michael Newton notes that “James Ray insists that at the time of Dr. King’s murder he was away from the Main Street rooming house” and “was parked at a service station several blocks from the murder scene, having his tank filled and getting the air checked in the Mustang’s spare tire.”

The same book also revealed that “Shortly after the assassination newspapers in Memphis carried stories of…Willie Green, a black attendant at some unspecified service station in the vicinity of the murder” and “According to reports, Green recalled waiting on the driver of a white Mustang at approximately the time King was shot…” The Murkin Conspiracy: An Investigation Into The Assassination Of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Professor Philip Melanson also argues that “The Truth of the King assassination is that it was a…sophisticated conspiracy executed by persons possessing the kind of expertise generally found within intelligence circles…” and “There is now overwhelming evidence that the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. could not possibly havae been the work of one man.”

A Case Of Conspiracy also noted that:

“Perhaps the first person to contact police with evidence of a conspiracy to kill Dr. King was Rev. James Bevel, one of King’s closest lieutenants. By his own account, Bevel and other Southern Christian Leadership Council [SCLC] aides learned of the murder plot several days prior to April 4 [1968]. Making his charges public in an interview with Claude Lewis of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Bevel disclosed that the plot came to light when a letter `addressed to a white woman was delivered to a black woman who has the same name.’ The letter reportedly contained `information that Dr. King was to be assassinated while he was in Memphis.’ [Memphis Public Safety Director] Frank Holloman’s police and Hoover’s FBI had been informed of the plot no later than April 3, [1968], but allegedly took no action.”

The same book also revealed that:

“John McFerren, a black businessman and civil rights activist, also produced what seemed to be evidence of a conspiracy behind King’s death. The owner of a shopping center, McFerren had been in Memphis on a buying trip on April 4 [1968]. He was leaving the last of his scheduled stops about 5 p.m., when he passed by an open office door and heard voices raised in angry conversation. Curious he peeked through the door and saw a man he recognized…shouting into a telephone.

“`Hell, no,’ the man growled, `you’re not going to get your pay until you do the job. Do the job, then you’ll get your pay.’ He was startled and frightened as the man in the office suddenly blurted out, `You can shoot the son of a bitch on the balcony!’…

McFerren’s shock at the overheard conversation was transformed into abject horror with the news of Dr. King’s death on the motel balcony an hour later. He revealed his observations to authorities, eventually ending up in a midnight meeting with Frank Holloman himself, homicide inspector N.E. Zachary, and agents of the FBI. McFerren identified the man he had seen, and related details of the conversation.”

Coincidentally, according to The Murkin Conspiracy, Memphis’s Public Safety Director Frank Holloman “was a retired FBI agent whose 25 years with the bureau included a stint as head of the Memphis field office (1959-64)” who “also served as Hoover’s appointments secretary and was in charge of personnel in the director’s office” before becoming the head of the Memphis police shortly before Martin Luther King just happened to be eliminated in Memphis.

(Downtown 12/16/92)

Next: FBI Created `Get Carmichael Squad’ After King’s Assassination